After a summer without regular internet access, what is there to report? That I got more reading done than usual? Watched fewer pointless videos? Stared at my phone instead of my computer screen? All of the above, I guess.
Not that I was divorced entirely from internet connection. My work required much computer time, much internet. But home after the day's work, I was struck by how accustomed I'd grown to the sounds of netflix, youtube, even, occasionally, amazon prime.
Even worse was checking the news--a slow, stilted scrolling through the overgrowth of 3G connection. What's the point in a smartphone if it can't meet my attention span? I want to know what's going on, and I want it now.
Then, a low-tech solution: the radio. Suddenly the house was filled with sound. Even better, listening had me using my imagination. Instead of watching a story, I pictured it. Wow, how my brain was working. I pictured it lighting up like fireworks. I felt such a virtuous feeling.
Then another thought: wasn't radio once the hot new thing? And then television? And then color tv? And next video games? And now endless internet time.
One hundred and fifty-odd years ago, rapt crowds would watch for three hours while Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debated their way across the nation. Think of that. Three hours of intense concentration on two figures belting out arguments half a football field away.
Could we do it now? Of course we could. Just take away our internet, tv, radio, and, as long as you're at it, our electric lights. But before you do, there's a a cat video I want to be sure I catch.