Unplugged: In week without Internet, he didn't miss much

By J. Freedom du Lac
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 28, 2010

I realized that I don't particularly care about what I don't know.

For instance, this tweet: "About to watch film on The Doors on PBS by Tom 'Living in Oblivion' DiCillo, even though I stopped loving them after 1st album."

And this: "Found: black Merona sweater vest (size small) in the hallway between the women's restroom and the kitchen on the fourth floor," as someone wrote on The Post's internal messaging system while I was offline for 114 hours last week.

The Internet is like a faucet that's always running full-out, saturating my brain with news, gossip, gripes, japes, bootlegged Prince videos, status updates, ranked lists, baseball scores, Josh Ritter songs, http://funnyordie.com videos and long-form stories about everything from the guy who made a fortune on credit-default swaps to the roots of fantasy baseball.

The flood is hardly overwhelming -- no information-overload rant here -- but it's not exactly necessary, either. After the experiment ended, I went back to see what I'd missed. I received 450 e-mails (not counting spam), along with 24 Facebook messages and 231 more on The Post's message system. I missed 37 text messages, including one from my wife asking why I wasn't online, and thousands of tweets, which I'd normally scan so that I'd know, in semi-real time, what's going on in every corner of the world that interests me -- and even in some that don't, like Cleveland.

I decided I hadn't missed much of anything, aside from an invitation to a poker tournament, a funny observation about a particular country singer's forehead and this "correction," which I received from three different friends:

"In our Saturday post about the California Democratic Party's ad . . . we described the abrupt ending to our conversation with CDP Chairman John Burton. Through his spokesman, Burton on Monday complained that he had been misquoted. Burton says he didn't say '[Expletive] you.' His actual words were, 'Go [expletive] yourself.' Calbuzz regrets the error."

As they say online, where I've been forwarding that item to friends and colleagues all day:


Internet, I take it all back. I can't quit you.

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