Photo by Cao Boi
One of my favorite websites is Adbusters, an organization dedicated to, well, busting the mental hold advertising has on us. I first learned about Adbusters from seeing their monthly magazine which features interesting articles about culture jamming and anarchist philosophies. Its pretty scary how much corporations and the media know about you. To marketers and advertisers there is a dollar sign over everyone’s head and one way or another they are going to find a slogan or angle to convince you to buy their product or service. That’s where Adbusters comes in, using similar tactics and methods to create a sweet advertising campaign around a ridiculous product like “New and Improved Crap in a Can”. Some of their mock ads are really awesome.
One of their campaigns is the digital detox, which basically means cutting yourself off from as many electronic forms of communication and information for a week. No cell Phone, no television, no digital music, and especially no internet. The idea is that you aim towards having a week of real experiences (like riding your bike, reading a book, visiting friends in person, etc.) and steer clear of the three second attention span that has been created by text messaging and facebook chat.
I don’t have a television in my house at all (a sin for someone calling themselves a huge Survivor fan) and I try to limit how long I talk on the phone. Getting rid of music will be difficult, but I will still be driving my car to and from work and may be tempted to play the radio then. The computer is the real problem. I always watch TV, listen to music, and talk with people through the internet. Kicking the web for a week will be the hardest part for me.
I am not against the digital by any means,.. in fact in a previous blog entry I kind of outlined how I believe the future of computing will be humanity’s savior (if you want a interesting look into how crazy I am check out my Artificial Intelligence entry). In the past weeks I have just found myself online more and more and shying away from the friends in my real life. That’s the problem with the internet; it is steadily becoming everything you need!
Well, except authentic face to face communication. That cannot be replicated, at least not yet. If you are interested in unplugging for a bit, or what Adbusters is all about, you can check out the Digital Detox at http://www.adbusters.org/campaigns/digitaldetox
Oh, and you have 299 new messages in your inbox.