A new book with a rather clever title (Better Off: Flipping the switch on technology) describes the author’s experience of living without technology for 18 months. His discovery, which you can listen to on On Point:
“the people up at dawn and working with their hands on the farm have more leisure time than plugged-in, turbo-charged city folks working 9-to-5. And it is the very “time-saving” technology itself, he concludes, that often robs people’s free time.”
No kidding, sherlock. We’ve all seen the folks who are slaves to their cell phones. The simple solution to that one, in my mind, is to either not answer every call or turn the damned thing off sometimes – thereby reducing expectations that you are available at every moment of every day. Of course, this is an attempt to work within the existing societal fabric. The author, Brende, actually has to move to a community of people interested in the same thing (The Village?) in order to satisfy his nostalgic longing for a time when there was less invasive technology. And that, my friends, is just not realistic. To me, it’s not so much a matter of being better off, but learning to live close to your own ideals within the broader society.