Offline is the new luxury (4)

Time spent on your smartphone: how could you pass it more wisely? And what exactly does it do for you? Each Friday, Irene, who together with Astrid is the founder of Flow, writes about this particular issue.

Because I oversee the creation and production of Flow, and Flow has lot to do with paper, and because I now also write a blog about time spent offline, people sometimes ask me: “Why are you so opposed to modern times; aren’t you being a bit old-fashioned?” Which I find rather funny, because at Flow, we have modern technology to thank for so many of the things that we embrace. Thanks to Instagram, we have contact with Flow fans around the world and we can find the best illustrators. Thanks to blogs, I read things that I otherwise would never have come across. I absolutely love Blendle [a Dutch online news platform that collates articles from varied newspapers and magazines], where I can follow stories that interest me, even from publications that I would normally not even look at. The joy of Facebook is made even stronger when I come across a photo of an ex-boyfriend that makes me laugh out loud. And without my Nike running app, life would be less beautiful. So we’re absolutely for time spent online. It’s just that I’m trying not to fill all my spare time with being online. Because I miss the loafing around and the daydreaming. The moments when my head is clearer, instead of fuller.

Meanwhile, my smartphone has been banished from the bedroom for a whole week now. And it’s really made me happier. So now it’s time for the next step: going out without the phone more often. Which means I won’t sneak a peek while waiting for something (think: train, in line at the supermarket, in the dentist’s waiting room) and cram those moments full of online things. What I secretly hope will happen instead is that I discover new windows in my mind. Windows that will remain closed if I continually keep bombarding my head with new stuff. Windows that will open if there is time for doing nothing. What thoughts, notions, ideas lurk behind those windows? It’s going to be an exciting week of discovery!


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