Thursday, February 9, 2012

What If You Unplugged and Left the Cloud?

Jake Reilly,  24 year-old Amish pioneer
For the Amish Project, a young guy disconnected from the world of internet media and all forms of digital communication for 90 days.

 In doing so, 24 year-old Jake Reilly found his world view dramatically changed, and he learned (or remembered) a few important things about life.

I'm far from being a opponent or an apologist for technology. I write a blog, and I promote it on both Facebook and Twitter, so I would be more hypocritical than Rick Santorum attending a Perez Hilton birthday bash, if I were to disparage the world wide web.

Quite the contrary, I'm a serious fan of social media. Through Tumblr, Blogspot, Facebook and the like, we build and maintain connections with strangers we may have never gotten to know and with friends whom we may otherwise have forgotten completely. Granted the connections we establish thru the social network are sometimes lightweight and superficial, but they are real connections nonetheless and they are enough. Who has time for 500 profoundly intimate relationships anyway?

Having said that, when I ran across the Amish Project video clip (on YouTube, ironically), it was a nice reminder that while the internet is a wonderful place to share ourselves and our experiences, our lives are still lived offline, in the real world, where we must remember to occasionally slow down, take our eyes off the screen, and cherish our friends and families out loud each day.

I was really glad to find this video about the importance of periodically disconnecting from technology, and I'm equally happy the technology exists for me to share it. The real lesson in all this is one we already know - all things in moderation, including how and when we use the internet to entertain ourselves, to see the world, and to communicate with those we love.

"I looked around at the world, instead of reading about it on the phone." - Jake Reilly, The Amish Project

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