The Garden

A blog by Marijn van Hoorn

The Winter of Being Less Online

Marijn van Hoorn

So i’ve been giving that CGP Grey video, “Your Theme”, some thought. The concept of the video is that instead of a new year’s resolution, which is a specific goal, easy to miss, spread out over a year — a timespan so vast that on the human scale it might as well be forever — a better alternative is to set yourself a seasonalα theme, which is more like a general direction to guide your path of life towards. Say, if it were the Autumn of Reading, you might choose to read a book in your free time instead of doomscrolling on your computer, or spend your hard-earnt money at a bookstore instead of at a fast-food restaurant. (Or go to a library, and spend nothing at all!)

I’ve decided, then, that the winter of 12020–21 will be the Winter of Being Less Online. By “Less Online” i don’t mean that i’m going to cut all the Ethernet cables and smash my router into bits; instead i intend on giving myself an escape from the 24/7 cycle of outrage and clicks.

I would like to, if given the chance, take a walk in the woods rather than doomscrolling or idly browsing slot-machine-like apps on the toilet. I would like to reject being sucked into caring about the eccentric opinions of a stranger half the world away. And i am sick, sick to death, of always knowing that Someone Is Angry or Wrong on the Internet, of always knowing what some local state legislator in far-flung America thinks, of getting drawn into depressing arguments about all the ills of the world.

And so, this January, February, and (two-thirds of) March, i will be doing something about it, and whenever possible removing myself from those situations and placing myself in ones probably better for my mental health. Happy new year, all.