back to article My Tibetan digital detox lasted one morning, how about yours?

My nuts are freezing. So are my toes and fingertips. It's chilly here on my remote Tibetan mountaintop. Being removed from the hurly burly of everyday modern existence gives me a chance to contemplate the truly important things in life. I exercise mindfulness as my exhalations produce swirling clouds before me. I consider the …

  1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Re: Rein in your notification settings!

    "I have absolutely no message counters visible; as soon as I see one I have a desire/need to check it which ruins productivity, and otherwise its unsigntly, so they all are hidden. I'll check when I am good and ready thank you."

    And have you noticed how some people send a message/email/whatever then follow up 5 minutes later with "did you get my message?". And again 5 minutes later. Then a "are you ignoring me?". No, just fuck off. If it's really so important, phone you you twonk! I'm busy with actual real life or work.

  2. Bill M

    Wandering around Asia

    I spent a year wandering around Asia just before the web became mainstream and certainly before the iPhone appeared. I kept in touch with back home by mail, yup mail that used pen, paper and envelopes. I used the Amex post restante service which was great, but needed pre planning to advise people which Amex office to use in advance.

    Probably the best thing that happened to me was ironically when my camera, which used film that needed processing and printing, self destructed. From then on I was free to enjoy things with my human eyes and not through the lens of a camera.

    I remember reading an article in the Bangkok Post about the web and thinking wow!! this is going to change the way humanity interacts with each other and the world, and it certainly has.

    Nostalgia is nice, but I can no longer imagine the world without the web which I think it is great, but so is clean water and food - the scarcity of which was why I spent more time on the khazi that one would hope for. An iPhone would certainly have helped me pass away the time spent on the shitty, shit holes that often are the only khazis available in that neck of the woods.

  3. jake Silver badge

    When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

    ... The electronics stay at home. She's far more important to me than the rest of the world, and vice versa. We actually communicate with each other verbally[0], imagine that!

    [0] Although I'll admit to occasionally throwing in a bit of Morse code ... The wife & I use it for short messages when we don't want to be "overheard". If we're in contact physically, nobody knows we're talking ... and even across a crowded room it's easy to get a message across without notice. Granted, it's usually along the lines of:

    --. . - -- . - .... . .... . .-.. .-.. --- ..- - --- ..-. .... . .-. .

    Archaic maybe, but it works without embarrassing anybody. Including ourselves.

  4. smudge Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

    There's a very well-known message which conveys the same meaning and is much shorter!

  5. Alistair Dabbs

    Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

    We actually communicate with each other verbally[0], imagine that!

    So when you need to meet up after heading your separate ways for shopping, you each stand in the middle of the street YELLING YOUR HEAD OFF OVER AND OVER AGAIN in the hope that one of you hears the other across town?

  6. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
    Angel

    Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

    > YELLING YOUR HEAD OFF OVER AND OVER AGAIN

    You'll find that is a nice way to annoy the crap out of people using their phones...

  7. TimR

    Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

    If your not as proficient as Mr & Mrs Jake with Morse code, you may find this site useful/of interest

    https://morsecode.scphillips.com/translator.html

  8. Maty

    Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

    This is rather like speaking in a foreign language - it works wonderfully until you try it with someone who knows it, and you didn't know they knew. Then it can get embarrassing.

    .- -. -.. -- .- -. -.-- .--. . --- .--. .-.. -.- -. --- -- --- .-. ... .

  9. jake Silver badge

    Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

    No YELLING needed. On the rare occasion we go our separate ways in such a scenario (the bog comes to mind in these here prude-ridden United States), we agree where and when to meet up again. In advance. You know, like we did before the DynaTAC set society on the road to electronic leash addiction?

  10. jake Silver badge

    Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

    To our knowledge, Maty, we've never been subject to a man in the middle attack. Tapping a foot or finger, or blinking is rarely noticed by hoi poloi, and they never[0] associate it with Morse. We also use ASL occasionally, when longer messages are needed. That gets intercepted occasionally, but the observer usually just comments "cool, more people should be able to sign ...".

