May 1, 2013

"I'm supposed to be enlightened. I'm supposed to be more 'real,' now."

"One year ago I left the internet.... I thought the internet might be an unnatural state for us humans, or at least for me. Maybe I was too ADD to handle it, or too impulsive to restrain my usage. I'd used the internet constantly since I was twelve, and as my livelihood since I was fourteen. I'd gone from paperboy, to web designer, to technology writer in under a decade. I didn't know myself apart from a sense of ubiquitous connection and endless information. I wondered what else there was to life. 'Real life,' perhaps, was waiting for me on the other side of the web browser."

Paul Miller says he was wrong.

30 comments:

ampersand said...

The internet made me fat.

Lem said...

I learned to appreciate an idea that can't be summed up in a blog post...

Ok...

Additionally, and I don't know what this has to do with anything, but I cried during Les Miserables.

My parody antennae is piking up a signal.

ampersand said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ampersand said...

Not to say that my life wasn't different without the internet, just that it wasn't real life.

Cue the twilight zone music.

mccullough said...

This guy says nothing about his sex life. I'm guessing he doesn't have one.

Lem said...

I want to do things for other people.

Yes...

But the internet isn't an individual pursuit, it's something we do with each other. The internet is where people are.

Sounds like he's got it!

Chip S. said...

His sexuality is probably not fully baked.

And yet he writes as if he is totally baked.

bagoh20 said...

Someone else should have done this experiment. He doesn't know how to live a life. Not one I would choose anyway, with or without the internet.

mccullough said...

He played more frisbie for a few weeks. Definite stoner. This guy sounds like an 11-year-old boy. Play video games. A little frisbie. Watch TV.

This Thoreau experiment would have worked better if this guy liked the outdoors and getting laid.

Lem said...

Someone else should have done this experiment.

Experiment has a strong scientific connection. From what I gathered, this was by no means a 'controlled' experiment.

William said...

Real life is highly overrated. I've endured nothing but indifference, rejection and abandonment from carbon based life forms. Lately they've been adding a new wrinkle to their wrinkles and they have started croaking--usually after difficult illnesses. Inconsiderate bastards. If you have to come and go talking of Michaelangelo, this is the best room available.

bagoh20 said...

"Real life is highly overrated. I've endured nothing but indifference, rejection and abandonment from carbon based life forms."

Wait till you're dead. They never stop by for tea anymore.

Titus said...

I dont normally like long hair and the disheveled whitey guy but I would probably do him....on a bad night.

The teeth need some work though. And some sun and a nice haircut and he could probably be doable.

10 points for being jewish though

tits.

Titus said...

Jewish also means cut cock which means no surprises when pealing back the uncutness. You know nasty smells, smegma, pubes, cheese all wrapped in that little chamber.

tits.

Carl said...

Quarter-life crisis? Dafuq...?

This guy's real problem would appear to be that he's clinically depressed, and throws himself into Internetizing, overcommitment and nearly missing deadlines the way others throw themselves into porn, risky stunts or drugs, to boost the dopamine levels and make you feel alive, at least for a bit. He could probably use some Wellbutrin more than a grand gesture like cutting the Internet cord.

I think another issue, however, is that he knew it would end. It's different going without something for a finite period than quitting and thinking you'll never go back. That's why pretending you're blind isn't the same as actually being blind, and why people have such poor insight into what it actually feels like to be disabled, say, or old, even though they think they do because of that one time they were in a cast or really weak from throwing up all week...

So his "failure" towards the end can perhaps easily be attributed to his boredom with a task that he knew would soon be over, and a lifestyle he would soon be abandoning.

Carl said...

He's also, to speak frankly. a complete ball-less putz, so beta he might as well be delta.

He has a year in the prime of a man's health, testosterone at lifetime peaks, during which he has near-zero responsibilities -- no one even expects to hear from him regularly -- and he... doesn't....climb Everest, train for the Iron Man, fuck a different Village woman every week -- and there would be hundreds in the Big Apple who could be seduced by his situation, ferfuxsake -- learn Polish, run the most incredible Vegas con, get in trouble in Guatemala, bungee jump off the Tappan Zee bridge, get arrested, or try to make a million dollars day trading.

I'm twice his age. Bones ache in the morning, can't get it up three times in an hour. Wish he could've given that year to me -- I'd have racked up some sweet memories and good stories.

John Lynch said...

I'm with Carl. Youth is wasted on such people.

I unplug from the internet periodically. I don't write shitty journals about it.

Isn't it interesting how many people make a living doing things that anyone could do?

leslyn said...

May. He's right. He's just addicted and hiding it behind pretentious whining.

edutcher said...

The Internet might well be nicknamed the Introvertnet.

edutcher said...
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tim maguire said...

The problem is, he made no real effort to repace an online life with an off line life. Instead, he replaced an online life with a life of leisure. His only purpose was an absence--the absence of the Internet. Of course that was exciting when the leisure was new, but then boring and unfulfilling when the newness wore off. It wasn't so much a life away from the computer as it was the life of the idle rich, who are famously bored.

And he seems to have completely missed that angle.

wyo sis said...

Is the life of the bored leisure class the only place you can go to escape the online life? Can you work and be offline anymore?
I mean in the urban lifestyle. It's completely possible to be hard working and online free in a rural life.

Henry said...

It sounds like what Mr. Miller was really missing was work.

My mother-in-law is always asking me what I would do if I really had the opportunity. I say, I'd probably write more. I'd draw more. I'd do some hiking. I'd go to a baseball game at Fenway park. And I'd probably teach myself a new programming language and build web sites for people who have interesting projects. Like I have been doing for the last 15 years. Because I like my work.

virgil xenophon said...

wyo sis asks a good question. So many businesses/govt agencies have re-centered their operations around the internet that it is almost impossible to do business/interact with them w.o. using the internet.

Shanna said...

He's just addicted and hiding it behind pretentious whining.

I have a friend who is absolutely addicted to the internet, so much so that she has in the past asked workplaces not to give it to her. But then she got a smartphone, so now she's just addicted to that. Ridiculous.

I unplug from the internet periodically. I don't write shitty journals about it.

Indeed!

Smilin' Jack said...

'Real life,' perhaps, was waiting for me on the other side of the web browser."

You just didn't go far enough, dude. You should, like, go into the Alaskan wilderness and live with the grizzly bears for a while.

Sam L. said...

I looked...and concluded I couldn't care. Bummer.

Methadras said...

mccullough said...

This guy says nothing about his sex life. I'm guessing he doesn't have one.


He failed at online dating.

Anthony said...

Like I've always said, the Internet doesn't create bad habits, it just gives you a place to apply them.

Mike said...

Good comments here. You don't need me so I'm leaving the 'net for awhile. To work!