Offline is the new Luxury

Who doesn’t recognize this? You arrive on your holiday destination and what is the first thing you do? Check if there is a WiFi connection available at the airport? Although I am pretty embarrassed, I should admit that I am guilty of this urge. Not just the urge to tell my mom that I landed safely, but also to let the rest of the world know I’m having a great time in Rome by sending a Snapchat.

However, I do often have the feeling that I am overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the idea to be always traceable, reachable, available. It’s pretty exhausting and sometimes I just want to be offline for a minute, escape to a signal free world.

hide-seek
Source: Joakim Heltne – Human Sculptures

The ‘White Spots App’ helps us to escape for a while. The app (design by Studio Richard Vijgen) combines data sets from all mobile phone networks worldwide in a new world map. The network scanner visualizes the invisible electromagnetic cloud and offers a way out “from the hotspots to the white spots”. The route planner shows the way to the nearest place with no mobile coverage or internet.

afbeelding
Installed the app on my smartphone. Kinda depressing, isn’t it? We are literally surrounded by signals and masts!

I don’t necessarily think that many many people will use this app, but the designer is certainly making a statement and it shows the desire that is growing: it’s still a small group but more and more people choose to go offline (for a while). Google and Facebook will do anything to connect the whole world (which isn’t all bad of course!), but I think it’s good that we get confronted with the fact that we are never really alone anymore, just you and your thoughts.

So, next time when you cannot reach me?

I will be 21 km away, probably philosophizing on my white spot!

*Sector: (Mental) Health

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