    [0] Exception that proves the rule: The Uncle who taught me Morse used the same method with his wife. He "caught" us at a family function once, and met us in the Pub down the street. Win-win ;-)

  11. jake Silver badge

    Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

    Or, if you're running Linux/BSD you could try man morse.

  12. jake Silver badge

    Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

    Yes, SOS is shorter. But it's also somewhat ambiguous. Does it mean "Help, I just split my pants!" or "Somebody should tell Great Aunt Lola that toothpaste is no longer rationed!" or "Holy Fartin' Mary, this plonk is awful!" or "Am I allowed to tell your Cousin he's an ignorant fool?". And in all reality, GMTHOOH is usually shortened to .- .- .- .- .- etc.

  13. Barry Rueger Silver badge

    Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

    > YELLING YOUR HEAD OFF OVER AND OVER AGAIN

    You'll find that is a nice way to annoy the crap out of people yelling into their phones...

    FTFY

  14. Captain Hogwash

    Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

    Did you meet her on a golf course?

    https://youtu.be/GaakzEfCwUo

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

    "This is rather like speaking in a foreign language - it works wonderfully until you try it with someone who knows it [...]"

    An English colleague had a Welsh wife. One day they were visiting her family and he went to a local pub with an English friend. A group of Welshmen then proceeded to make derogatory comments about the English - in Welsh. As he left the pub he thanked them for their attention - in perfect Welsh.

    An IT salesman colleague in South Africa had emigrated there from Wales many years ago. It was a standing joke amongst his government department customers - that he had only ever learned a few stock phrases of Afrikaans. In reality he found it very useful in sales meetings to understand their private discussions - for which they switched from English to Afrikaans.

  16. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

    Be careful with that! A friend of mine had deaf parents and so learned sign language and later taught his girlfriend. After signing across a crowded pup to see if she wanted to go and do the dirty he turned to find his mum had arrived.

  17. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

    @jake - 'to your knowledge' I think you will find if someone learns a language its amazing how the brain can pick it up amongst background noise. My uncle learned morse during WWII and was forever hearing bits of morsey things. You'll find being close to someone a low voice is far less likely to be intercepted as it is too similar to the general mele to be discriminated.

  18. Potemkine! Silver badge
    Joke

    Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

    I didn't talk to my wife for the last 10 years. I didn't want to interrupt her ^^

  19. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    "surviving pile of stones with potential Scandinavian characteristics"

    Err.. Saxons were not Scandinavian.. I think Hengest and/or Horsa[1] would have been very offended to have been equated to those boors from the north..

    [1] Yes, yes, I know they were Angles and not Saxons. Why let the truth get in the way of regurgitating a meme from "1066 and All That"? It's clearly a Good Thing.

  20. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Re: "surviving pile of stones with potential Scandinavian characteristics"

    "Yes, yes, I know they were Angles and not Saxons."

    Jutes.

  21. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    Offline

    "you show up, trade your smartphone for a dumbphone, and spend a full week disconnected from the internet."

    Or you could go to Wales..

    (Before I get shouted at by all my Welsh relatives, I mean one very specific bit in the Snowdonia National Park. In a nice valley with *absolutely* no mobile signal, on any network. And the nearest phone is a payphone a mile down the vally that's been vandalised and can't be used.. That was a good holiday - me, t'missus, several crates of good wine and my ebook reader stuffed with good books.)

  22. onceuponatime

    Re: Offline

    Western Colorado in the US. Get a jeep, a couple friends, and tour BLM land or parks. No cell phones in a lot of those places.

  23. eldel

    Re: Offline

    That's not just Western Colorado - anywhere between the Cal central valley and the Mississippi once you're 5 miles out of town and more than a couple of miles from the interstate or other major road you're pretty much hosed. Even then it can be iffy. I76 north out of Denver is a phone dead zone for freaking miles.

  24. jake Silver badge

    Re: Offline

    To hell with Western Colorado. Try Sonoma/Napa/Mendocino/Lake counties in California. Nearly all the remoteness of the Rockies, but with good food, beer & wine. Calaveras County should be included in that lot, too.

