As Jerry and I drove across the serene Sonoran desert, I noticed smoke signals near the mountains on the horizon. Puffs of dirt whooshed upward toward the clouds. We know the rising dust as dust devils but they always remind me of smoke signals. I said to Jerry, “Just think. Before email or telephones, Native American tribes used smoke signals for (long-distant) communication. I wonder if they ever had miscommunication? Maybe three puffs of smoke meant ‘we’re doing well’ and four puffs of smoke meant ‘it’s war.’ What if they meant to send three puffs and accidentally sent a fourth puff?”
What if you decided to live one year without social media? Or for that matter, live without any electronic devices hooked up to the Internet? Could you do it?
I’m reading the book (on my Kindle), What Falls from the Sky by Esther Emery, a true story written by a young woman who decides on a whim to live an entire year without the Internet. The author explains she had become addicted to scrolling and tapping. She argued with people she didn’t know in comment threads. She had lost authentic interaction with the real world.