I've also turned off the Flash plug-in for my Web browser. (Advertisements show up as empty white boxes for me now.) As well, I've unsubscribed from a lot of RSS feeds. I've started turning my cell phone off whenever possible.
Back in April, on my friend's blog, I said I would.
Ted and Internet
“Between your 16 blogs and everyone else telling me to Facebook and Twitter… I’m about to get rid of everything except one email account. It’s starting to look a bit empty. (I can’t think of one interesting thing I’ve seen online in the last two months anywhere. I don’t care about the Octomom, I don’t know anyone making decent money from blogging, and online video is generally weak crap.)I'm not advising anyone to do this. I just think that people talking on their cell phones as they attempt to walk down the street look a bit dumb. I'm sure you don't.
It might be time to return to the real world — just to tick people off.
Or maybe that was the plan: get the Internet started, wait for all the normal people people to get fully committed to it, then get off of it — so only the cool people will be offline.”
My brief experience with social media was rather unsocial. Everyone was very friendly, they posted links to things I read last week, and told me that social media was the path to success. (Good luck with that.) When I responded, they generally ignored me.
My friend who posted my comment above knows: I'm not any sort of Luddite. I've been on the Internet forever. A lot of the things people send me excitedly as something new -- I did back in 1997.
The thing is this: I'm noticing that my students increasingly can't focus as well as I'd expect. That the media gets away, increasingly, with posting water cooler talk, easily debunked with any search or thinking, but right there in the big red headline. That as a culture we can't match the post-destruction resolve of the ancient Greeks -- who rebuilt the Acropolis -- and instead rebuild movies from our collective childhood.
I don't care about Star Wars, Star Trek, Transformers, G.I. Joe, etc. I'm not twelve years old, and I think there's a lot more to sophistication than better visual effects underneath improved marketing.
I'm noticing that things are getting shallower, and that folks seem happy with that. That's fine. There's someone just waiting for them. His bio says:
"I make stuff, actually I make up stuff, stories mostly, collaborations of thoughts, dreams, and actions. Thats me."Go check him out.