Picture it – a cabin in the woods next to a gurgling river, a garden out back with beautiful flowers and delicious produce, a feeling of being close to nature, like my ancestors. More time for important social interactions, which are really at the heart of a meaningful life. No more random interneting or hours spent ignoring my husband in favor of my smart phone. Instead I’ll spend my days doing meaningful things, going to bed with the setting sun and sleeping as much as I need. Really, imagine it. Don’t you all want to come and join me in the woods?
But would I really be happier if I gave up modern conventions and moved to an isolated cabin? Up until a few hours ago, I really thought that might be the solution. But then I read an article by a 26 year-old, Paul, who had given up the internet for a year. He felt that the internet was preventing him from figuring out who he truly was, and it was time to take back his life and his identity. And giving up the internet was good – for the first few months. He spent more time with friends, used his boredom to write more and explore his creativity in other ways. He read more and went out more. But then Paul adjusted to not having the internet and soon found himself developing bad habits offline. He was unable to keep in touch with people who were far away, and his snail mail began to overwhelm him until he was unable to cope with sending responses to his fans. The moral of his story – we are who we are and we will be who we will be, internet or no internet.