Disconnection Notice UPDATED: (Progress not going well – Last updated September 22 at 2:45 a.m.)
I broke down and purchased a smartphone, got the iPhone 4S, which will get the job done for work. Now sure how much longer I will be working for the paper. It remains to be seen. I would say one more year and then I move onto something else for a while. I have learned a lot, but I am starting to feel like a big fish in a small pond.
Facebook is shut down for a while, I really have no clue how this is going to turn out. I don’t have a lot of confidence in myself. I tried it before when I first moved back to New Hampshire in November, 2009 and several other times. I am pretty much addicted to it. I will actually be posting tweets, which will post to Facebook, but as far as logging onto Facebook I am going to try and quit cold turkey. Probably won’t work out well. I’m trying to peel myself away from technology one step at a time.
Facebook seems like to be the biggest waste (fixed per Hannah’s keen eye) of time that I have ever run into. It does have its benefits, but imagine how many man hours are wasted on a social networking sites in offices throughout the United States. Tonight, I noticed how people were so tethered to their phones and relying on them and it’s only getting worse. You go to a bar and everyone is on their smartphones. Shouldn’t they call them DumbAssPhones? I feel the direct connection to information makes society lazy.
Remember the time when you couldn’t remember the name of a movie star or band or something, well now there is an App for that. Is that good? You wonder why all the good thinkers come from outside the United State and how our current society is being affected. I used to hate that, but it felt so good when you could remember someone’s name or an obscure fact that no one else knew.
On a more positive note, I volunteered at the United Way Day of Caring and worked together with a fourth grade class at Alton Central School and I can’t remember having that much fun in a long time. I am definitely doing it again next year.
Other Progress: The TV is done. I mean I barely watch TV as it is, no need for cable. I think the Daily Show and The Colbert Report will get an exception. One hour of TV can’t be too bad but I will watch them online. I have been consuming and reading more and more lately. I starting reading the Globe every morning about 3 weeks ago. I just can’t read enough. I love READING!!!
I can remember when I was kid, my sister and I were allowed one hour of television during the summer. Do you know what show we chose to watch? The Price Is Right. I still love that show, but that’s another topic for another time. With no TV and no Facebook, how will I get to watch random videos of people making fools of themselves? I probaby won’t. I’m still trying to finish reading 3 books. Email will be the best way to correspond with me during my facebook shut down time, timcroes @ gmail.com but I will continue to accept text messages and phone calls at 603.998.4022. I used to be anti-text but I now think texting is actually a healthier form of contact. But then again there is no tone in text messaging, or it is very hard to establish it with 100% accuracy. Btw, how much time do people save by eliminating single letters from words like “txt” does dropping the e really make a huge difference? I don’t use short-form in texting because I am against it and that form of communication is why a high school student nowadays can’t carry a decent conversation, not all kids, just the majority of them.
I will also gladly accept letters, notes, etc. sent to my mailing address: Tim Croes PO Box 1132 Alton, NH 03809. Back to the distractions, hopefully getting rid of Facebook will allow me to sit down at my computer and actually write. I know when I was writing for the newspaper in Virginia, I wasn’t allowed to use facebook, it was actually blocked. There were plenty of other distractions on the Internets that got my attention and took my focus away from the task at hand. Below is the current version of the essay that I penned six years ago while monitoring a study hall at Brewster Academy:
Six years ago, A Perfect Circle released their new CD, Emotive, with a cover of Lennon’s Imagine. Isn’t it amazing how words written so far ago can be applied to today? Do you know why? It is simple. The Beatles were like no other band in the history of music. They started a revolution, not a revolution in music. A revolution in society!!!
Growing up in the 60s and 70s during a time when drugs were used by everyone must have been intense. That is when my parents grew up and I wish I could go back in time. You know why it was so cool? Computers, cell phones, mp3 players, 24 hour news networks, all that stuff didn’t exist. People had their music and that was it. I mean television existed, but it wasn’t a controlling medium like it is today. Reality TV is the biggest load of bullshit that the media has ever produced and anyone associated with most reality television in general should be fired. “Television, you are fired!!!” I actually like shows like the Amazing Race and Survivor, even though I don’t watch them I understand the appeal. Imagine E-mail (electronic mail for all those who forgot what the E stood for), text messaging and any type of communication that wasn’t around five, 10, even 15 years ago. What effect has it had on society? Society now is so fast, get it, get it, got it, phew I checked my e-mail on my cell phone and got my stock quote. That saved me at least five minutes. Why doesn’t everyone just get some electric scissors? (Thank you David Cross for pointing that out) Do you ever think about growing up 20 years ago when computers weren’t as integrated into society as they are now? It would be so different. I mean I know nine-year-olds who have cell phones with a camera built into it that also checks their e-mail.
What is next on the technology scale? Imagine next time you want to make a phone call to someone on their cell phone and wonder if they have a landline. I tried the whole landline experiment, but it didn’t work out. The line was too expensive and no one would call it because calls from cell phones to cell phones are free.
The benefits of a cell phone are far outweighed by its effect on society as a whole. Same thing goes for GPS (It is like porn on the internet, it is here to stay in a big way.) Who knows if it really gives you cancer? If it does my whole generation will die of “brain cancer” by the time that we are 40. I wish I could get rid of my cell phone, but as a reporter I kind of need it to do my job.
Take an hour, a day, a week, a weekend, a month, something and don’t use anything electric just go outside and do something. Go on the porch and read a good book. What you don’t have any books? Go to library and borrow a good book. (Right now I’m reading biographies by Steve Jobs and Walter Chronkite) Don’t buy a magazine, you will get distracted and not read it or just throw it in the bathroom for toilet time. I guarantee you will enjoy yourself. I love listening to music, but recently have been reading a lot and I love listening to music and reading. I find it just as good. I mean when you read a 200-page hardcover book that is a commitment. It is not something that is going to be over in two hours like a crappy movie like “The Watch”.
This essay was first written while I was monitoring a study hall at Brewster Academy in the Fall of 2005. It has continued to grow over time and any comments, letters, e-mails, support, arguing against.
My new goal is be off the grid by January 2014 and live in the woods in a cabin with no connections to the modern world.