Paul Miller of The Verge, who is taking a year-long Internet hiatus:
The other day I was at my coffee shop, about to make an order, when I got into a conversation with another regular. And then, a few minutes in, I felt a familiar internal tug. A chime inside said it was “time to get back.” It’s one of the last vestiges of my former mental patterns. I get a vague feeling on occasion that it’s been a little while since I’ve looked at my instant messages, checked my email, scrolled through Twitter, or refreshed The Verge front page. “Someone on my computer must miss me,” it seems to say. It’s a combination of a fear of missing out, and a hope of being missed.
But nobody on my computer misses me anymore. I let out a small sigh. It hurts to be inessential. And then I was back in the moment. We were discussing reverse-engineering the Starbucks Frappuccino recipe, and he had some ideas. It was a good talk to have.
Are you willing to become inessential for a lot more people to become essential to fewer, more important things? Are you willing to turn off notifications and get over the fear of missing out to put yourself in uncomfortable situations?
It’s the boredom and lack of stimulation that drives me to do things I really care about, like writing and spending time with others.
Because that’s where you figure out what’s most important.