Ok, so we’re three days in and honestly? I don’t miss it!

Well, that’s not strictly true. Having to re-learn how to live with predictive text, which persistently replaces the word “don’t” with “foot” as you ignore the apostrophe, in trying to save characters and typing time, is pretty annoying. As is constantly having to constantly erase your messages because there’s one pending delivery and there isn’t a slot to store it in.

Also irritating is that there was no straight-forward (at least, not manual) way of transferring my contacts across. I’ve literally had to start my address book again for the next few weeks, so I apologise now to all the friends of mine who text me in the coming days and either don’t get a response because Apple hasn’t removed my number from their iMessage servers, resulting in a message that just never delivers, or who get a response from me saying “Sorry, don’t have this number saved. Long story, who is this?”

I realise I’ve turned to social media, but at least this way I’ve had a chance to tell at least one or two people what’s going on. I’m also going to point out now that I see WordPress as more of a hobby than anything else. I never profess to writing anything that would be regarded as prolific, but I enjoy doing it. Also, it’s configured to automatically post this on Facebook and Tweet it – BEFORE ANYONE SAYS ANYTHING!! 

Having said that, I also don’t have the constant fear that it’s going to run out of juice on me, either. I’m not constantly looking for a place to charge it. That in itself is a massive stress I carry with me, thanks to my iPhone…

Bizarrely, with a blanket ban on it, I’m not feeling the need to scour any of it at all. The upshot of that is I’m finding the ability to focus on one task at a time far easier, which was one of the main reasons behind doing this the first place. I did toy with the idea of handing over control of the main culprits to my Mum, or my Sister. Although I felt this would ultimately do me an injustice, I also wanted to test my ability to ignore them during the day. Strangely enough, I’m managing that no problem too, although I do have one of the guys in the department kindly offering to check the sites my work laptop visits of a day to make sure I don’t break any promises… He’s also taken it upon himself to search both my desk and my person every morning to make sure I haven’t smuggled in any contraband.

I am finding time spent in the car driving to and from work is far less enjoyable… I can usually be found listening to Lana Del Ray, some Fleetwood Mac or more recently, Melbourne Underground. Instead I have Nick Grimshaw and Greg James for company and, as entertaining as they are, they’re just NAE the same!

In the days that followed, I have had people make a few suggestions. Some have suggested raising money for charity, others that I perhaps allow some time for it in the evenings, to realise the benefits of not being connected with everyone I know all day every day.

I did have a charity idea in mind, when the thought of doing this first struck me  on Monday night. As the guy who’s tweet spawned the entire experiment, Liam Hackett, is CEO of Ditch The Label an anti-bullying charity based in Brighton, my immediate thought was that I would raise money for him. He’s doing a sponsored silence on the 18th of May and has set up a JustGiving page. I finally got round to sponsoring him for it tonight, and if you want to sponsor him there’s a link here.

If you’re into such things, you can follow Liam and Ditch the Label on Twitter – @DiaegoLiam and @DitchTheLabel.

However, I feel this is a bit of a first-world problem. Raising money through sponsorship usually involves having to put yourself through some form of suffering. For example, running a 10k, or the London Marathon, as my chum Sophie from work did just recently. Raising a whopping £5k for Meningitis Now in the process, I hasten to add! Living without your smartphone for a few weeks really isn’t a hardship, but I guess it all depends on what your stance is. Quite a few people have voiced their opinions; many of them have stated the wouldn’t be able to do it…so perhaps that’s reason enough in itself to squeeze a few quid out of my adoring fans? :p

I guess what it really comes down to is the general consensus. After all, charities still do good work and it’s about providing them with the resources to continue. If I manage to raise a sum for a group of people trying to make a real difference in the world, what’s the harm? There should be a comment section underneath this, let me know your thoughts and, if the reaction is positive and people don’t see what I”m doing as something wholly narcissistic, I’ll set something up. That is, when I’ve surfaced from my gin coma in the morning…

Please post them on the Wordpress post. I won’t be able to see them if they’re on Facebook…!

