As I took a cell phone and netbook, it is inaccurate to claim I “unplugged” on a recent trip to Chicago. I did however go without newspapers and without thinking about work and the many things left behind, and being outside my routines and therefore in a sense outside my habitual self, I do feel as though I had.
It is a telling metaphor, this unplugging. One employs the word in its broad sense, not only to the electrical circuit but to one’s own body and, specifically, brain. Such today is the comprehensive material burden of connectedness, a word which could once have been rendered only in human terms, but now invokes the clichés of social media. Pulling out the electrical plug seems uncomplicated enough. It is so easy to walk away from connections of the Internet sort that not to do so has become the only thing easier. Continue reading On Not Being There