On April 3, 2016, more than a hundred media outlets from around the world, who had been working on it for a year through the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, published The Panama Papers , the leak of the largest network of evaders in paradises prosecutors in history.
In Spain, La Sexta and El Confidencial were in charge. This work, classifying and shelving more than eleven million documents, was carried out with a Spanish journalist as the conductor, Mar Cabra .
At that time, Mar was 32 years old and had already specialized in the technology and data side of journalism.
During the research, he worked alongside developers and engineers, as he had done for years.
There was a lot of work to do and few hands to get it done. In addition, those hands were spread across half the world, which implied many different time zones and ended up being translated for Mar into days of up to sixteen hours of daily work.
That publication was an exhibition of the strength of journalism, but also of that of technology , which managed to organize this enormous amount of information and allow the coordination of so many media from around the world.
After the publication of the leak, the media tidal wave began for Mar, who began to intervene on television and give talks on a recurring basis. Ultimately, it even won the Pulitzer Prize .
A scenario that led to the hiperconectividad.Y that dream for any journalist turned into a nightmare for Sea .
“Supposedly it was successful, it had the Pulitzer, it was connected to the whole world …
But inside I was very unhappy, everything did not matter to me,” Mar tells Xataka .
“A little later, at the age of 34, I decided to quit my job. I was not happy even with the success.
I got out of the way, I came to Almería to live. If I had stayed in Madrid I would not have been able to have that space for reflection I was looking for. Too many people, too many connections. I needed to stop. “
Mar’s is the testimony of someone who suffers the consequences of the technological frenzy, of hyperconnectivity , and seeks a way to stop, distance themselves and heal their wounds.
“I was so hooked that I spent sixteen hours working with engineers, making video calls with people from all over the world, all urgent, in permanent connection … And when I got to bed I spent an hour on Facebook.” When he made the decision to step aside, he deleted the Facebook application and his email accounts from his mobile.
Not Twitter, although it largely stopped using it. And he spent months without sitting in front of the computer, something that made him nauseous and that he still finds it difficult to do for long periods of time today.
Such a disconnection process is not feasible for everyone. Mar was lucky enough to have a family home available on the coast, in an environment conducive to a slow disconnection; and generous savings thanks, in addition to good planning, to having received an American salary while living in Spain.
“Many people think like me, but nobody does, because you have to be very crazy or have a lot of money. I had a bit of both and I was able to spend two years living off air, more or less.”
In this process, which still continues, Mar rediscovered herself thanks to meditation, to annual retreat days consisting of spending ten days in silence, without books, technology or any type of stimulus or entertainment as such, meditating fifteen hours a day . The calm that comes after the storm.
A study by the Pew Research Center from 2012, when the presence of smartphones and social networks were not yet as strong as in recent years, already spoke of the potential consequences for our brains of the implantation of constant reward mechanisms for our brain, as well as hyperconnectivity and overestimation.
That same year, another study from the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior linked hyperconnectivity to depression . Eight years later, the consequences of a decade in which we embraced technology without time to think about its implications are beginning to become visible .