Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

Saturday, September 01, 2007


Yesterday, I went to Walmart with my parents. We had just left home, and were at closest major intersection, I realized it then - I had forgotten my phone/blackberry/pda/clock/gps - my "everything" - at home. I didn't feel like asking my dad to take me back.

We went to Walmart, and another stop on our way, and we were home in less than an hour. All through the trip I kept missing my phone - wondering who might have called me, emailed me. And I wondered what H would think if I didn't reply to her immediately. Anytime my best friends calls, they know I'll answer - no matter where I am. Once H emailed me, and asking me to call her. I didn't see the email for 10 minutes or so. When I called her, she was like, "woah, Hafsa, 10 minutes delay? What's wrong?"

That's how connected I am - at all times.

This brings me to the point of the post. Early in July, I found a new friend (HD). And this friend asked me something very interesting. The question that kept echoing in my mind for a while was, whether my tech craze represented my love for the dunya?

I don't know if I have an answer yet, but I understand the question better now.

And there are people out there who can live without Email or Cellphone:

Alan Moore, 53, a writer in Northampton, England, has no e-mail, no Web access, no cellphone. His PC is a "glorified typewriter."

He knows all about blogs and Google and MySpace; an imposter even put up a MySpace page in his name. He understands the convenience of cellphones and knows that people can have hundreds of channels on their TVs rather than his few broadcast ones.

Despite this, "I don't think I'm missing out."

Instead of Googling every question, he refers to books. Instead of toting a cellphone on a walk, he just walks. "Not being able to be phoned when I'm out: that is blissful," he says.

"We live in a culture where we are completely swamped with information. It's like some invisible fluid. I try to control the flow of information through my life."


Source: No cellphone? No BlackBerry? No e-mail? No way? (It's true.) or link

The floor's open to my readers**. How connected are you? Ever had the thoughts of cutting it down?

Edit: **Readers: three of 'em to be exact :D

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Blogger Faraz said...

I am one of Air Canada's most frequent travellers, I'm rarely ever home, and I'm a technology consultant by profession.

And yet, I don't keep a cellphone with me. And I know very little about cellphone technology in general. People are always shocked when I tell them that I don't like being connected or accessible all the time.

Actually, I do own a cellphone right now, but only because a Motorola employee gave me a RAZR for free. But I really only use it as a glorified alarm clock. Occasionally, I'll throw on some prepaid minutes if I will be on the road for a while. I usually use payphones if I really need to make a call. And if people need to reach me, I have my number forward to a home or office number closest to where I am at the time.

I used to be a DBA, and worked on-call one weekend per month. I had a cellphone and a pager at the time, and it drove me nuts, gettings paged at 2am to archive old data because some automated Perl script stopped working. I definitely don't miss those days.

1:00 AM  
Blogger Faraz said...

As an aside, I'll add that if the rumours are true and Google does release a phone or mobile OS soon, then I might reconsider...

1:40 AM  
Blogger Hafsa said...

Thanks Faraz for sharing your stand :)

I'm on-call once every 6 weeks or so. So I definately know what you mean...

How about email? Are you "connected" to your email?

6:22 PM  
Blogger Humairah Irfan said...

Sh Muhammad ibn Faqih is like that too. And he's so cool :)
He travelled from US to Canada to teach and left his phone @ home.
He narrated this hilarious story of how this guy kept calling his masjid to get someone's number...
u know what, i'll tell u the rest over the phone ;)

In general Hafsa, it's good to give up something for a definite period of time to lessen your attachment to it. Such as, some people are attached to food.. others try sleeping on the floor for a change, so yea..
that's why camping is so fun, because you're so disconnected, yet earthed..

12:22 AM  
Anonymous Hafsa said...

Faraz, i forgot to add: the world you mention, is totally unknown to me. And thus my question about email. I'm guessing you use email in place of a phone.

That also depends on the person, I s'pose. Like Humairah (in her comment she left here ^) would rather tell me the story over the phone than write it all in the comment. (She might have other reasons to do as well..) My point - I think someone people would rather pick up the phone and talk, than write a 1000 word essay. So depending on what they prefer, they might be more "attached" (both metaphorically and literally) to email or phone - just different ways of being wired.

Humairah, yeah, i gave up my blackberry for a couple of hours.. um.. when the battery died on my way from windsor :)

On a more serious note, I do plan to cut down. Ramdan will help me train, Insha Allah. (expect no answers to your phone calls, and emails ;) )

10:14 AM  
Blogger Humairah Irfan said...

"expect no answers to your phone calls, and emails ;)"
huh??? [I think my world just fell apart!]
that's only if, as Hammad says, I'm going to Timbuktu and wont be emailing/calling u from there ;)

But remember when I was in Saudi?

3:06 PM  
Blogger BanikaB said...

Hafsa I have followed you to here. Stalkerish? Maybe. Dedicated? Definitely. =)

Thoughts on communication technology? I've found that even working at the corporate branch of the government, I'm not needed quite as much during my personal time as I was during university.

I was VP of the MSA and for that a cell phone was a necessary evil. There was a period of time (for a few weeks) where my cell phone was out of commission. People learned to reach my be calling my best friend's cell phone and the President's cell phone (in that order) to find me.

But was that necessarily my connection to the dunya? I think not. I think it depends what you use the technology for. I used my e-mails to advertise events and my phone calls to set up meetings with admin, other groups, donors, etc. My fear of shutting off my phone wasn't because I was scared to miss a call from someone I needed to speak to, but from someone who needed to speak to me. (I recall one phone call I missed because I slept in and I thought it was no big deal but turned out to be a friend telling me of another friend's brother passing away).

I was connected even when it seemed too much to take but that was the lesson of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his leadership. They were always available and accessible when people needed them. Now that I'm not in a leadership position I have a more lax attitude towards my "Ignore" button.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Hafsa said...

Humairah oh yeah, when you were @ Hajj, I still found ways to be connected!! And I actually sent you

Anika, Thanks for dropping by. Wired-Me is just another side of the (ajeeb) Me-Me (Haffu-taffu) :D

I guess the trick is to be able to switch b/w being connected and disconnected, depending on the need. Like you were referring to the fact that being the MSA VP needed that sorta connection.

I actually don't have a "need" to be that connected at this point - besides for work.

12:33 PM  

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