The last suggestion was to keep a diary of some description, which I’m currently doing now (thanks Dorota!). I had toyed with keeping a video diary that I would post at the end, but what might surprise you is that I actually hate being in front of the camera, so I decided against that… If I think my struggles are going to be interesting though, I’ll keep doing this.

Keep tweeting folks. For my sake, if nothing else!

Lewis
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A month without my iPhone…

To make a suggestion such as this to those nearest me would get me laughed at. But this evening, I’ve considered it in all seriousness, and I’m going to do it.

Why, you ask?

The latest internet craze has been a spoken word film called “Look Up”. A poem told by a guy in his twenties about technology, social media and the detrimental effect that sharing each and every moment of our lives is having on society.

If you haven’t seen it yet…

I’ve been meaning to watch this and I finally got the chance to this evening, after seeing it tweeted with the words:

“…this will make you want to turn off your phone.”

It really struck a chord with me. It described exactly what each day of my life has become; as a slave, to my iPhone 5.

Now I don’t mean to make myself sound as if I’m the only human being in existence whom this piece of work relates to. It fits all of us. But it’s given me the proverbial kick up the backside that I needed to do something which is becoming a genuine problem in my life.

I can’t put my phone down.

And it’s not even because I’m popular; that I have many hundreds of adoring fans who want to hear how my day was. I pick it up, I check Facebook, refresh my Twitter timeline and go on Instagram. I put it down. 5 minutes later, I pick it up and I do it all again. Lather, rinse, retweet…

It’s driving me insane!

I do it to satisfy a need for attention, a need which smartphones and social media has spawned in all of us. My problem is I have no self-control, I tell myself to ignore my phone and it lasts, momentarily, before I’m back at it again; enduring that disappointing, sinking feeling, when I find that in the last 30 seconds I haven’t received a new notification.

It’s pathetic, and it needs to change. I feel as if it’s starting to have a harmful effect on my life. I can’t allow myself to sit back and allow it to continue, any longer.

And now, for my bit. Yes folks, I created a YouTube video as part of this; to explain exactly where I’m coming from.

So, to confirm, here’s what I’m going to be doing for the next month:

  • No Smartphone. The phone I replace it with will do nothing but talk and text.
  • No Facebook. No Twitter. No Instagram. I’m delegating control of these three to my family for the next 30 days to make sure I stick to it.
  • Computer time kept to a minimum and only for doing stuff that’s productive. No Facebook here, either.
  • Radio on in the car, no iPod, so I can keep up with what’s going on out-with the bubble I’ve existed in for the last few years.

See you in a month folks!

Lewis
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After 18 long years, I’ve finally made my return to the land of the great and powerful Oz but alas, already I find myself on the eve of my return trip home; another 26 hours of my life shared with my headphones, shite food and the elbows of the fat man next to me. And that’s just my Dad…

Reading of my friend Hannah’s exploits in Philadelphia last summer (which she’s only just gotten round to writing about now) I was reminded that yet again, I have left too long a period between this entry and my last and that being here in Sydney was a prime time to sit down and document another major event in my life.

Having said that, I’m not sure how major it was; it wasn’t my wedding we were here for but a close friend’s. Perhaps major because my Mum and I managed it without attempting to kill the other?

You know, that is enough of an achievement in itself so yes, I consider this trip a milestone.

I guess I should really start with he happy couple, Ellis and Amy:

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It’s been a fantastic trip but I’m disappointed it’s over, having looked forward to it for so long. It has failed to disappoint however, proving a fantastic opportunity for drinking, clubbing and taking pictures.

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Bizarrely, the best pictures I’ve taken have been with my iPhone and not the SLR I was gifted specifically for this trip.

Partying prevailed as the chosen activity of choice which got in the way of climbing the bridge, surfing and bungee-jumping. All activities I had been intending on doing for most of this year…

Despite having chickened out, I am not ashamed as now I have a reason to return to this wonderful city sometime in the (hopefully) near future.

Aside from the wedding, there were one or two other opportunities I was presented with while we were here. We took a trip to Summer Bay and met a few members of the cast. I has my picture with Steve Peacock “Brax” merely for the ability to make my old boss from work jealous. Worked a treat…

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The girls were a little more obsessed however, particularly Amy who’s been a fan of the show for years. When she wasn’t looking, my Mum got the chance to ask Brax to record a quick congratulatory message for her and Ellis to be played on their wedding day. It went down a treat also.

