Thursday, 20 August 2015

Getting Used to This

Typically Langdocien (Peter Johnson)
It's very hot.

I'm sat on a large, typically Languedocian balcony high above a typically Langdocian street, drinking a glass of the local rosé, while Mrs J. is watching a French quiz show on TV inside the flat, as she does each night to improve her already excellent language skills.

I'm just chilling out. It's the last week of this southern chaleur as, on Saturday, we'll be heading northwards. It's been a great vacation. The temperature has been lovely - in the mid-thirties throughout our time on the Italian and French riverias, and during the first week in Montpellier. This week it's mainly been high twenties but that'll do! It seems like ages since we were in Yorkshire.

I've not got a great deal to say this blog post as all of my profundity (if indeed it exists at all) is being poured - 500 words a day - into the latest writing project. While it's not directly related to technology, psychology or society, indirectly it's about all of those things.

No, I've nothing particularly important to write except that it would be great to exist like this permanently. Great weather, daily writing, delicious food, wine, scenery and there are a lot of very beautiful people sauntering through the streets. Perfect. One post-holiday resolution that I wish to keep to is to be online less often - except for work. I have been using the internet quite a bit during these holidays, but I've come to the conclusion that there's something terribly empty about checking social media and email every half hour for updates. It's a nothing activity which detracts from the higher value stuff that could fill one's life.

There are amazing novels to read, art to create, relationships to cultivate. Sure, online can be useful in all of these respects but only if it's utilised as a tool or a service - and not as an addiction. I have a Kant and two Kierkegaard translations on my bookshelf at home to read and I'll get through them a lot faster if I'm not dicking about on the internet all of the time.

So the plan is (and laugh mockingly at this point if you like, I've found myself doing so), is to switch off data on my phone as a default, and only use it when wi-fi is available. Even then, I'll only use data when I need something and not as entertainment. Sure that'll be a lot of the time, and it will take considerable discipline not to revert to the old addictive behaviours once I'm there, but I'm going to give it a go.

Admittedly, these thoughts might be a little like the holiday romances/friendships of old (pre-Facebook) where the parties assured each other that they would write, only for the good intentions to be forgotten once home soil had been arrived at. However, the productivity benefits in this instance are more definite than any payoff from the old holiday good times of yesteryear, which is why I think I might succeed. Indeed, it was during a vacation a few years ago that I resolved to avoid news media, and I did it - it gave me a whole new perspective on society.

Anyway, that's it for now. I think the quiz show that Mrs J is watching has finished, and we have a plan for an aperitif and then somewhere nice to eat in the warm lanes around Place Saint Roch tonight which will be far more enjoyable than spending the evening staring at news feeds!

I probably won't blog again until I'm back in good old blighty.


No comments:

Post a Comment