After just two days in an oldish house with no internet: there is something NOBLE about being “off-line”. (Good reason for the quotation marks.)
How come, noble? That is the word that comes to mind. A big word, contrasted by ignoble.
Off-line is of course an extremely biased word. Off-line with what, online with what?
This has to do with being. I am, my being exists, and is aware of itself. In this I am very much online with important, essential aspects of existence. But it has nothing to with wi-fi or internet. I am online with creation.
Sitting in front of my computer, on the other hand, with 20 or more open tabs in my browser, unless I have two different browsers open (!), and juggling with Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, stats, WordPress and I don’t know how many other balls, is pure confusion. It has almost nothing to do with presence. Writing this post I already feel myself slipping away.
Language gives it away so elegantly. “Surfing the net”. Surfing is an activity done on the surface of water. On-line with the Net — superficiality, forgetfulness, absence.
Or shall we claim that during the minutes and hours we sit with our computers or “smart” phones we are aware of our butt on the chair, our hand on the computer mouse, our eyes riveted on the monitor? Are we there? Or have we forgotten the very room we sit in? If we are not in the room, where are we? Surely we have not teleported to some other room? No, we are still there but we have forgotten it. (And the room has forgotten us.)
The Net draws us out from ourselves. We are nowhere when surfing. We may be in time (now) but not in space (here).
These two internet-free days I was only aware of furniture, smells, old books and wallpapers — and myself. The analog world does not draw me out, or away. It houses me, envelops me, anchors me.
Enough writing. Outernity is sucking me dry.