Sunday, August 29, 2010

Unhappy Hipsters of Yesteryear

Bobby tried to summon the demons of his nightmares from the fire, asking that they curse his family.

I love the blog Unhappy Hipsters for the great captions, but I will confess I am a huge fan of most of the architecture they mock daily. And Paleo Future is another great blog I've only recently come across, where I found this picture (click for large) from the Sunday comics section of an old Chicago Tribune. The copy describes a future in which we will record TV shows. And TVs that will produce images in three dimensions. Dad is watching just such a show. Mom is reclined on a chair with headphones on, lost in some crazy future-jazz. Little Sally is pulling a book off the Electronic Home Library shelf, the contents of which are being projected onto the family's ceiling. Not a bad set of predictions from 1959.

And the other thing this comic got right was the isolation such technology would bring about. Everyone walks around today with their earbuds in, not speaking, lost in their own entertainment. Texting at the dinner table, connected at all times.

Little Bobby is the unhappy hipster in the above scene, gazing into the fire, remembering how it used to be when they did stuff together as a family, nostalgic for the life he's never known, one not overrun with gadgets and noise.

I'm seeing a lot of articles lately about the dangers of being connected full-time. The authors suggest such remedies as "unplugging" for a weekend. Or they create a "day of fasting" from Facebook, as one pastor recommended recently in a transparent effort to create more press for his thriving Megachurch, the better to be seen by "the world" as a hip, relevant church

The problem gets talked about plenty, that of the over-connected society, but the solutions offered all seem gimmicky and temporary to me. What good is a day away from the technology if you're just jumping back in on Monday again fully connected, and likely more so than usual since you missed out on so much over the weekend? That's like taking a day off from binge-drinking. So I guess it's time for me to once again "unveil" a program I created about eight years ago. My program suggests you set aside a space where "connecting" is simply not tolerated. I call it the MediaFreeZone™.

It's a very simple program and will only require you to be a little disciplined to make it work. The details are here. Granted, the MediaFreeZone™ may end up being a room in your house no one wants to ever be in, but I think it's worth a shot.

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  • That's going to make it mighty damned tough to oust you as the mayor of your media free zone on foursquare.

    By Anonymous Thought Leader, at August 29, 2010 at 4:00 PM  

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