The two weeks of holidays did me good. No phone, no internet, and no obligations.
However, only three days after returning home, I feel a certain type of stress creeping up on me that I now link to unlimited access to the internet, news sources from all over the world, and other negative influences against which I feel helpless.
I'm seriously considering getting an old-fashioned flip phone to avoid the temptation of endless notifications, appointments, etc.
I had this feeling of utter helplessness before, but wasn't aware of its source. It’s my smartphone. And in a certain way, this applies also to a tablet, especially if it's equipped with 4G access.
There are numerous sources of continuous, digital stress: the constant flow of information coming from different sources like email, WhatsApp, Messenger, SMS, Telegram, Signal, and even physical mail...
I cannot judge the size of the issue in other locations, but especially in Belgium, this has degenerated into an endless flow of official letters with bills, reminders, recalls, and bureaucratic nonsense that takes up the best part of the week to sort out.
I remember the days when I eagerly awaited the postman, hoping he would bring a postcard or a letter from faraway places, written by a human. Now I receive a Facebook post or an SMS.
It's a pity that the Post has now become an institution that only brings bad news and letters you don’t really want.
What can be done?
I don't know the solution, except the drastic one of downgrading my communication devices. Are there other, more sophisticated approaches? Probably.
I had a “WTF” moment when a mainstream online magazine recommended that I -INSTALL- another app in order to manage my digital overload. Wouldn't surprise me if it was written by ChatGPT.
-z, photographer © 2020 – 2023