I Unplugged For Two And A Half Hours And Now I’m An Objectively Better Person Than You
I was like you, once. Obsessed with my online reputation, getting into pointless arguments on Twitter, refreshing my news feeds every five seconds. I was wasting my life away, one click at a time. But then I stepped away from the Internet for a while and taught myself an important lesson about what really matters in life. I got all of my news and social interaction from the real world for a full two-and-a-half hours. And, in doing so, I became a better person than I used to be, and a better person than all of the people who are still living my old, toxic lifestyle.
Oh, if only you too could understand the freedom you feel when you unplug from this relentlessly fast-paced world of ours for part of an afternoon. I read a newspaper. Outside. You know, in that little place called reality? I felt the sun on my skin. I listened to birds sing. I smelled a flower, and it smelled like life. Best of all, I actually learned something about the world. While people like you were busy arguing over what some celebrity did or what some politician said, I read in the paper that my school board needs funds for 437 new pencil sharpeners. It might affect my tax rate by as much as 0.0004 percent. Isn’t it fascinating to learn about what might really affect you in this world for once?
And that was just the start of my blissfully unplugged existence. I did most of a crossword. Yes, I had to look up a few answers, but when was the last time you answered a real question? I went for a walk. I caught up on my texting. I got some ice cream with an old Groupon I had kicking around. I watched two episodes of Friends… on DVD. And all the while I didn’t think about my 47 Twitter followers for a single moment. That’s called freedom, my friends. And, while you’re shackled to your “email” and your “news” and your “friends” and your “job,” I have it. It is, as you could never appreciate, a wonderful thing.
You can do what I did, if you want to better yourself. It’s a challenge, believe me. If you had asked me this morning if I could have accomplished what I have, I would have said no. But that was a younger, more self-centered me. Now it doesn’t bother me if people are liking my tweets or not. I don’t have to check every hour. Three times a day is enough for me. That’s called self-restraint, and it’s a powerful tool that I have mastered.
Fair warning: simple-minded people obsessed with their virtual status will try to talk you out of this lifestyle. They’ll say things like “Oh wow, my god, where have you been?” and “Thank god you’re okay!” You’ll try to have an actual, face to face conversation with them, and they’ll ignore you while they go on and on about what they read online. About something you could no longer care less about. But its not your fault that they can’t appreciate the lost art of conversation.
I had a real, honest to goodness talk with a complete stranger today. I went to my local coffee shop, pulled up a chair next to a lonely old man, and asked him about his political views. We had a long, passionate talk. And after I called him stupid and left, I thought about that conversation and realized that it was so much more meaningful to me because it had taken place offline. Why? Because we could really see each other as people who were making a connection.
So unplug from your life for a while. You’ll be happier and healthier for it. And if you do decide to take this bold dive into a better lifestyle, don’t forget to tweet about your journey so I can keep up with how you’re doing, then convince myself I’m above all of this if it looks like you’re doing better than me.