Twice a day

A correspondent has adopted a diet plan I will recommend to others; I am even considering it myself. He wanted to cut down on his Internet consumption, with a view to leaner and meaner; but not to cut it out entirely, just yet. He wasn’t on the Internet at all, in a previous century. Time to move hesitantly backwards. Later, perhaps, he will be more decisive.

Closing his Twitter and Facebook accounts was something he had already done, along with closing several others. He’s also getting into the habit of exiting websites, the moment he’s confronted with “soft pornography,” or garish advertising displays.

“I wanted to detoxify myself on several levels.¬†Why replace Twitter with Parler? The whole idea of social media stinks.”

He did replace his Google search engine, however, with something more frustrating called Bing, that was working less obviously for The Other Side. He won’t order anything through Amazon, thus saving himself a lot of money. Too, in a gloriously joyful moment, he smooshed his Apple handheld thingy (outdated), with an antique sledgehammer (found on Ebay, he admits).

As for Bezos, Gates, Pichai, and that Ho-bearded pothead in San Francisco, he wishes them well. “I pray for their conversion to the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.”

Gentle reader will guess this man lives in Montana (though originally from New York), and was a Trump voter. His current motto is, “Cancel them before they cancel you.” He likes to hum the old Shaker hymn, “Tis the gift to be simple,” while swinging his sledgehammer, or his glistening axe.

He has retained email, however, after transferring to a less curious, intrusive server. He did not wish to eliminate distant friends, just because they’d forgotten how to moisten postage stamps. But he reminds that sealed, handwritten notes, make it harder for Big Tech to “follow” you.

For that, and for “essential services” such as Idleposts, he has his new diet plan: “twice a day at nine o’clock.” That’s when he connects, for up to half an hour, thus restricting his buzz to an hour a day in total. He uses a loud, slightly rusting, pre-digital cooking timer to signal when this period is up.

Never having subscribed to most of these services, I have less emulative work to do. Even these Idleposts are first drafted by hand, although I mess with them in pixels. I was raised in graphite technology, albeit with an advanced, mechanical pencil (gift of my father, for my ninth birthday). I find it is still useful, to avoid lateral thinking, or wandering unintentionally “outside the box.”

“Reduce your electronic footprint,” Mike suggests. “Sure, The Enemy can find you and arrest you, but why make it convenient for him?”


OBSERVATION. — A gentle reader in Arizona writes, regarding pencils, that he grew up with one in his hand, and through his subsequent career in architecture, “planning,” and art. His brain has been connected, through his hand, to pencil, pen, or brush, for some time now; rather than to a keyboard. Too, his brain reaches through other simple tools; and there is an internal connection between brain and heart. “It is rather difficult,” he writes, “and almost always painful, to caress the ones you love with a keyboard.”