The amenities of the modern world sometimes blind us to truths about our humanity. The internet connects us more than ever with our fellow humans, while simultaneously fomenting a sense of disconnection stronger than ever before. Smartphones exacerbate the problem, turning it into a full-blown information addiction. Cars clog our streets and our air. Electricity is an unwelcome interloper, extending the work day until well beyond sunset. Running water binds us to the tyranny of the tap. The hammer introduces a myopic nail-tunnel-vision.
Emblematic of this modern world run amok is one piece of technology that the Western world seemingly cannot do without. I am, of course, talking about the .
You may not realize it, but you are addicted to . You probably use a every single day of your life. You may be holding a right now while plugged in to your smartphone at a cafe, or perhaps at your work desk reviewing the morning’s email queue.
Ask yourself: when was the last time you used a ? It was probably pretty recently, wasn’t it? Now ask yourself: what’s the longest amount of time you’ve gone without using a ? Maybe 24, 48 hours?
This is a Western industrial affliction. There are people in Asia who go weeks, months, years and even lifetimes without using , and they are richer for having done so.
It is time to put down the . It is time to reclaim our humanity.
I have vowed to go less for 30 days. From now until July 4 (Independence Day—I shall finally be free of my dependence on the ), no shall be used by me, nor take any of my time. I will not so much as touch a . And I will log my experience here so that the world can know what going -free is really like.