Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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An Offline Walk


The other day, a family member mistakenly took my phone with them to the office so I was without a phone all day. This meant my daily walk had to be offline, which was a weird thing I hadn’t experienced in a while. I couldn’t help but note my hand’s instinctively reaching for the mobile phone that wasn’t there. Mobile phones are so ubiquitous in our daily lives, but sometimes it feels like a crutch how we can be totally dependent on them.

Things I can’t do on my walk if don’t have a mobile phone:

  • be contacted in an emergency
  • contact someone in an emergency
  • take a picture of something I find interesting
  • take a quick note of something I think of and want to remember later
  • use Google Maps if I get lost
  • not be bored when I sit down for a few minutes to take a break
  • check my feeds every 7 minutes

Things I can do:

  • appreciate my surroundings
  • be more observant
  • try to commit more things to memory (maybe strengthening my memory?)
  • wean myself off the OC behavior of checking my feeds every 7 minutes

Old man rant, only tangentially related: People used to be able to go places and do meetups even without mobile phones. I think the advent of mobile phones made it more acceptable for people to be late to meetings because you could always message them and say you’re running late. In the old days, if you weren’t at the meetup point at the appointed time, you knew the other party was standing there tapping their feet impatiently not knowing whether you were actually still coming, so it was much more of a big deal.

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roytang.net is a personal site, an E/N site, and kind of a commonplace book; I post about a random assortment of topics that interest me including software development, Magic the Gathering, pop culture, gaming, and tech life. This site is perpetually under renovation.