Internet Guru Baratunde Thurston Talks About Life Without the Internet

You too can unplug. Here's how.

By Jamilah King Jun 17, 2013

Most of us live our lives in public. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, email, or Instagram, the vast majority of us are way too attached to our gadgetry, and sometimes that addiction comes at the expense of healthy, in-person social interaction. But there’s hope. Fans of smart race writing will see a familiar face on the cover of the latest issue of Fast Company: Baratunde Thurston. The comedian and New York Times Best Selling author of "How to Be Black" on how he unplugged from the Internet and regained his sanity. 

Here’s a snippet:

Not surprisingly, there is lots of advice online about how to move your existence offline. Some of it was actually useful. For instance, there are plenty of good recipes for hot toddies, so I grabbed a couple. There are a plethora of posts on digital detox, including one called "How to Take an Email Sabbatical," by Microsoft researcher danah boyd, who goes so far as to auto-delete all inbound emails and send an auto-reply informing senders "to resend their message when I return." I couldn’t commit to that. The FOMO (fear of missing out) in me is strong. What if Kerry Washington (the Scandalstar, whom I have somehow never met) wrote me confessing her love and I missed it because of some extremist view on vacation emails? To ensure an inbox-free vacation, my chief of staff would log in every few days to check that I didn’t miss anything urgent such as a family emergency, holiday party invite–or that message from Kerry.

It’s a good read, and maybe a model for those of us who could use summer sabattical from the Interwebs. Read the entire thing here.