in Language Technology, Our People

The world today is a place of ever-present communications systems and it’s easy to forget what  unplugged life was like before we became constantly connected. While we here at Simply CSOFT were wondering about this, one of our own took it upon himself to go cell-less and to document the experience in this special, two-part edition.


I am not the most “connected” individual. I check my Facebook once a month (if at all), my LinkedIn profile seems to be in constant need of updating, and I’m still not entirely certain what Twitter, Instagram, or SnapChat are. Even my relationship with cellphones is tenuous; I didn’t get my first until 2005 and there have been a couple of intervening years between then and now when I reverted to the cell-less life. For as long as I can remember, I’ve romanticized the hermetic lifestyle and longed for some sort of return to an uncorrupted state of nature. So when an article chronicling several days of being unplugged was pitched, I immediately volunteered. I don’t remember anybody else being too eager…

The rules for the story were simple enough:

  1. Cellphones were strictly prohibited. No cellular calls, no smartphone apps, and no asking somebody else to do something for me using their phone.
  2. No computers, no e-mail, no internet. No Microsoft, Apple, or Linux, and – as above – no asking anybody to check anything for me.
  3. I must remain unplugged for 3 days. That means 72 full hours.

I wrote this piece while in North Carolina at my family’s home – a house at the end of a cul-de-sac in the middle of the woods. These are my notes from those days, taken the old-fashioned way – by putting pen to paper – before being electronically transcribed for the benefit of our dear readers.

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The 1st 24 hours

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that I started counting my 72 hours at 9 P.M. on a Sunday night. This way I could be unplugged for the mandated time and still meet a Thursday deadline that required some internet research. It also occurred to me that it would probably be easier to stop using all things hi-tech at night. That illusion was quickly dispelled when my youngest brother asked me to watch Howling 3: The Marsupials. Tempting as it was, he was streaming it through Netflix using his Xbox 360 so I sat on the back porch reading while he laughed like a hyena inside. He told me there’s a scene in which marsupial werewolves disguise themselves as nuns. I’m sorry I missed it.

In the morning, my mother stopped me from drinking coffee, claiming the percolator had an internal computer. My uncle, a former auto repair shop owner, informed me the car I was driving relied on efficiency maximizing computers. He suggested a 2-day trade: the superb handling 2006 Honda for his 1992, power-steering-less Volvo.

In the afternoon I realized I had forgotten to send an important message for work and had a slight panic attack. I spent an hour imagining a series of increasingly angry e-mails culminating in an unceremonious firing.

Without much else to do, I capped off my first 24 hours on the lawn with my cat. Crickets sang, frogs croaked, and fireflies danced around us. I never knew this before but the later it gets the higher the fireflies hover. Eventually they become indistinguishable from stars.

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Join us next week for the exciting conclusion to “UnPlugged!” If you’re interested in learning more about CSOFT’s globalization and localization solutions, don’t forget to subscribe to our RSS feed for automatic updates.

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