When Paul Miller of The Verge began his year-long hiatus from the Internet, I rolled my eyes. I looked to me to be a kind of attention-getting gimmick, intended to raise his profile and lend him an air of sophistication. My assumption, however, was pure prejudice, having known nothing about him as a writer or personality before this project. But several folks have done these “I’m leaving the Internet for [time period]!” pieces, and they were getting old, even a year ago.
And for a while, the project was striking me as unremarkable. Indeed, it seemed to strike Miller as unremarkable, as he states in early articles about his self-imposed banishment how he seemed to be getting along just fine, with some minor inconveniences.
But now the project is over, and I can see this was something more. Miller’s analysis of what he learned about himself, and particularly what he discovers are problems with him, not the Internet, and how online activity was a way for him to fill holes in his life that did not get refilled when he walked away.
Check out this mini-movie on the project, it’s good stuff.