Tune In, Opt Out

by Zoë Pollock

Alan Jacobs insists opting out of social networks is still a viable option for some:

We tell ourselves, by way of self-justification, that we need Twitter, need our RSS feeds, need Facebook. But no, we don't. We just like them very much. And as far as I’m concerned that’s good enough. It’s just necessary always to remember that we’re making choices and could, if we wished, make different ones about how we’re informed and what we’re informed about.

In this light it’s good to be reminded of a passage from John Ruskin’s Modern Painters that I recently quoted on my tumblelog:

To watch the corn grow, and the blossoms set; to draw hard breath over ploughshare or spade; to read, to think, to love, to hope, to pray these are the things that make men happy; they have always had the power of doing these, they never will have the power to do more. The world’s prosperity or adversity depends upon our knowing and teaching these few things: but upon iron, or glass, or electricity, or steam, in no wise.