Word Nerd Wednesday: Unplug

The topic of this week’s post has absolutely nothing to do with staking out a political position. Certain things are, or used to be, bedrock American principles regardless of whether one stands on the right or left sides of the aisle.

One thing has become infinitely clear however, giving lip service to the principles of liberty isn’t really enough anymore. Being willing to put our inconvenience where our mouths are demands action. Which is why it is important that we be willing to unplug. This post, of course, refers to word as defined by the Urban Dictionary:

Unplug: To take yourself off any social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc. for a few days. To unplug the computer and enjoy real life interactions with live people such as your family and friends. To live life without computer related devices.

Of course, the unplugging I’m referring to is the kind that lasts much longer than a few days. It’s a willingness to recapture the saner parts of life as it was lived before, even if those parts were far less convenient.

Calling your distant Aunt Gertrude at least once a month, rather than depending on Facebook as a means of connection. Sending photos to you family either hard copy, or even via text message. Of course, this necessarily means that only the people you care most about will view your personal photos, but isn’t that better anyway?

The Instagram app that I kept for the sake of viewing pictures of distant relatives? Off the phone. I can always use the browser on my computer every couple of weeks to catch up, but no more free data mining for Facebook. I have been suggesting to people that they direct message all of the contacts they’ve developed a real relationship with on social media, trade contact info, delete those accounts (or at least drop the apps), and start communicating via email or even -gasp!- voice calls and snail mail!

For me, the biggest hindrance to cancelling my Prime account was the notion of 1) having to wait more than two days to receive certain items, and 2) paying for shipping. But you know what? The advantage of refusing to support mega corps that wage political warfare, destroy vendors as well as small brick and mortar businesses and screw print authors is that I’ll shop less. Additionally, the $12 a month I’m saving on the Prime membership will pay for shipping on the vastly reduced numbers of items I’m ordering.

Again, this is not a matter of taking sides politically. Either the “American Dream” which prioritizes free speech and the flourishing of the individual, and encourages entrepreneurship, is worth paying a few extra pennies to encourage, or it isn’t.

In the current zeitgeist, voicing my support for the things that matters means I need to unplug.

21 thoughts on “Word Nerd Wednesday: Unplug

  1. hearthie says:

    Aunt Gertrude does, in fact, want calling. And she doesn’t use FB.

    So, what did Amazon do? I’m not keeping up with the nonsense.

    CYE?? I wrote you yday … am feeling all selfconscious and guilty and stuff.


  2. Elspeth says:

    Yes. We need to revive in-person and voice to voice communication.

    Well as for Amazon, their latest stunt is that they yanked their web hosting services away from Parler, the social media alternative to Twitter that was growing like wildfire over the past several months. So Google and Apple removed their app from their stores.

    Of course, as Amazon -literally- hosts 50% of all web services on the Internet, Parler is no more for the foreseeable future. In essence, they colluded to shut down a site where views that are outside of their belief system were allowed to be expressed.

    Facebook yanked down the pages of several orgs and individuals which express any kind of a conservative view. There is a full on purge on conservative voices from the digital pubic square.

    The left’s response is, “well these are private businesses. They can do whatever they want.” To which I say, “Well the same should go for all the private businesses who are being unwillingly shut down in CA, VA, MI, NY, WA, etc.” Right?

    My personal opinion is that if Christians, sane Dems, and classic liberals who are bemoaning the increasing assault on free speech would leave these platforms en masse, it might make a difference. But none of us wants to be inconvenienced, you know?

    And I will check my email right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. maea says:

    My MIL opened a FB account about a couple years ago, to my surprise. She said it was easier to keep in touch with people and I had to wonder, how was it difficult before? I know she talked to them on the phone, there were lots of birthday, anniversary, and Christmas cards sent. To me, I didn’t see what difference it made other than introducing a level of high school behavior, drama, and unwanted political views.

    Until I realized, it’s because people want real-time updates. It’s not enough anymore to wait till the end of the week to talk to a relative, send email, wait in anticipation for that envelope, the private view Flickr link, etc. Not only are people attracted to convenience, but there’s no delayed gratification anymore. Except for us weirdos who enjoy the slow life, lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. First Class Duck (@FirstClassDuck) says:

    *To which I say, “Well the same should go for all the private businesses who are being unwillingly shut down in CA, VA, MI, NY, WA, etc.” Right?*

    Some of us didn’t see the problem with closing said private businesses due to a public health emergency because it’s a perfectly acceptable use of state power.


  5. Elspeth says:

    I’m a huge fan of regionalism, so in as much as the people in lock down states feel safer and are willing to live with that, more power to them.

    Federalism ftw.


  6. Cassie says:

    The only reason I regret not being on Facebook, Instagram, etc before is that now I can’t leave them to send them a message of disapproval for their ever increasing censorship. Yes it’s inconvenient at times to not have them, particularly when various extended family members ask for baby pictures and I’ve taken a gazillion of them since they last asked and so I have to text each individual picture to each individual person. But it’s worth it to not be on there.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. First Class Duck (@FirstClassDuck) says:

    *I’m a huge fan of regionalism*

    The fear is that people in a region that doesn’t lock down will spread the disease to a region that does lock down. American federalism doesn’t have the framework to promote internal border closures like in Canada since public health is seen there as a provincial mandate per their constitution, and the courts here have not been as supportive to border closures when compared to Australia where states have sealed off other states.

