This summer my social media feeds have been flooded with rugged, scenic photos posted by friends and people I follow accompanied by captions like “#disconnecting,” “going #offline” and “spending time #offgrid.” These posts (the irony in posting online about being offline aside), are working. I have now officially added “disconnected” to the growing list of things from people’s carefully curated social media lives for which I am jealous.
I want to get in on the disconnected action, and so, it seems, do lots of other people.
Spa vacations, once all the rage for people looking to lose a few pounds and get back into shape, have been usurped by digital detoxes where harried executives are forced to unplug without the temptations of ubiquitous Wi-Fi.
Some people think it’s nuts to pay big bucks for this kind of holiday when you can easily create a do-it-yourself detox by turning off your phone and putting a vacation alert on your email, but I totally get it. For me, checking texts and Instagram is as tempting as a container of Haagen-Dazs.
That’s why I love airplane travel—the longer the flight, the better. The indisputable right to be unreachable for hours at a time is heaven. You can imagine how I feel about inflight Wi-Fi. I am horrified to find that every time I board a plane this obtrusive service is cheaper than ever, thus making being disconnected a less and less acceptable practice. Don’t get me started about airlines that offer free Wi-Fi; I won’t be travelling on these carriers anytime soon.
As much as I love the idea of disconnecting, it’s impossible for me, and apparently a lot of my friends, too. This past weekend a group of us spent three glorious days at a cabin where you basically have to stand on your head, coat hanger in hand to access the internet on your phone. Yet every one of us found a way to check our emails, text our (virtually grown) children and review the New York Times online. Let’s call it ingenuity—or maybe compulsion?
So, go ahead, post your off-grid pics this summer. You know I’ll be checking them, wherever I am.