Can lack of Wifi and Mobile connectivity be an advantage?
Recently I was at Coconut Hut at Divegar on the Konkan belt. It is a small cosy resort with 20 rooms and a swimming pool right at the centre. It has no WiFi. If I was to know it before arriving at the resort, I am sure; I would have cancelled the booking.
Can’t think of life without e-mails, Internet and WhatsApp!
One day into our stay, we realised how beautiful it is to be disconnected. We as a family were having a far better conversation and real togetherness after a long, long time. We were redefining quality time. Disconnecting to connect is the correct way to connect*.
It’s impossible to be UnConnected in today’s world. People maybe lonely but are no longer alone in the virtual world of extended relationships. Availability, Accessibility and Affordability of the digital connectivity and services is hygiene factor in professional and personal life. We do crib about it. However, we are addicted to it.
Even a temporary absence of digital connectivity can create withdrawal symptoms as we see in case of drugs and alcohol.
In such a situation, will you pay a premium for being UnConnected?
Can no WiFi and lack of mobile connectivity be converted into an advantage?
So, You disconnect to connect with each other including self! There are restaurants that have banned mobile and laptops so that they no longer replicate the effect of office space and help create more face-to-face human interaction. Some of them have reported revenue hike due to more effective use of space and orders. No one has been charging a premium.
To gauge the magnitude of the problem, try searching for resorts and vacations ‘without WiFi’ or ‘No WiFi’ and Google keeps giving you results for free WiFi. I am not referring the Digital detox vacations, where you go for a forced disconnect. I am interested in judiciously preferring to UnConnect over the digitally connected world.
Will you pay a premium for rooms that prevent the digital waves reaching you? Will digital proofing of rooms be as rewarding as soundproofing? Will the digital detox centres open up just like Vipassana camps?
I hint at more than just banning mobiles, laptop and a lack of WiFi connectivity. What about being super UnConnected without TV, Radio and newspapers? Maybe that in the real sense is a vacation**.
Will you be willing to pay a premium for it, just like you do for Starbucks for giving you the third workspace after home and office?
We have helped create a situation where we are under constant surveillance and hence remaining connected. Our social media and digital signature are prints that can help anyone reach us.
The digital giants know a lot more about us than we know about ourselves. In reality with data mining, self-evolving algorithms, super understanding of patterns and cycles and Alternate Intelligence, they are better at predicting your reaction in a situation. They know how we think, our rational behaviour and irrational impulses. Maybe they can predict even our involuntary responses to known or new situations. We are party to creating this web of knowledge.
Maybe we will willingly pay for a VR/MR experience to taste and the UnConnected before we subscribe to it.
Will you pay a premium to be UnConnected to remain in a cocoon and away from everyone, A place where only you can reach self. Place where omnipotent advertising cannot stalk you. Where intrusive/immersive digital assault cannot engage you.
Frankly, in a super pervasive digital era, UnConnect is the next premium.
Have you been to such UnConnected places, do let me know so that I can add to the list.
If you are adventurous enough or one needing the real UnConnect Vacation, take few simple steps to decrease your anxiety. (1) Do Leave out-of-office messages on email. (2) Activate voicemail and leave the out-of-office message. (3) Provide a backup contact in case there’s urgent work. (4) Talk to your colleges and share plans for your vacation including the UnConnect part. (5) Provide guidelines for expected emergencies. (6) Provide a circuit breaker; a way you can be reached in real emergencies and define them. (7) If you think you think the organisation cannot work without you- do slot in windows of connectivity. Schedule one or two check-in times with a co-worker so you can call for brief but productive updates
* I will not lie. The detox was not complete. We found a triangular space near the reception area where you could feel the two bars of a 2G tower on your phone, if and only if you stood facing southwest and kept your phone 4 feet above the ground tilting towards the large coconut tree. ** Coconut Hut- Diveagar, Lotus Eco Resort- Konark, Ravla Khempur Heritage Hotel, The Windflower Resort & Spa Bandipur and Den Corbett seems places with low connectivity and no WiFi.