Summer starts today. Time to get offline.
I was informed last week by my good friend Tim Malbon – creator, blogger, Twitterer, Instagrammer, BDW instructor – that we had to complete an online conversation quickly as he was going offline for two straight weeks during a holiday in France.
Well it turns out that was a slight exaggeration. He’ll actually need Wifi (rather than the prohibitively expensive data roaming) and Google Maps to locate campgrounds in France. Nevertheless he does plan on spending significantly less time online over the next two weeks.
Upon hearing of his imminent disappearance I immediately became concerned for Tim’s digital friends and followers and for Tim himself, whose diminished online presence could leave him temporarily forgotten by the thousands of people who have grown to be dependent on the content the emanates from the man we affectionately know as Malbonster.
Wanting to help in anyway possible, I offered Tim this interview in hopes of keeping his digital presence alive and well.
C/U: Is it true Tim that you’re really leaving us for a couple of weeks? I hear you’re going camping.
Tim: Yes. Hiring a brand new VW California. (Incidentally it’s the first van where they’ve actually built the caravan bit and it’s not been converted by another company.) The only fixed bits are sailing Tuesday from Dover to Dunkirk, and coming back the same way a couple of weeks later. Where we go is utterly unplanned – we’ll follow the sun, which probably means heading south as a fast as possible, with the ultimate objective of spending five or six days either around Cassis near Marseille, or the beaches near Bordeaux. We’ll be exploring and stopping several nights on the way and way back.
C/U: Hmmm. Well then you’ll obviously be Instagramming and Tweeting far less frequently than you typically do.
Tim: I’ll be spending my time relaxing with my wife and kid. All the time that I would be at work for a start, but I suspect I’ll be going to bed earlier, too. I will probably pop onto Twitter but won’t be spending a lot of time at all with it. But I haven’t been doing much with it recently anyway. I’m spending that time on IG.
C/U: That does seem to be a trend, people forsaking Twitter for Instagram. On that note will you be saving up photos, adding artful effects and anxiously awaiting the day you can post again?
Tim: Some. But I prefer to do it in batches when I can find Wifi. As you may have noticed, I don’t spend a lot of time playing with or processing images. I prefer to do it in the moment without thinking, which I’ll probably miss a bit. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t spend time “catching up.”
C/U: What are the chances you’ll sneak online when the kid’s asleep or your wife’s not paying attention?
Tim: Low. I am looking forward to playing lots of cards and backgammon with Caroline, and going to bed early.
C/U: Will you feel guilty neglecting your many followers on Twitter and Instagram?
Tim: No way. I don’t really feel like that.
C/U: So you obviously see some value in taking a break from the digital clutter that permeates our lives.
Tim: Totally. I look forward to taking a break. I find it a bit too much from time to time. I know I won’t relax unless I don’t look at email, for example. The moment I do, I shall be sucked into thinking about work and I need to not think about that for a couple of weeks. I’d like not to be distant and preoccupied on this holiday.
C/U: Might you actually read a book?
Tim: I will be reading some books (most looking forward to A History Of The World in 100 Objects), spending a lot of time just exploring, playing with Felix, cooking (van, self-catering plus amazing French produce, duck, cheeses, meats) and I will also try to do one very quick water colour painting each day. I won’t be sharing these.
C/U: I’m sorry to hear that. I thought we share everything in the age of social media. Well all that offline time might actually help you re-program your brain for deeper, more critical thinking.
Tim: I’m not sure I’ll manage any deep critical thinking. I suspect a holiday with a two-and-half-year-old may not be conducive to that. I’m hoping we’ll all get into siestas and napping.
C/U: Well good luck, Tim. Hopefully this post will keep you at least a little visible.
Tim: Thanks. I am so looking forward to getting on the road, putting the world in a love embrace, firing all my guns at once and exploding into space…
C/U: Shit, I’m old enough to have bought that original album and seen the movie the week it came out. If I remember correctly it was before we had the Internet.
I am not old enough to have bought that album, but I did go to Paris in September WITHOUT a iPhone or cellphone or laptop and it was a good way to "unplug" from the digital and plug into the cultural diffrance. I confess, I did pop into an internet cafe to email my honey and ask how our pooch was ... but that was it, I swear!
Happy summer. Going to take the pooch out for a walk now.