Of being a nomad

2021-12-23 @Lifestyle

Is anything strange about considering oneself a nomad? To appeal to the nomenclature for defining not only identity, but the profession, the outlook, the origins, the lifestyle? To this I increasingly resort in view of many such inquiries into my persona.

I’m not a digital nomad - the other fashionable term. Though appealing of a concept in my earlier days, I’ve long become wary of the ‘digital’. Not only do I sense the aesthetic element waning, but the term no longer accurately classifies my ways. At present, I’m far less pegged to the digital media, the platforms, the networks, the ‘remote work’, contrary to these other species of nomads.

[By the way, this is one damn fine yerba mate …]

While online portals continue to proliferate, with more interaction online, more content on social networks, more and more of the smartphone, more of the virtual, or rather, much of what we’ve already observed 10-15 years back, but with more and more of the same, the continuously rising expectation that one carry a smartphone, that one coexist virtually with other beings: while all this transpires on all fronts, I’d taken the inverse trajectory and ever compacted my virtual footprint on the similar fronts but for my personal, ‘old internet’ website; no social nets, no smartphone, no messengers, no content sharing, no following, no commentaries short of personal emails.

I appreciate the traditional nomadic existence: the roaming from one stretch to the next, with or without a set of constraints, sometimes in hopes of certain discovery, otherwise of but a vague notion, like a stray cat not terribly ambitious, nor careless, nor neglecting own survival instincts, treading around the foggy valleys, wary of the panther of strife.

My inner advocating voice often argues for being proactive in reaching out to persons by any traditional means: my plain button phone, an SMS message, email, or any independent P2P communication protocol (ie XMPP, IRC). I’ve done that to an extent, but have hardly shown the initiative or the aggression to make such socializing sustainable. On the contrary, I’ve not set a sufficient example. And I am not of the pestering mentality.

My humble network consists of either the handful of contacts which have been with me all along, far before the pervasive messengers if not even prior to Facebook (when we more willingly called each other and exchanged emails), or the more recently acquired, not obstinate for epistolary interchange, yet who knows for what sustainable time frame?

Alas, much of the expectation falls with the smartphone and the matrix.

I’m in for a marginal existence that’s likely to bar me from a sea of opportunities, in which case I’ll make due with the shore of that small island, with whatever sand, pebbles and coconuts. For I’m too conscientious to the merits, the neurological dividends of an offline existence, having lived both variants for considerable time frames.

Many contacts of mine extend the familiar argument: I little use FB; it’s there ‘just in case’ [heavily paraphrased] to maintain contact (with whatever relevant activity) …

In my case, the ‘just in case’ commodities, although sound in theory, haven’t worked out. Even the seldomest access to one of these tumultuous portals, the mere login, already exposes a flood of noise.

Not long ago I spent some time in Puerto Vallarta. I’d also learned of the fairly active FB group propagating all types of activity concerning the coastal town, being by far the most prolific source of such info. Naturally one need a Facebook account to gain access. I’d probably quintuple my social circle were I to mark my presence. But I wasn’t remotely inclined.

Whatever little dosage in line with the FB doctrine, if nothing else, fosters eagerness to plug in, however subtly: an alternate form of thinking, causing the mind to segway from the here and the now. It’s not a place I wish to characterize my however brief of an existence. Too high a price. Or do I exaggerate? Do I pen a tragedy?

Questions, comments? Connect.