Are you plugged in or unplugged? The Kansas City Star newspaper had an interesting article this past Sunday about The Unplugged Life by Rick Montgomery. In it Montgomery introduces us to the neo-Luddites, referring to those persons who specifically choose not to become 24/7 connected and tech-savvy.
Their agenda is to preserve a measure of peace, tranquility, and the earthy, human satisfaction of manual mental labors. They accomplish this by not having modern technology and online tools such as PCs, Google, email, and social networking.
In a bit of a Henry David Thoreau manner, the neo-Luddites make a passionate case for withdrawing to the 2012 version of Walden Pond. The unplugged life may have its advantages so say the neo-Luddites. For example, you avoid the dangers cited by some of the latest research suggesting the Internet may fundamentally degrade a persons reading style and intellectual abilities.
Nevertheless, I for one will choose to remain plugged into our modern world. That does not automatically mean that I never examine, assess, evaluate, and analyze. Nor does it mean I never periodically cocoon away from cyberspace to recharge my souls batteries. Instead, I choose to remain aware of the strengths and the dangers of our modern online world, while constantly choosing to make the best of it in every possible manner.
I am a realist. So is Professor Dinty W. Moore, whom the article quotes: “What I would like is to get off Facebook, cancel the emailI know many people frustrated that way. But you cant, because its become so much a part of professional life.”
If you want to become a neo-Luddite, be my guest. But not me. I prefer living in the real world.