Any day now, some biologist will declare that the DNA of the average 21st-century person is organized not into chromosomes, but into IP addresses.
I, for one, won’t be shocked by any such announcement, because that’s the extent to which computers and the Internet seem to have taken over everyday living. Our lives now stand divided into two categories: online and offline. That we need a separate label to describe life without a computer/computer network is quite telling.
In the past couple of years, I have often wished to slip back into the past to a simpler time when I did not feel throttled by information or the need to access it 24/7. Occasionally, I managed to stay offline for a day here, a few hours there. Since these short periods of digital disconnect were more often than not enforced by power cuts, a faulty Internet connection, etc., I couldn’t really take credit for them.
Just a week before Christmas, as I packed to leave on a vacation, I decided that it was the right time to conduct my “completely offline” experiment. I went ahead with the week-long attempt to stay away from all things digital. Here’s the story in detail.