Going Off The Grid

Everyone should go off the grid now and then — disconnect their technology, stop checking their messages and sending texts every five minutes, and sit in a rocking chair and read a book or have a good talk for a change.

Our trip this weekend up to Hen Island in Lake Erie took us into the “roaming zone.”  When we landed on Pelee Island, in the Canadian waters, we promptly received a text message advising that we would be assessed the dreaded roaming charges for any calls or cellular use.  I immediately turned off my phone.  When we reached Hen Island we discovered that, oddly, some parts of it — miniscule as it is — are roaming, and parts have Verizon coverage.  I nevertheless kept my phone off except for once a day checks to make sure that Kish and the rest of the family were okay.

What a delight to be unhooked from the grid and no longer enslaved to the phone!  And what a treat to have a conversation without being interrupted by a beep or chirp — or noticing that the person you are talking to is surreptitiously checking their handheld for a text message that apparently can’t wait.  Liberated, by necessity, from the reflexive, repeated phone checking, you have the time for a quiet walk, some exploring, a good read, or a silly game.  Relaxation inevitably follows.

When we returned from the roaming zone and restored our phones to the grid, the world was pretty much the same as when we had left it.  Astonishingly, it hadn’t ended because we were disconnected for a few days.  It’s a good lesson to learn.