Reading a post on The Verge recently, I was surprised by how many people are starting to despise our digital experiences. Paul Miller, the journalist who decided to stop using the internet for a year, says this about a book called Present Shock:
“I hope to use some of [its] coping mechanisms as weapons and his definitions as armor when I return to the internet and have to fight these problems once more.”
Weapons? Armor? Am I missing something?
It seems like ever day brings more fear-mongering about our digital lives. We’re told about how the internet and smartphone addictions are ruining the world. “You need to unplug!”, they scream, as if we are being consumed before their eyes.
How about unplugging from sensational Luddite ramblings? We’re fine. We who read 20 tweets every hour are going to be okay. Keeping an eye on our email and getting Facebook notifications won’t hurt us. Why is that? Because we’re not dumb. We stop paying attention to digital squaks long before they hurt us.
There have been panicked cries from the media for years, too. “Oh, no people look at their Blackberries too much! What shall we do?!” Ha, Blackberries. That shows the age of this FUD.
Personally, I put my phone down when I get tired of the flood of information. If I have a headache I put the laptop away. I consume a lot of information every day, but I’m not dying.
If you feel like your time spent on Twitter, Facebook or email is excessive, then it is. But we don’t need someone to preach of the evil that is the internet because he’s tired of using it.