Unplugging is not the only way to take control of your relationship to the Internet. If you want to create a more meaningful life and a healthier world, there are ways to pursue that online as well as offline.
But you need to find tools that are more nuanced than the off switch. If you’re turning off the computer because you want to spend your time with intention and integrity, that’s terrific; just remember that same motivation the next time you turn your computer back on.
That said, the off switch has its place, and for the next two weeks, I’m trying to rediscover mine while we take a family vacation. Nothing as extreme as going offline – I said this was vacation, not torture – but definitely spending few hours at a desk and more hours with my kids. And that means less time writing.
So I thought these next two weeks would be a good time to go back into the archives and dig up some of the ideas I’ve played with over the past five years of blogging, and particularly over the past three years in which I’ve been focused on this question of meaningful living online. In the next two weeks I’ll share a series of short posts that present practices or tips for meaningful living online, as blogged over the past several years here, with reflections on how these practices have played out for me personally.
I’m going to start with a practice that I included in my post on 5 ways to shape the soul of the Internet, which was kind of the grandmother to my recent post on 10 reasons to stop apologizing for your online life:
Fuse the power of money and technology. The soul of the Internet is not just analogous to the soul of money; they’re interconnected. The Internet is our bank, our shopping mall, our charity box. Taking our financial transactions, shopping and giving online is an opportunity to transform our dysfunctional experiences on those fronts into more meaningful and effective interventions. You can shop at Etsy instead of Overstock, or supplement habitual workplace charitable giving with personal investments on Kiva.
That idea, along with the post it came from, was inspired by The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist. Give it a read…and let me know how you bring intention and integrity to the way you spend money online.