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There’s plenty to see here too, some of it quite spectacular:

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Some of it quite immature…

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Some of it just plain terrifying!

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Despite that, it’s been a really insightful trip. I’ve learned never to attempt a fight with a British airways desk clerk (expecting to win), Brax is spelt with an X, not a KS and nothing, repeat nothing is more important than a session in the gym…

Anyway, I’m now off to enjoy a cheeky Shiraz in the lounge before the 26 hour countdown to seeing my car again is over.

Lewis
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This post may go out there with no title.

I must apologise to my meagre WordPress following, again (in particular, their Canadian counterparts) for being so silent lately. I’m sure you’ve missed me greatly.

Truth be told, I’ve had absolutely no time to blog of late. Between working, studying for (and failing repeatedly) certification exams for work, trying to keep fit, attending photography courses and feeling sorry for myself, I haven’t been able to get anywhere near my computer (despite spending 40 hours a week in front of one) to do anything with it.

Although you may not have missed my ramblings I can assure you, I’ve missed you.

I have to admit, things have been a bit rough lately; I’ve spent a great many hours not speaking to anyone, feeling particularly sorry for myself as I attempt to deal with some issues I’ve carried around with me since my school days.

As a spinoff from that, I’ve been contemplating life itself a great deal; mulling over the minute details we as a species place much emphasis on but, when you look at them from the perspective of the universe, actually mean very little whatsoever.

Take the dung beetle. Considered a sub-species, it spends its life rolling a pile of shit around; which it feeds on!  It does so all day every day, under the scorching heat of the desert sun. In a recent David Attenborough series, I remember laughing quite intently at the tribulations of one particular female as it tried to roll one particularly large piece of crap up a steep dune, only to be pushed back down it again when gravity finally won the battle and forced it to tumble all the way to the bottom, faeces and all.

For fear of dehydration, the beetle eventually gave up its (solo) battle, left the ball of shit where it landed and burrowed into the ground to get out of the heat.

When you think about it, we are not so different from the ‘common’ dung beetle.

The human race considers itself a superior species, having won a battle with the Neanderthals thousands of years ago which wiped them out. The Neanderthals are mocked by us even now, for being of lesser intellectual ability than us, although physically they were far superior.

Unfortunately it was their intellect, or lack thereof, which let them down, as the cavemen Homo-Sapiens they were fighting were better equipped in terms of weaponry.

But is this intellect that we have really of benefit to us?

It is my firm belief that this intellect we posses is the root of many of the problems we face. Problems which are damaging this planet we live on not only to our own detriment, but to those which we share it with.

That’s right, we share our home with the Lions, Tigers and Bears. We do not own it, and if history is any example, planet Earth is pretty good at its own form of ethnic cleansing.

I am of course talking about the apocalypse. Just ask the dinosaurs.

Already this year, we’ve seen some fairly controversial stuff. The gay marriage bill in England and the accompanying onslaught of anger from the church this has brought. 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai speaking out against the Taliban at a special United Nations conference.

As far as the gay marriage bill is concerned, if the Pope agrees homosexuals should be accepted into society, no one else has an excuse to disagree. Seeing as they’ve technically been for it the entire time… 

These are all issues which are made a big deal because someone felt they should be. But when you think about it, they are meaningless balls of shit someone wastes their time pushing around, rallying support and attracting attention to.

We are seen as the superior species on this rock because we decided one day that we are. This is because evolution ‘gifted’ us with opposable thumbs; ‘superior’ intellect; the ability to create fire. But from where I see it, these evolutionary wonders have been both the making and the breaking of us.

Our intellect created societies which felt the need to treat women as inferior to men. Women who have the same opposable thumbs and superior intellect as men.

Our ability to create fire gave us the ability to destroy many of our fellow species in a single blow over issues such as sexual orientation, ethical, political or religious beliefs.

These are the balls of shit we as individuals push uphill everyday.

In my opinion, what really separates us from the dung beetle is not that we have better things to do with our time than roll a ball of someones else’s faeces between our fingers, but from the fact that a dung beetle does that to survive.

