Living in the 90s: A World Cup Special
It's one of the most unique fundraising ideas we've ever had. Stuart Clayton from our Flyde Family Support Group has decided to restrict his media intake to what was available to him in the 90s in tribute to England's 1990 World Cup squad. It's bought some unexpected benefits to Stuart's wellbeing so we thought it best to relay a 'letter' (email - he's allowed 15 minutes of emailing once a day at the local library) sent by Stuart to describe just what life is like living back in the 90s.
Hi! Greetings from 1990. I'm sorry for the complications that me being 'off grid' has created over the last few weeks. I suppose its partly the point of the challenge that instant communication and response is taken for granted and especially in my instance gets me out of scrapes caused by neglect of preparation.
On the bright side the plan for England success seems to be working they are facing the possibility of their first World Cup Semi final since 1990. I'm just going to send you a few bullet point notes on my experience so far.
- Life's a slower pace, expectations are lower. With a smart phone/broadband there is pressure/responsibility to get things done 24/7. There is always something to do. Wake up check phone. Without it we accept there are limits to what we can acheive in one week. I find this to be beneficial on the short term but will no doubt become restrictive eventually.
- We can't afford holidays so this for me is next best thing. I'm also sleeping much better because there is little to do after 10pm.
- Time with family/friends seems of higher quality your attention is with them not on your phone.
- You have to be more reliable and stick to arrangements.
- There is almost a mindfulness element to being more in the moment of the task you are doing, you're more in control, fewer distractions and invasions from other people's issues/requests.
- Can only do one thing at time. Difficult to multitask. Such low productivity. Where you are is what you do. It's so restrictive. If you in a A&E waiting room for 8hours thats all you can do. With a phone you always have your office.
- Stuck at home all day waiting for important phone calls. Dealing with bureaucratic problems is impossible. We need more local face to face support for people to deal with their financial issues and filling in forms. A place as deprived as Blackpool has so little help for those who require help with forms and managing their finances. This is a very worrying problem.
- Can't distract yourself, if you've a boring task the radio is your only comfort. No podcasts on your earphones.
- If you forget the details for something you're stuck. No instant googling, recalling. You have to make sure you've written it all down.
- The absence of instant response is by far the more most difficult problem. Immediate information is a real challenge to obtain without internet access. Problem solving in general becomes a much more isolated experience.
- Shopping for someone requires a lot of preparation and understanding.
- On a social level, sharing of throwaway jokes and observations is almost impossible. The ability to post a predication or an opinion and receive gratification is achievable on such a small scale. I feel almost compelled to write to local newspaper letter sections to replace this.
- Feeling a nuisance to everyone else who may need me. Family are worried how I am and struggle to track me down. I'm fairly useless to them. My role as support to my partner with mental health diagnosis is very difficult. I'm away at work for long periods of time with no contact. I worry how she is. When you're at work your at work there are no outside issues creeping in.
I think with preparation and the right kit you could cope in a practical way fairly well in 1990. It's the loneliness and isolation that is difficult. I think we have become so accustomed to receiving recognition for our opinions that without texting or sharing we quickly feel quite lonely like a desert island. For those of us who struggle talking written communication really opens up the world to us. I'm fortunate to be able to work in a public environment and visit the library being in a home without broadband is a very lonely life without necessary support networks.
1990 Tool Kit
- Library card
- Casio calculator watch
- Alarm clock
- 20ps for pay phones
- TV Guide
- The news/weather forecast
- Phonebook/yellow pages
- Cassette player
Stuff I miss
- Streaming movies
- Sky Sports
- Picture msgs
- Online football bets
- Sharing jokes
- Youtubing that song you wanna hear
- Seeing what everyones been up to
- CDs in the car
- Instant news
In terms of ruuning groups I don't think i'd be able to do it. It must have been so difficult and time consuming ringing round everyone and organising. yet at the same time groups may have been more essential to share and learn and therefore more necessary.
During the penalties the other night i was interested to find i wanted England to win I wanted this experience to continue so its definitely not torturous. Frustration is the most common emotion. It would be a heck of a lot more convenient to have the phone/broadband back but with it comes responsibility. its like jumping back into the whirlwind again. being online is fun, rewarding and provides plenty of daily inspiration but its is definitely emotionally draining and encroaches on all aspects of your life. you are definitely plugged into the 'grid'. I'd look to do this as a annual holiday in future.
If you want to sponsor Stuart then head over here to his Just Giving.