“Mission Offline”: There is indeed „life after smartphones“!
Like the proverbial “Tsunami”, digitization has swept over our lives. Over the last 10 years, the smartphone has established itself as the dominant internet access point worldwide and guarantees a virtually comprehensive and worldwide “always and everywhere” connection. In truth, the consequences for us and our children are incalculable.
Every bit of information, every contact, every publication, every distraction and tens of thousands of apps for anything and everything are available around the clock.
The stock markets are dominated by internet giants, software and hardware companies and they have every reason to make their products as seductive as possible. Our children end up running after the digital “pied piper” – their gazes fixed on this tiny screen.
Scientific research is about 3 to 4 years behind digital advancement, so there is hardly any valid data on the harmful effects on our physical and emotional health.
So we find ourselves in a world in which the mobile phone is central to our social existence, guarantees participation in the economy and in social interaction. An immensely powerful internet lobby has one-sidedly “blessed” us with the “gifts” of online life and continues to seduce us into more and more. Without thorough research and without state regulation we are exposed to the unchecked excesses of the digital age.
Fortunately, we possess what is commonly known as “common sense”. Common sense is an intuitive feel for what is “beneficial” and for what is “destructive”, for what is “human and inhuman”, for the “healthy and unhealthy”. The problem is that our common sense can be numbed or even partially deactivated by constant inundation by digital media.
What we really need is a BREAK – one in which we break free from cell-phone intoxication and relax; one in which we consciously experience precisely those qualities that are overshadowed by digital life, qualities such as conversation, silence, community, and the awareness of nuances. Only then do we mutually corroborate our awareness and look for ways to take this wakefulness with us into our everyday lives.
What can specifically be done to use our smartphones and the internet in a consciously guarded way and not to be devoured by it? And what can specifically be done to inspire family and possibly even friends to follow suit?
This is what we offer in all our ROOTS Camp activities.
Declaration by Jürgen
I, Jürgen Schneider, would like to make one thing clear here: “I also live in this mobile phone world, surf the net, watch soaps and eat non-organic hamburgers. My favourite series is “House of Cards” and I read the newspaper online every day.
My partner sometimes has to drag me away from my computer and I drive the car a lot. I don’t go barefoot all year round. After all, I don’t live in a yurt and I am a committed “warm showerer” (what else?) I am not tougher, more ascetic or more enlightened than anyone else.
Even the ROOTS Camp is advertised on the Internet and can be booked online – I believe that we can’t turn back time in any case and that this modern life is our life.
The question I ask myself and you is simply: “Am I a user or am I a slave? Do I have choices and have I ever thought about it?”