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Enough Already: Tuning out and turning off in the electronic age 

Thoughts on Facebook, e-mail, cell phones and our over-connected world.

A modern day social outcast has to be anyone who doesn’t text, doesn’t own a smart phone, doesn’t Tweet and more than likely finds, like Betty White, Facebook a colossal waste of time.

So excuse me while I post that last paragraph on the “walls” of my 5,000 Facebook friends. That and I’ll ask them to “like” this blog, which I’m sure at least 3,500 of them will.

What I won’t tell them is how I went totally old school last week and read two magazines. Magazine reading is so tedious.

One magazine was the October 25 issue of The New Yorker, which I hear was once pretty big with the sophisticated crowd. I’m not sophisticated, but I read it anyway.

In an article entitled, “E-Mail Auto-Response” author Martin Marks stated: “ I would like to say that the Internet has become a veritable buzzing, stinging hornet’s nest of pings and pongs and klings and klangs, so please do not e-mail, text message, instant-message, direct-message, Facebook-message (if you’re still on MySpace or Friendster, that’s just plain creepy), Facebook-chat, iChat, tweet, retweet (don’t even mention Twister mentions), StumbleUpon, LinkIn with, zoom into, Goggle Buzz, Plaxify, Jigsaw, Digg, Skype, Spoke, poke, flick or tag me. Don’t boxball, squareball, jingl. Jangl, mingl, mangl, FairShare, Foursquare, twosquare, do-si-do, or swing your laptop round and round. I just want to be left alone.”

Wow, is Marks some sort of crazy person? I mean, I like to share every moment of my existence with, like, everyone.

The other magazine I made the mistake of reading was the October issue “Smithsonian.” It was super boring, especially the column about cell phones by some dinosaur writer named Ted Gup.

Gup said: “IMO (In My Opinion), we’ve gone too far. Not everything has to be shared the moment it is conceived. (We cover our mouths when we cough, why not when we think?) I say that any thought that doesn’t have a shelf life beyond five seconds is best left unarticulated.”

On further review (OFR), both writers make a great deal of sense. But how and where does one get away from all the clatter and chatter?

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