Once you get past the inherent irony of me writing a blog post and distributing it largely via social media…for people to read on the Internet and click to from social media…about unplugging from the Internet and social media, there are a few things to consider.
More, I’ve been increasingly where a couple others have blogged about (I’ll get to them in a minute), as though perhaps there’s a natural pushback or swing of the pendulum for lots of people. It has kinda been like that for me all of my life. One obsession after the other. All I think about day and night, until the day I hardly ever think about it anymore ever. I’m a bridge burner by nature.
Computers, the Internet, Mobil Devices, and now the Social Networks layered on top of all of it are both a wonderful set of tools, and a deep obsession for some—and some will always be just as obsessed with the whole thing as some are now still obsessed with cars, airplanes, motorcycles, antiques, collectibles, board games, card games, religion….take your pick. The thing to observe is that whenever something new rolls through and is able to gain a foothold, there will always be huge numbers that become obsessed with it—until huge numbers aren’t, anymore. But, if there was really something to it, unlike Pet Rocks or Nickelback, there will always be some that serve the role of keeping it alive via their obsession, devotion and in many cases, continued development and refinement. This is generally good.
Aside: how many took a gander or two at FREE PORN ON THE INTERNET! back in the day, but now can’t remember the last time they even got goofed into clicking a porn link? And yet, there will still be those certain ones who just can’t get enough of it.
I’ve been having my own personal pushback lately, often ignoring email, and comments on my blog for a day, sometimes more. My RSS Reader looks like my inbox often enough. I get so many links shot to me from readers it’s hard to find time or attention to make the rounds—so no offense all yooz who likely know who you are. Memorial Day weekend we headed out camping, wi-fi sucked. I checked stuff each morning in advance of other campers getting up and saturating the thing, and then set it all aside for the rest of the day & evening, never looking except perhaps to call up a silly YouTube for those sitting around the campfire to watch & laugh at.
Here’s a clue: when you engage literally everything that crosses your email, blog comments; and now, various social media, it has a multiplier effect. One engagement by you multiplies into 2 or 3 or more by others, and before you know it you’re consumed in relative minutiae, by which I mean that, by tomorrow, you’ll have forgotten about it because you’re onto something really important (that which becomes tomorrow’s minutiae). …Nor do I wish to dismiss the importance of engagement. From where I sit, so much of it is so valuable.
My principle task then, and yours if you’re thinking, is: discrimination. We only have so much time, attention, life. So just choose wisely, just as with all things.
So both Mark “Daily Apple” Sisson and “Hawaii Libertarian” Keoni Galt have their takes on the matter.
My take on most stuff is always from a sort on Yin-Yang perspective when I’m at my best. That is, you don’t get a push back until you’ve had a push forward, and the former is just as natural, materially relevant, and worthy of consideration as the latter.
It doesn’t require hand wringing, really, and the world isn’t going to hell in a handbasket (what, again!). So I think both Mark’s and Keoni’s takes are relevant, worth taking a look at and considering. After all, Mark lives in Malibu and Keoni, in Hawaii. In Malibu, I’d certainly just consider trading in all my electronic gear for a surfboard or something. In Hawaii, spear fishing gear to use when I wasn’t flying off Makapuu in a hang glider.
But yes, both have words of wisdom that to me, signal that all of this may be beginning to take on the more toolish domain that most will eventually end up using it for in various productive endeavors, while rediscovering the joy of actually socializing with people IRL, in real life and right up in face.
Or, not. There’s always this:
As a final thought, this is nothing compared to religion and politics. Both still command huge tons of obsessive people to this day. In the last few hundred years, in the most modern places on Earth, religion has been replaced by politics without changing much in terms of fantastical aspirations. But it’s just two sides of the same coin of irrational obsession.
What is the essential difference between between the fantasy that God helped you find your keys this morning while hundreds of children starved to death on the plannet, the fantasy that Obama is going to do something about your individual hardships in life…or that George Takei is your Facebook friend?
…So from that perspective, I say: bring on the smart phones and apps. And here’s an idea: next election day, Check In anywhere except the polling place.