I offer no manifesto here, no call to arms against the evils of technology.
I note only in passing that the pendulum is swinging the other way, and I find myself inclined to disengage from the internet, for a while, to see if it’s still possible to focus on other things . . . like books, and teaching, and substantive writing tasks I’ve been putting off for too long.
In the past, a particular move to withdraw from social media has often followed an especially unpleasant trip down one or another of the rabbit-holes of online “discussion”, and that is somewhat the case, here.
It’s not exactly ragequitting, though. It’s more that there comes a moment of clarity that this technology, so useful for some purposes, also shapes human conduct and human interaction in very particular ways that may exceed all our intentions, often to our own detriment.
There came a moment, yesterday, when it seemed to me the whole of the internet is a vast, teeming charnel-house of the spirit.
My first move has been to shut down my Disqus account, which had the unforeseen consequence of deleting all of my participation in certain comment threads.
I feel no sense of loss at this.
I may still publish to this blog, and may even do so fairly regularly. I’ve shut down my Twitter account, though, and will no longer have posts automatically forwarded to LinkedIn.
In the mean time, my fountain pens have been filled, my shelves are lined with books waiting to be read, my yard needs some attention, my fiddle needs new strings, and my dance shoes have not seen quite enough use, of late.