Today, Paul Miller, Senior Editor for The Verge, has announced his intentions to utterly sever his contacts with the Internet for one year. With regard to his decision, Paul writes:
In my wild fantasies, leaving the internet will make me better with my time, vastly more creative, a better friend, a better son and brother… a better Paul. In reality, I’ll still be the same person, just with a huge professional and personal handicap. The things I’ll miss most, like playing StarCraft with my friend from high school who lives in another state, or sharing Rdio and long read links with a co-worker at the next desk over, I hope to replace with more direct interactions, and more “meaningful” activities - whatever that means. The worst case scenario is that a year from now I’ll be found wandering in the woods somewhere, muttering URLs to myself.
Honestly, I think this is an astoundingly admirable decision. Although I contend that the Internet is increasingly transitioning into a harmlessly ubiquitous and endlessly important aspect of life, Paul’s decision to pursue an understanding of the “Internet at a distance” is resoundingly intelligent.
At the end of the day, as Paul remarks in his YouTube video, the Internet is a tool. Perhaps it is an exceedingly useful tool, but that is not to say that it should govern the manner in which we live our lives.
Chasing a broader, unhindered vision of the Internet as one of the most pervasive entities in modern technology is a phenomenally interesting topic, and certainly a marvel to behold. Regardless of Paul’s successes (or failures), I imagine we’ll be graced with fantastic insight into the world in which many of us have submerged ourselves.
As an Internet-based technology writer, Paul’s decision is veritably riddled with hurdles, but I wish him the very best of luck, and I look forward to reading the results of his decision.