No cell phone. No blackberry. No email, or internet of any kind. No access to any communications network via anything but your land line for one week. This is the challenge...could you handle it?

LifeHacker posted a great clip of The Today show bringing a grown man to tears after only two days (40 hours) of being completely stripped of his internet/cell capabilities. The subject was a fantastic choice, in my opinion. As an editor for Forbes magazine, his need to stay in touch was right up there with the worst (best?) of us. Did he feel the burn? Oh yes, yes he did. Watch the clip to see just how much.

It's funny to think how much we take instant, on-tap communication for granted these days. Between cell phones, wireless smart phones, Wi-Fi internet access, and a computer in general never more then a couple of minutes away, we've truly gotten used to instant responses from friends and co-workers. If they don't return your email or phone call for too long, you start to worry, or get annoyed, as the victim here found out.

I won't get into the moral debate regarding whether it's good or bad that we've allowed these types of communications to become so woven into our normal existence, that's not what I'm here to ponder. Really what is the most amazing to me is trying to think of what it would be (or was...) like without my blackberry, cell phone, two laptops three desktop and however many racked systems that I access daily.

What would I do without my own email, let alone my own email server(s)? How would I cope with no cell phone for a week? How about a month? It's interesting for me to think about how much I use these things, and then the immense amount of infrastructure in place that I'm making use of nearly constantly that I completely take for granted.

The hundreds and thousands of routers and switches and servers lined up to allow me to access whatever data I want, whenever I want it. The phone networks seamlessly connecting me to Kuala Lumpur and then to Paris. It's fun to think that the technology I help promote is a part of that fantastic fabric holding some of the world's communications together. I'm sitting here now, wondering what percentage of such communications that I use pass through a BIG-IP. What percentage use an iRule? Fun stuff to think about.

In the video they also asked a great follow-up question in the interview after the fact, asking if he felt, even fleetingly, relieved. If you asked me I'd say that's how I'd feel at first. Relieved, cut free, off the leash, so to speak. But that would be fleeting indeed. About the time my friends got annoyed and stopped calling me, and I had emails stacking up (he missed 91 emails in one day..for me that would be 2-300) left and right, I'd get to sweating pretty fast.

That's not even taking into account things like entertainment. Things like Online videos, streaming music, blogs, Online gaming, all of which I heavily partake in. What would I do with the extra time? What would you do? Would there be extra time? Would I end up spending more time trying to accomplish the same things via different means?

I really don't know. I do have to agree, though, that in this day and age, I just don't want to even try existing without at least email. My business world revolves so heavily around it that, at the very least, has to be on my "necessities" list.

How about you? How would you cope? What piece(s) of technology could you part with, and which couldn't you?

#Colin