Open letter to the guy who went without Internet for four days: me

Welcome “back”, man.

I know it’s tough to find great participatory journalism projects, something to really throw yourself into these days, and I suppose your “stunt” is just a sign of the times, but still, dude, “to be without Internet”?

Two words, buddy: “Oooooooooooo-ooooh.”

We missed you.

Still, I have to say that when you said you’d be offline for a week, I was impressed. I also thought you’d crack under pressure, especially since you said you’d still use your mobile phone. I was also under the impression that you’d be offline for seven days, because I didn’t realize you were referring to the freelancer’s four-day work week.

But, you went dark, and I’m sure you learned a lot about yourself. I know you were hoping to find out you were, like, the George Bailey of the Internet, but don’t feel bad about your empty Facebook wall. You still got 210 emails in just a few days. That’s a lot! Somebody was thinking about you. Well, spam is in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it? It’s not spam when you’ve subscribed to the newsletter, it’s more like a friend you’ve never met. And never will.

I bet you realized how much time you waste on chatting on the Internet, or crafting those witty – also a case of beauty being in the eye of the beholder, mind you – comments on Facebook. And I bet you felt pretty stupid.

There are so many other ways to waste time. Your doodling is one.

Those little faces you draw on pieces of paper, they’re quite amusing. I like the fact that they’re always smiling that gap-toothed smile. It’s very positive. Even the curly-haired (but straight-bearded) guy with the very dark glasses, who’s got a scar on his forehead is smiling. Not sure what a therapist would say about the characters, though. They’re all men, and men without bodies, too. They’re only male heads. Except that one caveman character, who’s all hair, except for his (very) skinny arms and legs.

I did like your offline ways of wasting time. Eating ice cream with your kids at the mall was a good one. Watching all extra material on the Star Wars DVD was also great. Sitting in the garden, thinking about maybe making a cup of coffee … well, pretty good. Although, that you could definitely do while tweeting.

You did write a fine column in longhand. Of course, only one paragraph of those three pages made it to the finished story, but, as they say: writing is re-writing. It’s supposed to be like that, so don’t worry about not being able to read your own handwriting. It’s the act of putting pen to paper that is key to a good column. That starts the thought process. Besides, those little male heads are funny.

Going offline during the World Cup could be considered cheating since you did sit in front of the TV for six straight hours every day, but I choose to overlook that fact, and instead, I congratulate you for setting a goal for yourself and then persevering. Good job, you did it.

What crazy stunt will you do next? Change your Facebook profile photo? Don’t tell me. I want to read about it on Twitter.

Your biggest fan,

Heads up.

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