Age of Offlining

Another thought-provoking post from David Cain. Once again he perfectly articulates a feeling (can you articulate a feeling?) I’ve had for some time. Like his take on social media: The phrase “social media” itself has become mostly pejorative, code for time-wasting habits, superficial relationships, and the mob mentality.

It’s become too much. Way too much “online.” But I think a shift is happening. It’s becoming more obvious that always-on connectivity is having some serious side effects on our minds and our society. More of us want less internet. […] I think, or maybe just hope, we’re on the cusp of an “Age of Offlining,” an era characterized by a conscious mass departure from using the internet in such reflexive, uncontrolled ways.

Internet connectivity will always be a vital part of our infrastructure, but its services don’t need to be hyper-connected and endlessly distracting. […] I want to go down to the basement after work, put my messages and my writings into the box, take other people’s messages and writings out, and read them in my easy chair. And I want a big mechanical switch to shut it all off when I’m done with it.

I’ve been hearing versions of this from some of the most thoughtful people I know.

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