  25. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
    Devil

    "...inspiring people who share a passion for self-improvement ..."

    I'd rather [insert bizarre methods of injuring oneself].

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Entente Cordiale ???

    So, do I understand Mme D. is french ?

    How did I miss that ?

  27. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    Re: Entente Cordiale ???

    How did I miss that ?

    Lack of reading skills? Short-term memory loss?

    The probabilities are endless..

  28. Hero Protagonist

    Re: Entente Cordiale ???

    “The probabilities are endless..”

    I think you’ll find that the probabilities are not endless but in fact add up to exactly 1.

  29. donk1

    Re: Entente Cordiale ???

    Yes but you are summing an infinite series....endless!

  30. Potemkine! Silver badge

    You're just substituting digital interactivity with real-time passivity.

    Hmmmm....We don't go to the same kind of concert then - At this one I lost 3 kg in 2h, despite the regular ingestion of beer to avoid dehydration ^^

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "You're just substituting digital interactivity with real-time passivity. "

    I'm sure many of the fans at the Libera boychoir's concerts are singing along in their heads. You just have to check occasionally that you aren't actually singing audibly.

    Fans of orchestras similarly may have to restrain the urge to stand up and conduct their favourite works.

  32. iron Silver badge

    @Potemkine!

    "I lost 3 kg in 2h"

    Just coz you're a fat git...

  33. Rupert Fiennes

    Possibly the wrong metaphor

    My Tibetan experience is a bit out of date, but even in the late 90's there was internet access there. Admittedly, you would have been very silly to avail yourself of it, but if you don't mind the Chinese "services" trawling your inbox, I'm sure there's 3/4G and wifi all over the place.

  34. Daedalus Silver badge

    Spotted the deliberate mistake

    Without knowing exactly what alt-religion Sir Dabbsy is into, I offer the possibility that "hot-pentangle-buns" should actually be "hot-pentagram-buns".

    Not wishing to make anyone cross...

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Spotted the deliberate mistake

    Any five sided/pointed shape of a decoration would be tricky to do. The six pointed Jewish Star of David is relatively easy to do with two triangles.

  36. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Re: Spotted the deliberate mistake

    Hot Pentangle buns?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9gCN9-Jnfg

  37. harmjschoonhoven
    WTF?

    Re: Spotted the deliberate mistake

    @AC: A five sided/pointed shape is in fact very easy to make. Learned that in kindergarten.

    http://jwilson.coe.uga.edu/emt725/PaperKnot/PaperKnot.html

  38. Daedalus Silver badge

    Re: Spotted the deliberate mistake

    Hot Pentangle buns?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9gCN9-Jnfg

    I'm sure they were there somewhere but I didn't see them...

  39. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Mme D opens a novel and I illuminate my smartphone

    Having decided to forego any interaction between yourselves I suspect illuminating the smartphone may be seen as just icing on the cake for those who think people should be indulging in congenial banter in a cafe.

  40. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Holmes

    Re: Mme D opens a novel and I illuminate my smartphone

    You could always pay for Mme. D and her friends to go to on Spa retreat...

    "Women prefer their best friends to their husband, study finds"

    https://www.indy100.com/article/married-women-prefer-best-friends-husbands-study-research-champneys-health-spa-relationships-8293491

    Other Spas are available

  41. 's water music Silver badge
    Happy

    Other Spas are available

    "Women prefer their best friends to their husband, study finds"

    https://www.indy100.com/article/married-women-prefer-best-friends-husbands-study-research-champneys-health-spa-relationships-8293491

    Luxury vendor commissions survey which discovers that people prefer consuming their product to alternative activities. It must have been a relief to marketing when the result went the way they were hoping

  42. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
    Trollface

    Re: Other Spas are available

    I'm sure many of the husbands also prefer it, so they can go down the pub for as long as they want with their mates...

  43. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    Dabsy, I disagree about your choice of phone.

    I think you've got it wrong on the dumbphones as they apply to quality of life.

    If the phone can't run "apps" then it can't bother you with attention-seeking idiocy like flashing notifications for unimportant tasks whose soul purpose is to ensnare you into zombie gazing at your phone.

