Sunday, May 03, 2009

Some youngsters actually do live 'unplugged'

I'll admit it; I joined the collective. As and InfoSec professionally, I understand and soapbox about the dangers of social networking sites. So, when I recently gave in and activated my Facebook account, I kind of felt like a hypocrite. Why did I do it? "Gee, Mom, everyone else was doing it," just seems like a cop out doesn't it.

In truth, many of my friends are on Facebook. I have been a Tweet-geek on Twitter for about a year now. Many Tweeters are also on Facebook. (Twitter: It's a gateway drug.) Actually, the real gateway drug was IM, which I used to do pretty frequently. However, I often don't have a lot of time for IM conversations during my work day; so, I gave in to Tweeting. Twitter allows you to shout out a 140 character message to all who follow you. In turn, I follow about a dozen friends who Tweet. And, it turns out that Facebook is at least a little bit fun. (Yet another time suck in my technologically overstocked life.)

For the uninitiated, I'm sure this sounds like Mega Geek Speak. My apologies, REALLY! There is no escaping this stuff any more.

I absolutely will not do MySpace. That site is so rife with garbage and malware its like being a suburbanite walking down a street in South East DC at midnight (re: asking for trouble).

I sometimes wish I could be like Anna Raassina and Stephen Seaward of Brookline, MA. These two actually live 'off the grid' so to speak. They have no Internet or cable at their house. They only use their television for the very occasional DVD. They don't IM. They only use their cell phones for emergencies (ok, I can relate to THAT). They are near Luddites.

What would my life be like without my constant touch with the Internet? Without my television shows? Without mundane Tweets and emails? Without my silly (and really brief and low-tech) computer games?

I think that is another reason I am looking forward to my meditation retreat in July. I will not have Internet. I will not have access to a television. I will not be able to get a cell signal on the island. (I will have my iPod. Though, it might do me good to disconnect from that as well. But, THAT is just way too scary.)

There's a book I've been contemplating. It's called One Second After. It's kind of a post-apocalyptic themed thing. Think on this: What if terrorists used an EMP weapon to wipe out the majority of our technology? What would our lives be like? How long would most of us last?

There is a series of books that I started years ago based on this premise. S.M. Stirling's Dies the Fire. I'm about a third of the way through the second book: The Protector's War. The first book was fabulous. The second lost some of the steam of the original. There are now five books in the series, I think.

In summation: What would you do without electricity and technology? How would you survive? Even if the food/shelter/warmth fairy made sure you were taken care of on those basic fronts, how would you feel about a life devoid of the trappings of technology?


Cobwebs said...

Well, I'd have to find a different line of work....

I think the loss of instant communication would be the biggest blow to me. Heck, I think back two a couple of decades ago, when cell phones weren't common, and what a pain it was to have to find a pay phone.

changejunkie said...

I sometimes dream about it. I try to leave the laptop at home on vacation, don't look at email, don't use the cell-phone, stop reading the newspaper, don't watch the news, etc. It's really really nice for a break -- although not as extreme as your July retreat. I could live without much of technology if I had to. I'd rather not, though, not on a full-time basis.

Monkeys in Paris said...

Imagine having to write letters again. My hand cramps up if I have to go more than a paragraph now.

Summer said...

I'm not tech savy at all. It's amazing I can blog. I don't have a cell phone. I enjoy blog reading and the occasional looking up information on the net. I "think" I could wean myself. For years I've camped without electric and didn't miss TV, computer or lights. We read at night by reading lights, played games by lantern and went without my hair dryer. The kids never complained either. But that was for 2 weeks at the longest. Don't know if I could do it permanantly.