DayUM but I’m sick of the whole time-sucking, tooth-grinding, sub-minimum-waging computer effing CONNECTED goddamn THING. Here’s a question (by way of getting a word in the title into the first graf, as an SEO thing): what if, what IF you disconnected (got that, Google? DISCONNECTING!) about every second day? Yeah, you got that right: what if every other day you refrained from signing on to your computer, your tablet, your phone, your whateverTF?
Oh, let’s go all the way: what would happen if you only signed in every third day? What if you read your email and cruised the net and dorked around with your social media no more often than once every three days? What if you reserved the third out of every three days for computer connectivity, and all the rest of the time you reclaimed for your SELF?
Dare one suggest that your sanity might be much bolstered by such a scheme? Dare one suggest that, in fact, you might regain a grip on your humanity?
This morning as I was driving out to the Thursday wee-hours meeting in Scottsdale, a thought intruded on the zen-like calm elicited by sharing the roads with several thousand fellow homicidal drivers:
• I want my ranch back.
• I want my horses back.
• In specific, I want a propane refrigerator and a propane range and water running in from the Hassayampa and a stockpond full of bass and couple of candles for light after dark and my dogs chasing after me and Babe as we roam across the landscape and Ruby trying to catch a cow and most specifically I do not want a fucking computer yammering at me.
• At 7:16 in the morning, I want not to be running effing LATE to a business meeting but saddling up Babe for a day-long amble through the back-country of a thousand BLM acres.
• I want to spend the day exploring the back-country by horseback, not exploring the Internet by keyboard.
• I want my effing life NOT to come to an end because Cox’s effing connection to the effing Internet goes down for half a day. Or for any length of time.
My life is wonderful and urban and technologically enhanced and amazing and unimaginable just a couple of decades ago and godDAMN but I hate it.
Is there anyone out there, anywhere, who wants as much as I do to be FREE of the technological glory that is Life in Twenty-First Century America? Am I the only person on this planet who would dare suggest our lives today represent some kind of Hell?
We have, it must be said, devices (naturally…) to help us avoid wasting exorbitant numbers of hours on the Internet.
But I don’t think that’s the issue. To use moi as an example again: Although I do waste a certain amount of time on the Net reading the news and playing repetitive computer games, in fact MOST of the time stolen from my life is devoted to work: writing blog posts; tracking down factoids; downloading, storing, and documenting Shutterstock images; keeping a grip on the vast organizational challenges entailed in coordinating the publishing, editing, writing, and blogging empires; paying bills online; managing blogsites; riding herd on the freaking endlessly fire-hosing e-mail; creating a “presence” on other sites…and on and on. Most of this is work-related or IRS-related.
Most of the time absorbed by Connectivity has to do with business or with attempts to make some kind of profit.
And most of that profit, to the extent it exists at all, is minuscule. The Third-Worldization of educated American workers happens through a computer portal. The miraculous technology that infests our lives has taken us back the the sweatshop.
So I wonder: what would happen if we time-stamped ourselves out of the sweatshop? What if we restricted computer time to once every other day or once every third day? Would we not, given a shorter time frame, accomplish the same amount of online work in fewer hours, simply because we would have to focus on getting through x or y amount of work in half or a third as much time? And would our professional and personal lives come to an end if all we did on the Net was specifically related to a given client or job? And the rest of it went away because we limited the number of hours online?
What I propose is not exactly going off the grid (although just at this moment I would be beside myself with joy to find a practical way to do so). The question is, can we go partly off the grid without watching our lives grind to a halt?