Mechanical timepieces, transistor radios, and paper guidebooks: Digital detox requires getting back to basics.
“Sorry,” I said, pulling my noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones wirelessly from my ears. “I didn’t catch that.”
“Mandatory call-in on the 12th, Gibson,” she said.
I pulled up Calendar on my Apple Watch. “No good,” I replied. “I’m taking PTO that whole week. Gonna get away and unplug.”
She guffawed. “You? Unplug?” I laughed along with her, mostly because one of my phones was tickling my right kidney. “A hundred dollars says you won’t make it a day and a half.”
My bluff called, I doubled down. “Let’s make it two, and I’ll go a full five days without logging on.”
“I want this in writing.”
“No need,” I said, tapping the temple of my Google Glass, which I was wearing underneath my Instaglasses. “The video’s already in the cloud.” Behind me, the SSD in my shockproof ultrabook clicked ominously from its spot next to my iPad.
I opened my Macbook Pro and started shopping. I knew, deep in my heart, that I could unplug, if I could find the right gear.
1. I’ll need to write things down, but none of that Moleskine hipster nonsense for me—mostly because I’ve forgotten how to hold a pencil. I’ll be toting the battery-powered Astrohaus Freewrite portable sort-of typewriter thingy ($500; pictured above), so I can write down all the wisdom I collect during my unplug. (I’ll upload it all to the cloud when I’m back home.)
2. Since I’ll be dining in some restaurants during my trip, I’m going to need a camera. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 ($180) actually makes physical photos right after you take them, and they all have that cool border you see on Pinterest a lot.
4. Music will be difficult without my Pandora playlist, but I see that I can still buy a portable radio (and I am told there are still radio stations). The Sangean SR-35 ($20) actually tunes using a dial instead of digital presets, so I’ll be able to pick up news, sports, and the colorful local music scene.
6. To pass the time, I’ll pack away some analog versions of some of my favorite digital pursuits. I’ve sourced an unplugged Kindle, and I’ve even managed to find an offline version of one of my favorite strategy games, although it’s sold out at the moment.
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