In the 80s my mate and I were the nerds who had our own home-made PCs and the only kids who handed in dot-matrix-printed schoolwork. In the early 2000s I had an O2 XDA windows mobile phone that makes todays barcode scanners at retail outlets look sleek.
I was an early adopter of smartphones, tablets and personal computing in general, and I occasionally try to think back to the days before I couldn't go anywhere without being connected.
I conducted an experiment last week. I decided I wouldn't check email, the internet or any digital gadget until I got to work. As I use my smartphone for my music and podcasts, I didn't even listen to anything for the 30 minutes or so from my front door to my work site. I felt a bit starved, sensory wise, but I enjoyed the 3.5 km walk to work.
So all up, I went for about an hour and a half without connecting to the digital world.
My key findings were interesting. Firstly, the world was still there when I reconnected. Also, I noticed my surroundings a lot more than I normally do, and finally I didn't feel worse for the sensory starvation.