I left the house recently for a weekend cabin-in-the-woods getaway with the express purpose of leaving all connected devices behind.
I spent an hour of my time—in a cabin, on a lake, in the woods—engaged in the very same stressful, tedious and yet oddly addictive behavior from which I had attempted to flee. And in the end, for whatever reason, I was unable to get an internet connection. Not that I didn’t try. I engaged hopefully—earnestly—in what can only be described as technological ritual. Even when I came to realize that the communion with the great other was not going to take place, I religiously performed the instructions, engaged in the holy rites which summon the spirits from their mysterious dwellings to appear before us and work their miracles. After all, belief is vital if we are to please the gods of technology enough to have them do our bidding.
But ridding oneself from a crutch means relearning to walk naturally again. I found myself in moments where I would ordinarily turn to some device for distraction, only to find there was no ring to gently caress. I had to relearn the art of talking with another human being. I had to relearn the art of listening to that inner voice inside of me. It was a little unnerving because even though I had spent the better part of my life without the internet, it all seemed so far away from me now. But over the course of a weekend, I was able to rediscover a bit of who I was before the internet changed me. Changed everybody.
It was a pleasant, relaxing experience. I think that’s what listening to music is supposed to be like, but in the age of instant access to everything, even listening to music has the potential to cause anxiety and impatience. I often start a song only to get the urge to click another song after a minute into it. I can’t speak for everyone, but I have a tendency online to move endlessly from one item to another without ever fully appreciating anything I hear, see, or read. This has led to a dull sense of never being satisfied, with always wanting more, always hoping the next thing will be the one that gives me what I want. It never does. Hence my desire to reconnect to the world I knew before the instant non-gratification the internet provides.