I've been on the internet since the early 90's. I never really kept track but I don't think there are very many days since 1993 that I haven't at least logged on to check some email. Occasionally you get a little tired of being plugged in all the time and it just feels good to unplug. Just shut off the computer and not even think about it for a day or two.
In 1995 that wasn't a very difficult task, in 2016 however, I realized that it's much easier said than done. I also realized, for me at least, that this has taken on a totally different meaning now.
Yesterday was Labor Day weekend here in the good old U.S. of A. I woke up, rolled out of bed and decided to check my cryptocurrency portfolio, make a couple quick trades if anything looked good, then unplug and spend the rest of the day with the family. I planned on making barbeque ribs, and just knocking back a couple cold beers with my father. Sounds easy enough!
So I roll out of bed, make my morning cup of coffee, boot up the computer and log into my favorite exchange. I make a couple quick trades, then check my social sites, reply to a couple of friends and shut off my computer again. I spend the rest of the morning straightening out the house, cleaning a sink full of dishes, and getting ready for a barbeque with the family.
By the time I finish cleaning up the house, it's time to start prepping the food for the barbeque. I begin the food preparations and my Twitter account is blowing up on my phone. Finally, I reach into my pocket and check out what's going on. Nothing important, just a little more attention than usual, mostly likes and shares. I check my direct messages and see a link to youtube from a friend, there's a link to Max Keiser talking about a coin I'm interested in. Great, I'm bored I'll watch this while I prepare the ribs.
So I grab my laptop, set it up on top the fridge, click the link and I'm watching and listening to Max Keiser talk about Scotcoin while I'm preparing the ribs. I cut the meat, rub them with some spices, wrap in aluminum foil, and get ready to grill. By this time the next Max Keiser show loads and he's interviewing Kim Dotcom talking about the Mega site. I take the ribs outside, fire up the grill and grab my laptop and set it up in the garage. Now I'm watching Kim Dotcom tell Max all about his legal problems and the rebirth of Mega and the birth BitCache.
I start cooking, watch the interview, and when it ends another interesting video loads and watch that for the next two hours. In the meantime, I'm checking my phone from time to time, and replying to tweets, and comments on it, while cooking.
Anyway, by the time dinner was over, I realized it's almost impossible to unplug in this day and age. I don't watch regular TV all the much, I get most of my news and entertainment online. Between Twitter, and Steemit and G+ I'm constantly replying to comments and friends. I came to the realization that the days of simply unplugging have probably long came to an end. Unless you're out in the middle of nowhere, camping, with no signal on your phone, it's close to impossible.
Eventually I did end up just shutting off my phone and when my father arrived I switched off Youtube and went to Somafm.com and listened to Groove Salad. I realized then though, that it's becoming harder and harder to just unplug. Even that took on a different meaning to me. The new unplugged has become, no coding, no scouring the net for information, and just no working online in general. I guess music and entertainment is the exception to the rule now.
The internet is now communication like a phone, entertainment like the radio and TV, and everything else is just convenience . I don't think our family can get through an evening meal without someone referencing something on Google during a conversation. For me at least, the days of unplugging completely are over. It's almost impossible. Call me old fashion, but I do still shut off my phone at meals, and in the presence of intimate company. Other than that, unless I'm in the middle of the wilderness with no signal at all (happens once or twice a year) , I'm pretty much connected. I will admit when I am in those situations with no phone or internet, I do find it enjoyable and relaxing from time to time.
Image by me, quote unknown, WiFi clipart overlay from openclipart project.