I want to start rejecting the world of complex technology entirely. That means no laptop, no Internet, no phone, no washing machine, no tapped water, no gas, no fridge, no television or electronic music; no anything requiring the copper-mining, oil-rigging, plastics-manufacturing essential to the production of a single toaster or solar photo-voltaic system.
That probably sounds like I will given up a lot of stuff. But while I intend to be clear and honest about the difficulties involved in the change coming, especially living in the current digital age, I’m just as fascinated in exploring lessons about life,that lie ahead in my future as myself, society, the natural world. My world would have stopped between the years of 1800 – 1840. That would the years of my tipping point.
Rejecting technologies that my generation considers to be the basic necessities of life is not done on a thoughtless whim. My writing is different, my pencil unaided by both copy-and-paste and the easy delete, two word-processing functions reflective of a generic, transient and whimsical culture; and it has been a while since the media and publishing worlds worked by snail mail. It is like being back in grammar school days and back to having a old fashion pen pals writing hand written letters back of fourth.
Technology destroys people. We’re already cyborgs (pacemakers, hearing aids) of a sort, and are well on our way to the type of Big Brother dystopia of the techno-utopians. And look at the state of us. Our toxic, sedentary lifestyles are causing industrial-scale afflictions of cancer, mental illness, obesity, heart disease, auto-immune disorders and food intolerances, along with those slow killers, loneliness, clock-watching and meaninglessness. We seem to spend more time watching porn than we do making love. Relationships are breaking down because we stare into screens instead of eyes, while social media are making us antisocial and mindless souls.
Living without complex technology has its own difficulties, especially for people like me who were never initiated into those ways. But already I much prefer it. Instead of making a living to pay bills, I would making living off my life. Contrary to expectation, my biggest issue is not being bored, but how to do all the things I would love to do. Of course hand-washing your clothes can be a pain sometimes, but that minor inconvenience is hardly worth destroying the natural world over.
We know that, at the very least, some technologies are harming our natural world, our societies and, ultimately, ourselves. Therefore we can recognize the need to reject some technologies. If we’re to avoid technological extremism we’re going to have to draw a line in the sand somewhere. I’ve drawn mine, and I will only move it in the direction of my new home.