    If it's got no front facing camera then it can't be easily used for the lip pouting, Hollywood posing, cockwomble selfie crowd of idiots that imperil everyone around them when they go to take a picture in the middle of a situation that requires situational awareness, like driving, walking, or breathing.

    A dumbphone that can't access the internet means it won't be used by unattentive zombies shuffling down the street, or across the street, or into walls, or other obstacles that the situationally aware are paying attention to & can avoid like the intelligent people they obviously are; if only the phone absorbed zombies could Darwin themselves into an open manhole, access pit, or live high voltage access panel.

    Sure a smartphone can be useful at times, but I think the "dumb" phone is even moreso; while others are yelling into their smartphones, eyes glued to the screen watching the latest Youtube stupidity, or mashing the screen playing the latest game craze, the rest of us enjoy a phone that only ever makes noise if it's ringing from a call, chirping about a text message, or whining that we forgot to charge it for over a week.

    Please don't badmouth the feature phone, not everyone needs nor wants nor can productively use a "smartphone" that often can't be arsed to include the Accessibility bits needed to make the device useable by someone with fat/arthritic fingers, bad/no eyesight, etc.

    Otherwise nice rant! I wouldn't have gone for the hot water bottle to warm your nuts, that's what snuggling with the wife is for! ;-D Rawr!

  44. doublelayer

    Re: Dabsy, I disagree about your choice of phone.

    I will grant you that feature phones have their place, and for me that place is in the pocket of everyone who prefers them. However, those people who come to the conclusion that feature phones are the best because they don't like what other people do with their smartphones, so I shouldn't have my smartphone on me most of the time are the problem. A smartphone provides me with tools I may require that a feature phone doesn't; for example, I can find my way if I get lost using my GPS package on my smartphone, but a feature phone won't help. If I can ask directions, then I'm fine, but if I am out late and still need to go somewhere, the GPS app is, in my experience, the better way to get that done.

    Incidentally, although I'm sure the arthritic would experience many accessibility benefits from a feature phone, the blind and visually impaired have almost entirely moved to smartphones, primarily the iPhone (as android's accessibility has been pretty terrible for a while). The smartphones allow them to do things that a feature phone does not make accessible. For example, dialing a call is simple on one but just try to find a good way to scroll down a contact list, as pretty much no feature phone will read the item you've focused on. The same applies to reading SMS messages, not to mention that many of them also find the other features helpful as well.

  45. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Re: Dabsy, I disagree about your choice of phone.

    Dumbphone + tablet. For me, it's perfect.

  46. earl grey Silver badge
    Terminator

    Re: Dabsy, I disagree about your choice of phone.

    zombies shuffling down the street

    OH, you just had to say that....

    Party Rock!

    Yeah

    Wooo!

    Let's go!

    Party rock is in the house tonight

  47. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Re: Dabsy, I disagree about your choice of phone.

    I wouldn't have gone for the hot water bottle to warm your nuts, that's what snuggling with the wife is for! ;-D Rawr!

    Is there a gap in the market for proper "nut warmers"? Perhaps Mme. D could knit some (a pair) and Dabsy can report back on their effectiveness

  48. jake Silver badge

    Re: Dabsy, I disagree about your choice of phone.

    Sheltered, Fruit? Then don't DuckDuckGo "willy warmer". Or "nakurnjak", for that matter. Note that the results might be NSFW, depending on the sense of humo(u)r of the staff and/or your jurisdiction.

  49. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Alert

    Re: Dabsy, I disagree about your choice of phone.

    @jake

    Well I never! That would make a change from socks at Christmas.

    "willy warmer"/not water bottle just reminded me of "Carry On Up the Khyber". Private Widdle using one to keep his "dangler warm"

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=m-3dqb1izAo

  50. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Joke

    Back on the subject of buns

    My nice neighbour made me some for Easter. When I thanked her for them she apologised for having forgotten to put a cross on them. Me being a witty devil I replied, "They'll be not cross buns then!"

    Luckily for you, I'm not here all week :)

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