Paul Miller, writing in The Verge, describes the first of 352 days without the internet. He’s unplugged his ethernet and swopped his smartphone for the dumbest of dumbphones. Ah, I thought, the luxury of youth in taking a whole year off from anything. As you get older, you live for the minute and grab every megabyte you can. You just can’t afford to waste a whole year.
Is there any possible merit in living without the internet for a year? Is the internet such a bad thing that we would be better off without it? I think not. For me, it is a liberating experience and I readily admit to being an addict. I get antsy if leave home without my smartphone and have to return immediately; I can’t imagine even a day off, never mind a year.
The mere thought of going back to paper news, paper books, snail mail and red telephone boxes brings me out in a sweat. I’m as likely to voluntarily give up on broadband and 3G as I am to move to a remote island equipped with oil lamps, a goat for milk and live chickens to slaughter. Good luck to Mr. Miller. He should be raving within the week.