What we do it for? I honestly have no idea…

I recently bought a mountain bike… That’s right, the boy who loves nothing more than spending a few hours in front of his Mac doing very little whatsoever has found an outdoor activity that he actually enjoys.

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lth0ms0n:

Taking Twitter parodies to new levels; this is hilarious.

Originally posted on Prince Charles _ HRH of Twitter:

George Osborne decided to join Twitter this morning. Of all sodding days to choose. He tweeted a picture of himself busily writing his speech (economics homework) with the red budget box (his lunchbox) on the table. Poor boy hasn’t been abused this much since leaving school last year. 

View original 185 more words

#41…

I went back to Loch Muick again this afternoon, having had some luck with the sun last week, in an attempt to get something I’d be as proud of a second time around at Lochnagar.

Bad news? I failed… The reason being I had assumed one could wander back up there again with something better on ones feet and make it all the way up to Lochnagar and back in a single afternoon.

This isn’t the case. As it turned out, after visiting the information shack, it was going to take around 8 hours to make it there and back again. Having rocked up there at 2.30PM in the afternoon, this left me with little time to make it, but I went anyway. I was met with this when I broke through the trees…

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It’s snowed even more since I was here last week, and there was a gale blowing a frigid 2 degree wind in my face. Couple that with constantly going through the snow and finding myself up to my knee’s in it, I called it an afternoon and went home. The good news is I did manage to get one or two worth showing and I’ve put them underneath!

Next time I go, I’ll plan ahead; take something to eat, a thicker jacket and make sure I’ve left myself enough time!

Lewis
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Post 40. A milestone I guess! I’m marking it by starting something new: I’m replacing some of my ramblings with something a little more creative and probably a lot less boring…

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“Start as you mean to go on.”

The mantra of many, come January 1st. If this post is anything to go by, my prospects this year look relatively bleak already, and this is something I’ve been working on for the last three weeks. Thankfully I’m a single guy, or I’d be pretty stressed right now if a statement of a similar nature had just been uttered by my girlfriend!

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The Final Frontier

I’ve been following this on Engadget for a while now. The final frontier in establishing a 24/7 connected planet for us to inhabit, for however many years until the next Mayan deemed ‘end of the world’. 

Over the last few months, airlines have been working with the FCC to develop systems which will enable them to provide wireless internet access to passengers on board their jets; ultimately allowing you to FaceTime your Ma as your plane hits turbulence flying over the South of Spain. 

This may surprise you: I’m not 100% sure how I feel about this. 

The article I’ve linked to this entry mentions the same attitude. For many, and I imagine the frequent flying business types will agree with me, the few hours we spend airborne on our way somewhere are the only few hours we get to truly get away from it all. Purely because someone else has told us it’s not allowed. Personally, I get a great deal of enjoyment out of turning my phone off and having it purely as a music player for the duration. Despite the many hours of my life I spend using it to see what other people are doing on Facebook, post amateur shots of crap/my dog on Instagram or update people on the meaningless wonderings and day-to-day happenings of my life on Twitter, my phone actually gets on my tits!

Don’t get me wrong, I still love it, but I have developed an addiction to it, through this notion bestowed on us by the technology giants of the world, that we must be able to find out where our Ex is any given hour of the day, see what that colleague from school that we absolutely hated is saying now or reply to that email from your boss instantly. 

You want my honest opinion? I don’t think this is a great idea. Simultaneously, work has gone into allowing the cellular transmitters to be enabled on board, allowing the devices to use the same equipment which is available to them whilst on the ground. How that’s going to work is beyond me…I can’t get decent download speeds sitting in the back of my parents car on our way to Edinburgh to see the family; how is it going to work 40,000ft off the ground at 400MPH? Let’s go one step further. People worry about the air quality on board; the recycled air particles being shared with two or three hundred other human beings on board. Now imagine doing that with the fat guy in the seat next to you, who’s already encroaching on your personal space by several feet and who’s converation you now have full privilege of listening to? 

Doesn’t sound all that appealing any more, huh? 

And I haven’t even got to the best part yet: You want to use it? It’s most likely going to be extortionate! 

Lewis
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