The right to be disconnected…

I want to tell you about a phone conversation my husband had with a telecommunications sales executive. Let’s call him Bill (the salesman, not my husband). From what I can gather, the conversation went something like this:

Bill: Rhubarb! Rhubarb! (General sales patter)… Have you got mobile broadband? You haven’t? Then you might be interested in our summer offer. Get mobile broadband for a trial period – 250 kronor connection charge and free for the first year. Just to see if you like it.

Husband: Sure, I’d like to give it a try, but I don’t want to pay for something that I might not like.

Bill: But don’t you want to be connected all the time, wherever you are?

Husband: Well, I’ve got wireless broadband at home, broadband at the office and Internet on my phone. I don’t need to be connected all the time.

Bill: Puzzled silence.

Husband – trying to be helpful: Sometimes it’s nice just to sit on the bus and read a book.

Bill – even more puzzled, not to say a little worried: But are you sure you don’t want to be connected 24/7?!?

Husband: Look! I’ve been working in computers for the past thirty years. Sometimes, it’s nice NOT to be connected!

Bill: Silent. Very silent. Speechless.

Husband decides to finish the call: I think I’ve wasted enough of your time. Have a good evening!

Don’t know about you – but sometimes it is essential to do something else – something offline. Like talk with your kids, read a book, sing a song, talk with a friend, be at peace for a while to calm the noise of the day.

I agree that mobile broadband is great if you want to work outside the box – on a park bench, on a beach, or anywhere that inspires you – to do your best. At work.

However, just now and then, very occasionally, when you’re on the beach, it is great just to be on the beach. With a book. The waves. Family or friends.

And sometimes, you can even go to the beach, not to work or to surf the Internet – but to surf the waves.

Believe me – it is essential for your well-being.

5 thoughts on “The right to be disconnected…

  1. Absolutely agree! And as my job involves being paged throughout the day if a client needs me (either urgently or not); and having to respond to pages (via my high tech phone that also connects to our corporate intranet) within 15 minutes, it is a great joy and delight NOT to take my phone places when I am off duty! And to play music loudly in the car, not having to worry about missing a page!!


  2. I once got a call from an annoying salesman at a phone company. He was all cheery and like: “Hi, I’m calling from *bleep* and I’ve got an offer for YOU!”

    As soon as I heard the company name, I knew he was on a lost cause, but I let him carry on with his sales pitch for a while. He talked and talked and finished with: “So, would you like cheaper phone calls?”
    I was quiet for a second or two, then answered: “No, I wouldn’t”

    After a second of puzzled silence, he said: “Eeeh… OK… thanks then. Bye”

    I laughed like crazy when I hung up. I think I broke his spirit a bit, but it was SOOOO worth it 😉


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