So this super cute tech blogger named Paul Miller (who kinda looks like Win Butler of Arcade Fire, juss sayin’) is getting some buzz by announcing he will disconnect from the Internet for a whole entire year. Well, good for him. He gets into all the details in his final Internet post on Verge. Sounds kinda like an extended vacation if you ask me, especially in the impending summer months. But I felt as though it was all a bit tame after reading press and watching his hilarious promo video.

Kudos to him for raising the topic of how reliant we are on something that was meant to enhance life, not become life. How many dinner parties, concerts, vacations, romantic evenings in or picnics in the park have you been to that could use a little bit of disconnecting? Maybe the next time whatever is happening around you is better than What Should We Call Me, turn off da iPhone. We’re still grappling with this new magical technological world as a species, and haven’t quite found a balance with it yet. Disconnecting could be the next new cultural movement waiting to happen. Technology is good. But maybe not all the time.

Especially given Paul’s career field it’s quite the challenge. But IMHO I think he could take it a bit further, if he has the intention of being the poster boy for People Giving Up The Internet. Based on his own rules he’s stating for the year-long experiment, he’s holding onto his iPad, laptop and cell phone. They’re just not connected to the Internet. He’s giving up texting (and by default, sexting). He’s allowed to play video games on his computer, just ones that aren’t online. He’s allowed to make phone calls. He’s going to read things out of books, and still do his job, just in a low tech-medieval-times kinda way. Ok, using thumb drives and delivering them to his colleagues by hand. Anything less than emailing and Yousendit seems downright medieval these days.

He’s going to really miss GIFs. They’re his favourite.

I’m sure he’s gonna go through major withdrawals and be banging his head against the wall. I’m sure he’s going to have glorious life changing days and nights basking in present IRL moments. I’m sure at times he’ll be bored out of his skull and be fiending a secret midnight trip, in disguise, to an Internet cafe. And I can totally imagine his pain. But I think disconnecting from the Internet but still staying attached to your devices is kinda like quitting smoking and switching to nicotine gum. Why not go cold turkey? Why not go all the way? Like no fingertips touching a computer for a year. That would surely make for a more intense story arc for his book at the end of this all (which I’m assuming is going to happen).

OR how about this: Why not really embody the concept of “disconnecting” and go stay on an organic farm in South American somewhere, live off the land, chop down banana trees with a machete and make your own lip salve out of medicinal herbs? You will likely not miss a single GIF.

~ Becca Lemire