A 21st Century Hermit

I regret that I live in the time of social media.

Not that I avoid the Internet. I do read Internet articles. Although I regret that I have commented on some of those articles. Now I try to keep the comment section closed. That has failed a few times, but at least recently I have refrained from leaving my own comments there.

With Twitter, I began to hate myself and some other people on that site. So I left abruptly. No regrets.

Sometimes I forget that this blog is social media. As I said, it’s mostly for me. I vacillate between boredom, ambiguity, and enthusiasm on these pages.

I don’t dislike the Internet. Every day I go there to look up answers to questions. When did Kurt Vonnegut die? April 11, 2007. When was William Shatner born? March 22, 1931. (Exactly four days before Leonard Nimoy was born.) Sadly, Nimoy just died earlier this year. Thanks for the info Internet.

But sometimes I visit the Internet and stay there in a daze. If ever there would be an opiate of the people, this is it. How many times have I clicked on the weather forecast and strayed to a dozen silly websites and then onto a game of Mahjongg? Let me count the wasted hours.

To maintain my anti-social stance, I will read more books. Real books. Ones that don’t track my reading style nor leave tracks of subliminal messages on my screen (my paranoia is justified, I’m only as crazy as the 21st century makes me). An hour of reading my book is a joy and equals a zero waste of time. I hope the libraries and bookstores don’t shut down before I die. Hell, I may be part of the last generation with this outdated preference.

My social life suffers because of my attitude. I have removed texting ability from my ancient phone. People seem to have a hard time figuring out how to communicate with me. No one calls anyone anymore or wants to leave a voice message. No matter, I may not check my messages for a day or two anyway. So far I have no desire to join Facebook. From what I hear, it can be a mega time-wasting enterprise.

My friends are fictional rather than virtual. I would rather travel in a book than in the real world.

Let me dig up my pencil and paper. Where is that old manual typewriter?  With pen in hand, I’m ready to read and mark up that old book. Excuse me while I step back into the 19th century. Middlemarch is waiting. To make matters worse, this is the second time that I read that tome. I love my social circle.

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5 responses to “A 21st Century Hermit

  1. You are by no means the only one. Unfortunately and inevitably, the “virtually unsociable” are the ones we hear the least from on line.

  2. Can we form a cave person tribe of anti-technology hermits? I have many of the same feelings and paranoia you express here. I lose myself in card games I have played too often and first started obsessing with ROMs of old video games I liked a few years back. I have a hard time reading books because I’d rather be writing them or creating something than giving my life time to the work of someone else. It’s sort of like reading about or viewing the travels of another person instead of getting out there and experiencing them firsthand.

    I am behind the “hip” generation perpetually. My generation never was in step and got brushed aside for the 9/11 and Obamacare crowd. Step aside, ye who came before the year 2000. I see the benefits of some advances, but there’s so much more crap that comes from something potentially beneficial before it’s no longer cool and somehow either becomes like breathing or disappears with the laser disc players…and the Road Warrior. I ask people to email me. They respond like I am Stephen Hawking buzzing my words at them. I am sorry I do not text or sext or tweet or cheat. I like my phone at home with a cord and my computer wired in a way that won’t fry my brain or open my shower stall to the world.

    I will say this in favor of technology, I’d rather type on my laptop than the old typewriter. I really did get infuriated by all my typos and use of white out. I’ll take digital editing over the loud clanging and jamming metal keys any day.

    • Wow, this is the longest comment I ever got! And I got lost a few times.

      Book reading fuels my brain. Even if I never write, the act of reading still enriches my life.

      A thread of humor runs through my post. I don’t use my mother’s old manual typewriter. I float between centuries.

      Finally, Herman Melville traveled all over the world on whaling ships. Emily Dickinson seldom left her room or her garden. Yet they both arrived at some similar points in their writing. Imagination transports.

      • You might be an earth sign (in Chinese astrology). I think earth signs like absorbing the fruits of the earth, including the work of others. I am a wood sign and, thus, a creative spirit who gives fruit. I need my roots/the earth and water to enrich my life…whatever those are in ethereal terms.

        So, you are NOT retirement age?

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