Friday, March 11, 2016

No Active Mobile Device, No Problem

When I left Bell Canada in 2010 I gleefully tossed my mobile device into the Upper Niagara River. Aside from scaring a few ducks and confusing the odd Bass it was a euphoric moment for me. I had broken the corporate tether with gusto. I had a full Rucksack and an open road and a skip in my step. Well not really a skip because the rucksack was freaking heavy. There are few "cleansing moments" in our lives. Scaring a few ducks was one of mine.

Fast forward back to Canada a few years later I found myself with the dreaded device yet again. I had lived 18 months with out one and survived, check that, thrived. I did not want one but societal pressures won the day. Technology changes so quickly that in 2010 the obsession was more a corporate disease where as now mobile device dependency it is a societal disease.

In September of 2015 I again cancelled my subscription to Koodoo, turned off the mobile device and have not looked back. A strange thing happened along the way. Nothing! Again, my world did not implode.
 ** Full disclosure **, I held onto my Galaxy III. Here is how I communicate with the world when I have access to WiFi which is everywhere.

- Google Call. From various locations is costs .01 a minute to call a land or mobile phone in Canada. From Nicaragua its free. I am subject to a decent Wifi connection and a few times it may sound like your talking from inside a shipping container. The solution? Hanging up and calling again usually resolves that problem. I know, what a pain to have to hit redial to justify free phone calls.
- FB Calling. Yes, if someone has their phone number on their FB account you can use your laptop and a headset (like Google Call) and call them. Its FREE
- Skype. Do you want to see who you are talking to, Skype away.
- Email. Tried, tested and true. Yes, it is not immediate but that is where our obsession with mobile dependency starts right?
- WhatsApp. As I said, I do have my mobile device. The schools I work at want us available using WhatsApp for general communications. I am down with it.
- FB Chat. When the want for a quicker response than email and goofing off is called for.

I have a 6 year old Acer Laptop as I am not completely off the grid as of yet. As for my Galaxy I have it on mute and the only time I know I have a message is the little green light flashes. It does not go anywhere with me and is not an accessory of any kind. If I am going to meet people we arrange to meet. I do not feel compelled to let them know I "just jumped out of the shower", "leaving the house", "be there in 10", "around the block", "here, where are you". Mobile device dependency is a societal sickness, we all know it. This is not a judgement on the world and it's corporate consumer dependency. This is just a story about how I am trying to break free of those tethers while still trying to use technology for the purpose it was intended and not the mind numbing, brain cell depleting disease it has become.

** Full disclosure 2** - I know of what I speak. I was as co dependent on my blackberry as anyone during my time as a corporate drone. With that came the internalization of  constantly checking messages "just in case" something important needed to be taken care of. Trust me when I say, after 15 years there was NEVER anything that needed to be taken care of at 9:00 on a Saturday night, or any night for that matter. Just because the person your report to or a customer has no life, does not mean you can not have one.

Meet Buster. My new ceramic mobile dependent travel partner
Now without FB friends to validate my life I needed a travel partner. I did realize that the walk home after a day at the beach drinking cold beer is not the best time to make such a life altering decisions. With that I would like you to meet Buster the coolest ceramic pig in Nicaragua. Why Buster, well she  is a ceramic Piggy Bank with no hole to retrieve the savings. That can only mean she needs to be smashed or busted to retrieve your loot, so Buster. If you have a better name sent it along before Buster sticks. I give Buster a 25% chance of surviving 2016 unscathed and a 10% chance of surviving period. One she is ceramic and two I am not known for my delicate ways.

Busters former home, Parque San Juan
Sadly, Buster was a street pig playing her trade on the north west corner of Parque San Juan. A sickening sight indeed with her trying to grab the attention of possible clients with all the other pigs. She was smaller than all the other pigs, cows, chickens and creatures of unknown species, but she was blue and she won me over. For those that do not know, I am attracted to the color blue like a moth is attracted to light and I have come to the realization it will kill me one day for sure. After some strenuous negotiations with her Piggy Pimp I freed Buster from her deadly sun soaked street life for 10 Cordoba's (.50 Canadian). I am pretty sure I saw her smile her ceramic smile on the way home, but then again I did have a belly full of Tona's.

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