Archives for : internet addiction

THE CASE FOR UNPLUGGING

The urge to stay constantly connected has overtaken our culture. People talk about addiction to their phones—but what if it’s more an addiction to consumption? What if spending all day chatting on social media and cruising news sites is no different from compulsive shopping, or bingeing on junk food? And for those of us who consider ourselves digital watchdogs, is our complete immersion in the safeguarding of liberty paradoxically robbing us of real agency in our own lives?

I’m always telling people to wake up and look around them—to see what’s really going on in their own backyards. We can’t change the world by pointing and clicking alone—we need to engage with other people, in real time, in real space. So I’m giving props today to a couple of new movements that are aimed at restoring balance to the postmillennial life. Chief among these is a National Day of Unplugging coming up in March 2015. You can begin “training” for it by hitching onto the Digital Detox movement—which actually hosts retreats, if you’ve never gotten over your grade-school camping days. Or you can host your own, more localized Unplug Day like blogger Full Cort Press is proposing at Granville High School.

Me, I’d go nuts a full day without my phone. And someone’s got to be on deck, in case the Feds choose National Unplugging Day to abolish the Constitution and set up an imperial monarchy or something. But for the rest of you: the choice—as always—is entirely yours.