Tuesday, November 27, 2012

3 days preostao

Kimmy proposed an interesting thought...

Sam, I assume while you were on the AT, you were completely disconnected from the world of technology? What was that like? Was it awesome? Did you miss being connected to the world or was it kinda freeing?

Well, I did have my phone but most of the AT is deep in the woods with no cell service, so it was turned off and stuffed deep in my backpack. You can grab a signal here or there, but thru-hikers aren't thinking about that or have any way of charging electronics so very few hike with a cellphone turned on. And of course it goes without saying there is no electricity, running water, furnaces, cars, beds, or anything else the rest of the US uses and takes for granted every single day, all day.

So how did I feel about it? It really was awesome. There was something profound and real about surviving with only what you could carry on your back and find in the woods, but being disconnected was something entirely new for me. I grew up before the electronic age of ipods, cellphones, and the like, but that doesn't mean I haven't linked up to the point of someone like, well, Alli's generation. And I ignore the importance of light switches and faucets as much as anyone else. But being out there, it was a different world to be sure.

This brings to mind a summer evening many years ago. Ell and I were watching TV around 7pm when all of a sudden the electricity went off. No storm, no wind, just gone. We never had AC in the Log House, so there was no change in the temperature or any other comfort issue for us, but there were no other distractions to occupy our numbed brains. Within a few minutes, we wandered outside onto the porch and noticed all the neighbors were doing the same; us because we were bored and had nothing to say to one another and the neighbors to escape the stale air in their now un-air-conditioned interior walls. And then it happened...

The neighbors that lived behind us started fighting. We lived close enough to hear what they were saying and, basically, the lack of stimulation was too much to handle and they were just messed up by it and didn't know how to deal with it. I actually thought it was going to get physical for a minute. Before that happened, the husband jumped on his Harley and zoomed away. It was an interesting moment to watch humans react to being unplugged.

If you get the chance, Kimmy, or anyone else, do it. Get away. Unplug. Disconnect. You'll never forget it.

5 Comments:

Blogger Dave said...

Great post Sam,

There's been a few times in my life where I've intentionally disconnected from technology and found the first day or so very difficult but after that incredibly peaceful. Thanks for the great reminder about the importance of fasting.

One thing I used to really enjoy doing to "unplug" was read. Now however the majority of my books are electronic. It's an interesting conundrum.

8:08 AM  
Blogger Sweet Peripety said...

Great post. Rich says I'm the most plugged in person he knows and I HATE THAT HE SAID THAT. It's true, but not true. I'm plugged in to gain info for our homeschool and my own writing, etc. I am getting away from FB because it's so mind controlling. I really wish I could become Amish. Rich and I have talked lots about that. Probably won't happen but we've sure thought about it. I get tired of how this culture is.

5:50 PM  
Blogger Sweet Peripety said...

btw sent you an email. check your spam in case it doesn't show up! :)

5:50 PM  
Blogger Andy! said...

One of my favorite times of disconnecting was when Brad, Lyndsay and I lived together. A storm killed the power on a friday night that we had planned to go out. We ended up staying inside, having drinks and talking. We all thought it was a blast and it was amazing how much attention we gave on another.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Kimmy said...

It's amazing how we are all so used to being plugged in, that we don't know what to do with ourselves when we are not.

The closest we came was when the power went out for almost a week a few years back, due to a freak wind storm. It was actually during a blogging month, and I remember having to take my laptop to coffee shops every day to get my blogging in. We also had to eat out every night, and I read by flashlight. I can't remember how I felt about it exactly, but I honestly think my feelings would be different now then they were then. Also, I don't think I was quite as plugged in then as I am now.

I will take that cabin in the woods get a way one of these days. I certainly will.

7:29 PM  

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