4.25.2009

Stop Reading Now, and Step Away from the Computer

Apparently, this week was Digital Detox Week, sponsored by Adbusters:
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 one day early 37 minutes later.

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.

5 comments:

  1. I am into my fourth month without a T.V. I will likely get one again one day, but it has certainly been an interesting experiment. I will also check out the site and probably post on this subject myself. Thanks.

    By the way, I love to hike. I'd make a suggestion, but I am finding it hard to believe that there exists an intelligent, beautiful, hot woman with an ability to communicate AND is somewhat athletic.

    If you actually exist, you are very cool indeed.

    WJP

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  2. I knew, but I didn't play, this year...

    The trick is to do what one can; to unplug where possible, and to expand the possible a little further, as time goes on...

    ...or to go cold turkey in the mountains. That works, too...

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  3. It's always a good idea to spend time outside with God. Of course here in Las Vegas you need to be careful about when that time is, especially in the summer! Good thing the mountains are close by.

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  4. http://www.blinkotv.com/

    get Fox News and CNN online..

    and a couple of others too..

    no cable subscription needed..

    Hi speed connection helps :)

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  5. This brings up a very good point and one that should be really thought about. Isn't the internet making everything ten times more impersonal than before? I mean...I got a "Thank You" card in my email. Nice gesture, but not like getting one in the mail that someone took the time to write.

    Instead of getting a call from someone that might be interested in me, I get texts or worse, Facebook messages. And, I get to see what he thought about the date from the all too important "status update" (cue dramatic music here).

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