The fouth letter

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My dear readers,


This October will remain etched in my mind.


On October 1st I lost my mother, 5th we buried her, 18th I got married, 19th I was bedridden with the flu, 31st I moved house.


Have you ever dreamt of unplugging everything, taking a break, deleting all your apps, forgetting each of your passwords, erasing your online profiles, cancelling your accounts, going offline, no longer being anywhere than where you are now?


I’ve been fantasising about this for the last two years or so. I’m sick of passwords, two-factor authentication, ID verification, voice recognition, 18 WhatsApp groups, collected and connected data. I feel scattered, no longer present and anchored.


Despite a difficult last year, I think I’m going well, and that’s why I’m starting to reject this crazy system.


Let me tell you an anecdote : I was recently struggling with my bank app. I’m moving house and I have to cancel my insurance and get a new one. The bank advisor tells me that everything can be done online. At the time, this suits me, as appointment times are limited. So, I connect to the app, but I have to install an update to continue. I accept the update and, of course, that messes up my account. I go looking for my bank documents, for my previously saved login details, but they’re at the bottom of a box somewhere. I find them. I reopen my account. I go to the inbox to electronically sign the contract termination, but to do so, I need to use two-factor authentication with a password. Total brain freeze - I can’t remember the darn password, as I rarely use it. The application locks. It can’t be reset for 48 hours, meaning I can’t transfer overdue money to pay my daughter’s creche (which the principal doesn’t fail to mention when she sees me).


This is a common story, a non-event that we all experience several times a year. A story that makes us anxious, irritable and tired.


So why don’t I just get offline? Because the irony of this story is that my business is online, paperless, connected and greatly dependent on an app called Instagram. And just like that, I’m trapped.


I don’t do things by halves. When I make a decision, I fully commit to it. If one day I decide to get offline, then I’ll go back to an old Nokia, leave the world of apps, and also lose at least 50% of my turnover, because much of it relies on Instagram.  


I’ve been pondering this for months now, but I haven’t decided.


What about you, have you dreamt of going offline?

See you soon, Raphaëlle

PS: I promise, in the next letter I will tell you about the next sewing patterns.


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