Offline is the New Luxury

Offline is the New Luxury

2016, Technology  -   17 Comments
Ratings: 8.27/10 from 120 users.

We've all witnessed it in restaurants, family gatherings or special events. Resembling hordes of mesmerized zombies, nearly every face we see is buried in the hypnotic glow of their smart phone or tablet. Is there any escape? The new documentary titled Offline is the New Luxury, produced by VPRO, follows a new movement geared towards of achieving just that.

The film begins by asking the most basic question. What have we lost as a result of our increasingly interconnected digital technologies? Ironically - in a world where we can engage in numerous social media platforms and send messages to nearly anyone on the planet - we've become more disconnected from one another than ever before. We've lost our knack for social interplay, the intimacy of eye contact, the art of conversation and the majesty of living in the moment.

As we see in the film, a growing number of products and services seek to correct this deficiency. The White Spots App, for instance, is an inventive program that detects areas of a user's environment which remain untouched by digital network signals. Other technologies work to block digital signals in public places. A company in the Netherlands produces products that protect us from the radiation which emanates from these devices. A German spa retreat specializes in providing an offline environment that values calming isolation and a renewed focus on the self. Even Amish communities must grapple with the challenges set forth by these rapidly advancing technologies.

There's practically no part of the globe that isn't pulsating with digital signals. The film takes us to Sri Lanka, where Google is incorporating a program to deliver 100% free wi-fi access via a series of balloons and satellites. But is 100% connectivity really as convenient and altruistic an enterprise as we're being told? Critics testify that wider wi-fi coverage means more data production. This data can then be used to target citizens through advertising, and generate new profit avenues for large corporations.

Offline is the New Luxury doesn't shortchange the positive aspects of an interconnected world, but it dares to cast a skeptical eye on its potential drawbacks with great insight.

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No longer on Social Media
2 years ago

You don't have to be Amish to delete facebook. Deleted my Social media at the beginning of this year. Was a streamer before. I don't miss it. I don't feel left out. People will tell you if something is important. What is actually important? I don't even have my family member's numbers just got 2 the other day. If it's necessary they know where I live. I know that a few of them have moved. Yet always know where grandma is. Hang in the grandma. She won her fight against covid.

Gail Gardner
4 years ago

Why no version for desktop? Many people who are interested in this topic and your map do not own smart phones by choice.

5 years ago

Sunset no regret, first chance, last dance, caught in the middle :D

5 years ago

Who directed and produced of the documentary?

6 years ago

I can't download the app like the video says. I don't have a smart phone.

6 years ago

And then if you never had a smart phone (or even a cellphone) you're a retarded, if not a douchbag. I saw Japanese comedian and TV personality Takeshi Kitano saying he never had a cellphone because the regular telephone is more than enough to his life. And people laughed and laughed calling him a monk. People are so contradictory.

6 years ago

this is excellent.

loraine james
6 years ago

I Respect the Amish .... What a pure life and so connected to the earth...

mke m
6 years ago

I watch some netflix, this site, use a crickit call and text phone and search for art sites.
That's it for me.
Oh, and pbs.
I don't see the problem.

Senor Cosmo
6 years ago

Both the Vedda and the Amish (New/Old Order)are SPOT ON...superficiality, amnesia and the loss of spirituality are the designated future for the denizens of Earth thanks to the machinations of Zuckerberg and his fellow conspirators~They Live!!!

7 years ago

This is a down to earth opinion of my own. Nothing uncool about that. Anyway, this documentary was very important and had good info, but I couldn't keep watching because Shelly's voice really annoyed me.

Annette Guida
7 years ago

The list of topics in TDF is so well categorized; website graphics- top notch, .......How is it that Vladko (sic) is no longer responding to users? Does one now pay since 2009? I am not sure of what changed in this excellent site.

Mark Gaboury
7 years ago

I like the Amish approach to this.

Oh Dong Suk
7 years ago

Yes, with those new devices, there are tremendous amount of benefits realized and potential to the whole humanity – but very trivial practical value for average individuals and it is useful as far as you use it and not allow it uses you.

Of course, we may say it is by individual’s free choice to buy and use it the way as it suits.

But, nowadays, we are trained very little and have a very limited ability to think not to mention to think freely. Instead, we have become anencephalic controlled by three C’s (Capitalism, Consumerism, and Commercialism). These devices will make the situation worse – producing ever growing mass with less thinking and more vulnerable to manipulation; we will be more obsessed to buy the latest version of hardware and have to update OS constantly until the next version of hardware comes out wasting our time and money for no good reason (beyond the urge that we have to have and use it).

It looks like every household is buying a nuclear power plant for electricity or everyone is buying a top-of-the-line Rolls-Royce for a leisurely 10 minutes of walking commute – to waste time/money to use them.

Those seemingly good intentioned projects to give infrastructures for free and free web access to all sounds great but it is like constructing miles of street for free and coercing them to believe they need a car – they will buy one (on credit) and drive it around for hours aimlessly everyday.

I think those devices, especially the smart phone, are most distractive and destructive making us more like zombies further.

White zones and others are valuable to counteract the ongoing trend of addiction of modern “technology,” but they are of limited value. Ultimately, education - teaching ourselves to think to use those wisely is only solution.

A Chinese poet of 5th century, Tao Yuan Ming once said, “Even in the center of hustle and bustle of noisy market place, If your mind stays far away, you’ll be in solitude and silence.”

Tim Chisholm
7 years ago

@Brian: I like your thought provoking perspective. LOL!

7 years ago

@Brian Harris: my life in a sentence:
"Of course I'm a Neo-Luddite, I'm using social media to prove that game theory doesn't apply to love."

Brian Harris
7 years ago

A technologically delivered documentary about technology overload is about as useful as a film out of Hollywood about unnecessary film making. A bit like trying to see a loaf of bread you've already eaten. Ok, its obviously time for me to unsubscribe, ditch the phone, and go out for a bike ride..