Paul Miller chronicles his journey.
And now I’m supposed to tell you how it solved all my problems. I’m supposed to be enlightened. I’m supposed to be more “real,” now. More perfect.
But instead it’s 8PM and I just woke up. I slept all day, woke with eight voicemails on my phone from friends and coworkers. I went to my coffee shop to consume dinner, the Knicks game, my two newspapers, and a copy of The New Yorker. And now I’m watching Toy Story while I glance occasionally at the blinking cursor in this text document, willing it to write itself, willing it to generate the epiphanies my life has failed to produce.
I didn’t want to meet this Paul at the tail end of my yearlong journey.
Actually, he begins his year more active, productive, focused, and happy. But eventually feels cut off.
The economist’s interpretation: the partial equilibrium (one person cutting out) is negative. The general equilibrium (all cutting out) could be positive. Although I doubt it.
I’m influenced by the sense that Americans had a back patio culture rather than a front porch culture well before the Internet, so offline life is not nearly so interactive even without the Internet.