Anyone who’s wondered why we’ve been idle for a week? Well, this was the second year that Adbusters promoted Digital Detox Week; it started on 19 April and ended last Saturday.
The first Digital Detox Week was announced in an article
by Zachary Colbert titled ‘The Era of Simulation: Consequences of a digital revolution’:
The World Wide Web has infused our society with an all-encompassing reliance on media technologies … at all times we are obligated to communicate and to be tuned in to entertainment and information. We are objectified as ‘users’ not people. The products of our digital revolution run our daily routines. We are no longer free agents – technical extensions to our physical selves have become as vital as a limb or an organ.
This is what Jean Baudrillard called ‘the era of simulation’, we are being herded in preordained directions, dictated by omniscient authors. By following hyperlinks on Wikipedia, for example, we are following someone else’s premeditated path through information and jumping from one piece of subject matter to another. All too often users mistake these connections as their own and continually follow externalized thought processes, relying less and less on their natural associations.
Colbert is pretty dystoptic:
As we move from an industrial civilization into an information civilization, we’re online and we’re locked in. Try a digital detox for even just a day, I bet you will fail, I already have.
You the lost the bet! With one post exception, we’ve been able to stay away for a whole week.
See also my earlier post on this.