Casey Cep argues that the movement to disconnect from the Internet is pointless:

Unplugging seems motivated by two contradictory concerns: efficiency and enlightenment. Those who seek efficiency rarely want to change their lives, only to live more productively; rather than eliminating technology, they seek to regulate their use of it through Internet-blocking programs like Freedom and Anti-Social, or through settings like Do Not Disturb. The hours that they spend off the Internet aren’t about purifying the soul but about streamlining the mind. The enlightenment crowd, by contrast, abstains from technology in search of authenticity, forsaking e-mail for handwritten letters, replacing phone calls with face-to-face conversations, cherishing moments instead of capturing them with cameras. Both crowds are drawn to events like the Day of Unplugging, and some members even pay premiums to vacation at black-hole resorts that block the Internet and attend retro retreats that ban electronics. Many become evangelists of such technological abstinence, taking to social media and television, ironically, to share insights from their time in the land of innocence.

It’s a priggish impulse that I indulged for years; despite enjoying much of what the Internet had to offer, I fancied myself a Luddite because I refused to create a Facebook account. I threw many stones from my glass house, criticizing my friends’ digital connections and their endless attention to feeds and posts and pokes. And yet, while I didn’t poke, I did text; I didn’t write posts, but I did send e-mails.


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