Sunday, January 25, 2004

What Are You Thinking?

I can't imagine living without the Internet. There was one time about 3 years ago when I had to be offline for 40 some odd days, but I wasn't as connected then as I am now. I need to log into my MSN account every 30 days or else my account is deleted, I need to update my blog, and I don't read paper newspapers, but online news sources. When I want to be entertained I usually go on the Internet to find something interesting like videos or flash movies. If I'm not online, I feel isolated from the rest of the world and my friends.

However, only a small percentage of people are online in the world, 12%. The barrier between those online and offline is called the digital divide. Steve Cisler wants to find out how people live without the Internet.
"A lot of the people I know and work with see those offline as needing to be saved, that they are doomed if they are not online. But I don't believe that. I think the vast majority of people believe there is more to life than the internet."

Such talk is practically heresy in a part of the world that's earned its fame and fortune from computers and the world wide web. But Mr Cisler hasn't gone to the dark side without good reason. His decision to cut the umbilical cord with his internet service provider is being done in the name of research.
Personally, I'd never do this kind of research. Research without the Internet is a contradiction in itself. Sure it can be done, but why not make it easier and faster with a net connection?

Cisler isn't going completely offline though. He's going to maintain a blog about his travels through the wilderness of the unwired jungle.