If you ever grumble about the quality of mobile phone signals where you live, a trip to the Pembrokeshire coastline will give you a new appreciation and sense of perspective of modern communications technology.
I recently accompanied a school party on a week-long residential trip to an adventure park there. In that beautiful rural setting, the only way I could get reception on my mobile was by standing at the top of the mountain-biking course, holding my phone aloft. Semaphore signals would have been more effective.
Feeling conspicuous, I eventually gave up and took an enforced week-long holiday from the internet. The closest I came to tweeting all week was when I chased a seagull that had snatched a child’s bag of sweets on the beach.
To be cut off from the world-wide web was a culture shock at first. Used to accessing the global village 24/7 on my smartphone, I suddenly found my social network limited to those within shouting distance.
So was I relieved when my phone buzzed back into life on the coach journey home? To my surprise, I was not. I realised I’d actually enjoyed going cold turkey. For several days after I got home, I barely glanced at my PC or my mobile.
I felt the same as I do when we have a power cut midwinter – initial annoyance, followed by the simple pleasure of spending an evening by candlelight. Knowing that the crisis won’t last renders the experience liberating rather than scary, especially as I always keep a few candles where I can find them in the dark.
And now I realise I’d overlooked an easy solution: next time, I’ll just pack a couple of semaphore flags. Problem solved!
(This post was originally written for the August 2013 issue of the Hawkesbury Parish News)
If you enjoyed this post, you might like to read more of my thoughts on mobile phones (that’s cellphones to you, my American friends!)
Signally Challenged in Scotland
7 thoughts on “Going Cold Turkey with My Cellphone (Mobile Phone)”
About to go hiking in Pembrokeshire, the whole coastline, and appreciated your insights!
Ooh, lucky you! It is stunning – enjoy!
Love this: “The closest I came to tweeting all week was when I chased a seagull that had snatched a child’s bag of sweets on the beach.”
I don’t mind getting cut off from the global village one bit! Everybody needs the distance once in a while.
I agree, Laura – but best when it’s voluntary! But the scenery was beautiful and the people so kind there, so it was definitely worth the sacrifice!
Hi Debbie – i live in Pembrokeshire! and there are lots of areas that are fine for reception. I wonder which part you were in?
Sorry, Helena, didn’t mean to write off the whole of Pembrokeshire for mobile communications signals! I was staying at a kids’ activity holiday centre called Morfa Bay, just up the hill from the beautiful Pendine Beach, tucked away in a dip surrounded by trees – no wonder there was no signal! Signal on Tenby Beach, by comparison, was great – but wary of using the phone there because of the tendency sand has to get everywhere…. Absolutely loved the area and we’re planning to come back as a family in our camper van to get another fix of it!
I know Pendine but not really the surrounding area. I love Tenby beach though it’s so beautiful. I go there often.