    OTOH, during peak pandemic, I could have driven from one part of New York to another nearly 500 miles away without the state doing much of anything. In contrast, Quebec walled off the outer regions from the heavily populated urban cores so even within a state, the approach here was generally hands off when it came to movement…


  8. Elspeth says:

    The fear is that people in a region that doesn’t lock down will spread the disease to a region that does lock down.

    Ha! Well, First Class Duck, as we are all witnessing, the problem isn’t those of us in free states flocking to you guys’ locked down states. In fact, it is precisely the opposite phenomenon. We can’t keep y’all out of here, much as I wish we could.

    Maybe we should put checkpoints at the borders of I-75, I-95, and I-10 (as well as airports) so that folks from locked down states can’t bring their cooties down here.

    ‘Cause the locked down states are faring far worse than we are! 😛


  9. First Class Duck (@FirstClassDuck) says:

    Florida has been admittedly the weird spot given that the hospitals aren’t being crushed and the dead bodies aren’t piling up. Nearly everywhere else lost their supposed advantages, and yet Florida keeps managing to be as close to “normal” in the first world as possible outside of Australia & New Zealand or East Asia. As I mentioned before, I think somebody will figure it out, but in a decade or so once the books are written. Rural states, warm states, and red and blue states with weak to strong lockdowns have seen spikes, but Florida just chugs along…

    *Maybe we should put checkpoints at the borders of I-75, I-95, and I-10 (as well as airports) so that folks from locked down states can’t bring their cooties down here.*

    I think Florida at the start was “encouraging” those with plates from the Pays du Nord to isolate once they arrived at their destination. They probably ended up missing Northerners that maintain Florida residency and Florida plates…


  10. Curly Sue says:

    I’ve never bothered with social media, so nothing for me to cancel there. I never had a prime membership, but do order a lot from Amazon just because of the convenience of “one stop shop.”. However, due to so many small businesses getting shut down over Covid restrictions, I am slowly trying to wean myself off them. I use them for product comparisons and reviews, but then try to order directly from the vendor if possible.

    When I bought my first smart phone last year, I was determined not to buy an In phone and got Samsung.

    My biggest problem is e-books. I don’t know of another e-book source that would be compatible with my kindle ( and I really like my Kindle). Sigh…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. nellperkins says:

    I have been praying for people to start doing things like this since Walmart went from being the “made in the USA store” to being the ChinaMart that ate America.. I’ve been the leftwing freak begging people to just stop and think about how and why and where they bought. I’ve been the one pretty much shut out of the left when it stopped being cool to give a flip about slave labor. I’ve been the neoluddite nut begging people not to go online at all. I’ve been arguing about versions of this since I was a teenager in the 70s! This is the second woman’s blog I’ve seen this week where the blogger wrote of doing this. You have no idea how I’ve prayed for this day! Thank you and God’s blessings on you forever, Elspeth!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Elspeth says:

    Yeah. That’s a huge challenge. The fact that American made products are hard to come by (very hard in many instances), and when you do, they are usually cost prohibitive. Same with hand made (or people-made).

    We have truly gotten our collective selves into a pickle. So much so that those of us who want a new, different way, are screwed.


  13. Elspeth says:

    You’re welcome, Nell!

    I think a lot of us found -when we had children- that we were shopping for price more than anything else, and catered to the thing we hated, almost without even thinking about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. hearthie says:

    Can we talk about that for a minute? Because that’s a big hurdle. You become socialized to a certain price point on items and then – boom – you’re being asked to spend WAY more money. You can do the inflation math in your head, you can understand the global waste problem and the excess of things, you can be historically aware about worth… but when it comes down to putting your money out, there is some pain involved with buying Real Things.

    I’ve been hitting myself with this lately and it’s unpleasant. Like, I ordered a new nightgown from Etsy. It’s going to be BEAUTIFUL. I wear my clothes like I did 40 years ago – which means I keep a garment until it wears out. My nightgowns normally last 3 years or better. But it felt almost sinful to spend that much money on a basic item. Same thing with the darn coffee cups. My head SWEARS they’re supposed to be $5, even though replacing a regular ceramic mug cost us $15 a month ago. Spending $30 (or $40) on ONE MUG is an OUCH.

    I moved to good shoes when I broke my foot, and that was an ouch. It’s a perpetual ouch – you see Plastic Things for 1/4 of what you’re paying and you feel like you’re in the wrong. “I’m just going to get it dirty/wear it out/use it for…”

    It’s an ouch to know how much time I’m going to spend sewing my good garments and how much “unseen” cost they include (linings, underlinings, interfacing, etc). I mean, I’m going to wear this stuff!!!

    This is a thing. :p


  15. Will S. says:

    I unplugged from social media eight years ago – yes, I still visit twitter a lot, to keep up with commenters I like, but not logged in, participating – and have never regretted it.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. maea says:

    Hearthie’s thoughts echo mine when it comes to clothing and fabric. I simply can’t support fast fashion anymore, along with some major department stores (esp. considering the poor quality) when you consider most of those businesses are going the way of woke. I wouldn’t trust the quality from Amazon much. Also, screw FB, Zuckerberg made it clear years ago he doesn’t give a crap about security nor privacy.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Will S. says:

    I should further add that I unplugged from regular T.V in 2003-4, and from Netflix in 2018, and I also haven’t missed either.

    Now if only I could further unplug from blogging…

    I may, once I marry.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Mrs. G says:

    Well said! We don’t pay for any streaming services anymore, are off all social media, and not Prime members for the first time in over a decade.
    I speak to friends and loved ones over the phone and let the kids watch an occasional cartoon on archive.org Free people just can’t consent to what social media is actually doing to them, this free person can’t at any rate.

    Liked by 1 person

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