Adbusters challenges you to do the unthinkable: unplug. Say good-bye to Twitter and Facebook. Turn off your TV, iPhone and Xbox. For seven days, reconnect with the natural world and the people around you. You’ll be amazed at how the magic creeps back into your life. Don’t be afraid and don’t find excuses, just take the plunge and see what happens.The challenge began April 20th and is ending tomorrow. I'm almost relieved I didn't discover it in time. I would have just felt guilty when I caved and re-plugged
Escaping the encroaching entrapments of modern life isn't a new idea. Take Thoreau's Walden. He retreated to the woods to rid himself from the dehumanizing impact of the Industrial Revolution. Instead of the Industrial Revolution we have the Electronic Age, and with it Facebook, Sports Center, and, the most grievous of all, "insert clever s.logan here."
Freeing ourselves from the electronic ball and chain would afford us the opportunity for contemplation, spiritual discovery, etc. Besides the deep stuff, it would remind us how to be in the here, now. You know, rather than nodding methodically and only half-listening while checking your BlackBerry as your spouse relays the minute details of her day. (Obviously, I can only imagine this is how it goes. Sigh.)
The idea is noble, but I wonder if unplugging is even possible anymore? Sure, we could pull the cords on our toasters, radios, or alarm clocks, but the computer, television, and phone? I shudder to think. Last week a tornado hit, leaving me without power for three days, er, hours. (It just felt like three days.)
The slogan challenges, "Do the unthinkable." To me, the idea sounds sublime. It's not unthinkable, but is it un-doable? For the love of nature (and our souls), I hope not.
Until today, I had forgotten how freeing the feeling was. I spent the day communing with nature (canoeing, actually), and it was one of the best days I've had in a long time.
After being surrounding by nothing by water, trees, and sky for hours, I'm tempted to live out my own Walden (after I'm done working with the kiddos in Atlanta.) To bask in the light of the sun, rather than the light of a computer screen; hear the sound of the wind rustling through the trees rather than Rush Limbaugh's voice; and watch a squirrel hunt for nuts rather than reruns of Andy Griffith. (I think my nerdiness is showing.)
DDW doesn't end until tomorrow, so I can at least have a Digital Detox Day. Maybe you should, too.
So long until Monday.
Ps - I decided that after my adventure to Atlanta, I want to hike the Appalachian. All of it. Alone. That last one is only because I don't, at present, know any other backpackers I'd like to spend months in the wilderness with. I am, however, open to suggestions.