'Unplugging'? You're Just Ignoring the Real World

Our digital lives matter, Casey Cep argues
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2014 12:40 PM CDT
'Unplugging'? You're Just Ignoring the Real World

Earlier this month, people around the country swore off all things digital in the fifth annual National Day of Unplugging. It's an understandable response to our "age of technological anxiety," writes Casey Cep at the New Yorker. "What sex was for the Puritans, technology has become for us." Of course we want to escape into the real world. "And yet the 'real' world, like the 'real' America, is an insidious idea," Cep writes. "It suggests that the selves we are online aren't authentic."

The truth is that our digital lives are real. We work, socialize, and even fall in love online—about a third of recently married couples met that way. " In that way, the unplugging movement is the latest incarnation of an ageless effort to escape the everyday, to retreat from the hustle and bustle of life." But the truth is, none of us really want to lose our digital citizenship. These are temporary breaks from which we always return. "We are only ever tourists in the land of no technology." Click for Cep's full column. (Read more National Day of Unplugging stories.)

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