“Saying this is bad is like saying traffic is bad, or health-care surtaxes, or the hazards of annular fusion: nobody but Ludditic granola-crunching freaks would call bad what no one can imagine being without.” – From the novel Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
24+ hours without:
- Mobile phone (a couple of exceptions were made early to link up with a friend)
- iPod + headphones (I made exceptions for the iPod + external speakers)
It was scary. Scary because I went through periods of withdrawal. I wanted the Internet. I wanted connectivity. I craved it. My computer called out to me, begging me to fire up, to connect.
I rejected the call. Instead of reading articles, I read a novel. Instead of sending messages on Facebook, I talked to my family. Instead of writing e-mails, I composed letters. Difficult as it was, I found outlets for all this troubling angst. I got through the day; I even enjoyed it.
What I learned was more disturbing. I discovered that I use the Internet because I need to feel this sense of connection to the wider world. Nothing I do on the Internet is a truly essential and important part of my life. E-mail? Facebook? News? It can all wait. Will I remember this the next time I power up my computer? Here’s the disturbing part: no. I’m in too deep. My life is inextricably intertwined with my connection to technology. Only a complete rupture (like packing up my things and traveling abroad) will sever this cord.
If you also unplugged last night, I’d love to hear about your experience.