Free to Be Disconnected

If you’re reading this essay on, you know that this is a reliable place to find “me,” the me who shares his ideas with the world, whether or not any part of the world is interested. This is where I unilaterally invade my privacy, allowing strangers to read my mind, exposing my beliefs and my doubts, keeping very little secret. You want to know what I think about something? It’s pretty easy to know. My Thoughts are even searchable. Hiding is almost impossible when you’re trying to be unflinchingly honest.

Yet if you’re looking for me on Facebook, I’m not there.

There’s an official Michael Konik Author page, which serves as a publishing conduit for my Thoughts. Dozens – dozens! – of people “like” it. Facebook also offers several Michael Konik Community pages, the equivalent of digital flypaper, where people who are looking for me on Facebook get stuck when they’re lost and confused. In order for the official Author page to be activated, I’m supposed to have a Michael Konik personal page. So I do. I have the mandated minimum number of friends: one. My wife.

I have a Twitter account. My daily and weekly Thoughts get posted there in the form of short hyperlinks. But I don’t tweet, and I don’t “follow” anyone else’s tweets. OMG!

I don’t text. My antiquated mobile phone isn’t smart. It’s old. It has a rigid antenna nub. And no camera. LOL!

Also, I don’t “blog.” Very few readers care what I think; even fewer care about my diet, exercise, travels, extra-curricular amusements, or photogenic relatives. WTF!

Am I a misanthrope? A Luddite? A fool? A loser?

Maybe all four. But primarily I’m someone who cherishes fully examined ideas, not simple glosses; someone who thinks a 140-character limit is acceptable only in medieval epics; someone who wants to prevent his passions and preferences from being treated like commodities.

I reveal these embarrassing details not to confess how behind the times I am but to emphasize how out of step I am with the times. Sure, I know how these newfangled gadgets work, and I’m acutely aware of how integral a “device” is to many modern people. But I’m unconvinced and not seduced. Just as I don’t enjoy most of the movies and TV shows and music that my fellow citizens proclaim Number One, I’m perplexed by everyone else’s compulsion to expose themselves – figuratively and quite literally – on the Internet, along with their children, their family and their friends.

Another old-fashioned concept: friends. My wife (as well as millions of others) has 5,000 of them on Facebook. I don’t think I know 5,000 people, let alone consider them friends. Strangers are welcome to the entire archive of my candidly composed essays, not what my hot nephew looks like with his shirt off.

No smartphone. No texting. No Facebook. No Twitter. I’m free.

I’m still here and present. But I’m free.


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