I Couldn’t do it, Could You?
For those who didn’t follow the link in Friday’s post, James Sturm has quit the internet for four months and is writing about it at Slate.
It’s not exactly Thoreau territory. He’s still using his phone (now more than ever!) and still part of the electronic landscape in other ways. He’s even talked to ABC about it. But his observations on the process are illuminating and his illustrations for the article are a delight.
James and I have had some vigorous debates about the value of information technology over the years. It’s no secret that I’m pretty happy with the way things are going. But a part of me wouldn’t mind following him for a while.
I’m increasingly aware of my own addictions. After answering as many emails as I can in the morning (never enough!), I’ll sometimes close my laptop and put it away to avoid the temptation of checking for new mails until I get at least a few hours of drawing done on the main machine (yeah, I use a local client for email—not living up to my surname yet). Sooner or later, I may have to start unplugging the modem for part of the day too.
If James inspires you to try something similar, go for it. But you might want to wait until his Slate reports are done, since those are available only on…
Yeah we should all just take at least once every two weeks to just stop worrying aboot technology.
~Canadian Phillip Curtis
I find myself gradually falling away from the net. I spend anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes in the morning catching up on mail and stuff and then I’m pretty much done for the day. A couple of brief pop-ins to check for new messages throughout the rest of the day — generally well under two hours total, and that’s to take care of all my business. Five years ago I was glued to the screen but not anymore. Not even sure why things have changed, really….
Some days I unplug the modem, too. It’s nice.
I personally am quite conflicted about the wired world we increasingly live in. Some days I feel like it is nothing more than an attention-span-shrinking blight on humanity but other days I marvel at how I can connect with dozens of people without ever leaving the house or how effortlessly I can download hit hollywood films without spending a dime… wait forget I said that last thing.
I’ve done it twice, the longest I think was about 18 months.
To be specific, I did not quit using computers at all, just internet access. Once in a while I got software updates, music and videos from friends (on CD or via USB drives) and I guess I checked my email roughly once a month.
I’ve also done the reverse, stopped using a phone and telling everyone to e-mail me instead.