Someone is quitting the Internet for a whole year again, which is becoming a regular desire among those who spending the majority of their waking hours in front of a blinking computer screen. Maybe these folks should opt for something less drastic and dramatic, though.
After ten years of blogging for Grist, David Roberts is going off grid for a full year starting on Labor Day weekend. As he writes, his reasoning is simple: "I am burnt the fuck out." Besides spending time with family, Roberts has spent all of his spare time over the last decade being on the Internet: consuming and digesting news, memes, and hot takes. It's all become too much, he says, and it's dominating his brain's function to an alarming degree:
I think in tweets now. My hands start twitching if I’m away from my phone for more than 30 seconds. I can’t even take a pee now without getting “bored.” I know I’m not the only one tweeting in the bathroom. I’m online so much that I’ve started caring about “memes.” I feel the need to comment on everything, to have a “take,” preferably a “smart take.” The online world, which I struggle to remember represents only a tiny, unrepresentative slice of the American public, has become my world. I spend more time there than in the real world, have more friends there than in meatspace.
And so Roberts will exit stage left for the entire year in a matter of days with two goals in mind: getting in shape at age 40 after spending the last decade behind a desk, and writing his first novel.
Some people were dismissive to Robert's plight, calling it as another trend story we've seen before. And those notions aren't exactly wrong. The Verge's Paul Miller concluded his year-long absence from the 'net this year, revealing that it's didn't make him any happier. He had modest goals of looking at the flowers and reading and writing more, just like Roberts. It didn't work out that way, though. He ended up slitting his time doing other just-as-meaningless things.