My wife sends me articles of interest from her phone. This morning she sent me this one about a guy who experimented in going without a smartphone for a little while. She may have sent it to me because last year I performed some “unplugging” exercises of my own. It is also possible she liked the way this guy lists the productivity achieved sans <<pomme>> or palmheld device; iPhone if you prefer. Here’s my list.

  • I went over a test on which my son had scored well.
    • They asked a few science questions I wanted to look up on my smartphone but I got explanations from him instead which were more than satisfactory.
  • I had meaningful conversations with two different tailors.
    • They believe they may be able to copy one of my wife’s favorite frocks.
  • I practiced intuitive driving via bicycle, stopped at two bike shops.
    • They didn’t have the right lock.
  • I read a section of the New York Times.
    • They provided it at a local coffee shop.
  • I browsed at a hardware store, picked.
    • They might have the right solution for our plumbing.
  • I shopped at two different local phone stores.
    • They didn’t have any flip phones that felt as good as a Motorola StarTac.
  • I clocked four hours on three little jobs.
    • They still have me at forty for the week if I do six more tomorrow.
  • I did dim sum.
    • They served the real deal to a hundred Chinese people and me.
  • I connected with two other parents of fifth graders.
    • They too seemed to appreciate face-to-face.
  • I visited a coiffure.
    • They made me look like I’m from the ’80’s.
  • I visited another kind of salon.
    • They were having an event at a favorite bookstore.
  • I spoke with two old friends I hadn’t expected to run into.
    • They were still interested in a writers’ circle we had worked on building.
  • I tucked my son in to bed.
    • They say you’re never too old to be read to.
  • I had a long conversation with my wife.
    • They say it’s never too late for love.

That was just one day. A normal day. All of these activities were conducted without a smartphone. I simply had it turned off. I used a different computer for job related tasks. Then I turned that off too. What this Mike Johnson said about life with and without technology is true. I know it. I can really feel it.

If the goal in Virtual Reality content creation is to allow the user to achieve what we call presencethen what we need to do is get better and better at presence in real life. It’s nothing new but I keep saying it anyway. The next new thing is “no thing.”

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