On cutting the cord…

As I mentioned earlier, we had another baby last month. Clare was born on June 23rd and my month-long paternity leave began that day.

During that month I decided to stop using the Internet. The extent of my Internet use was basically Facebook on my iPhone to keep people in the loop with photos of Clare and push out some token status updates.

But for the entire month I didn’t check any email, personal or work-related. I think I spent a grand total of 30 minutes all month skimming through RSS feeds and posting here, and that was about it. I really cut the cord.

It was one of the happiest months of my life, and I really didn’t miss the the Internet at all. Which is good because I think that means I’m not addicted.

Computers are fun too, but nowadays they’re just a tether to something that, in the grand scheme of life and family, isn’t all that important.

I don’t usually read essays masquerading as blog posts because they are dumb…but I found a good one. Some guy I’d never heard of, Paul Graham, wrote a short one called The Acceleration of Addictiveness which basically sums up my feelings about technology these days. It’s a quick read and it uses a word I’d never heard of before – abstemious. He basically argues that, in general, technology (not the Internet specifically) is progressing so quickly these days that it’s enabling new addictions at an unprecedented rate, and that now – more than ever – people need to be cautious when they latch on to something.

I’d just add that spending time with people who matter is kind of the whole point of life. Everything else should just be a means to get you to that point.

I think I just solved the meaning of life. It’s a pretty simple concept to grasp, but it doesn’t really make sense until you have kids.

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