I can only assume he is trying to become the King of the Hipsters by doing this:
At midnight tonight I will leave the internet. I’m abandoning one of my “top 5” technological innovations of all time for a little peace and quiet. If I can survive the separation, I’m going to do this for a year. Yeah, I’m serious. I’m not leaving The Verge, and I’m not becoming a hermit, I just won’t use the internet in my personal or work life, and won’t ask anyone to use it for me.
Depending on your perspective, you might be completely shocked that I’d even attempt such a thing, or you might be completely unimpressed. For me personally, the decision felt like a big, crazy idea at first, and now it’s started to seem a perfectly natural evolution of my life with technology.
I feel like I’ve only examined the internet up close. It’s been personal and pervasive in my life for over a decade, and I spend on average 12+ hours a day directly at an internet-connected terminal (laptop, iPad, Xbox), not to mention all the ambient internet my smartphone keeps me aware of.
My guess is that Miller may not make it a full year, but he may learn to live without the Internet for certain tasks. This reminds me of a more severe version of No Impact Man (he gave up electricity, washing machines, the elevator, eating out, non-local food, but he kept a solar-powered computer so he could update his website).
No Impact Man showed how we could live without certain modern conveniences and end up living a healthier, more fulfilling life (his wife’s health improved dramatically). Perhaps Miller will find a more healthy way to use computers.
The Internet is one of humanity’s biggest inventions. I think going without the Internet for a technology reporter/editor is ultimately silly, but I do agree that many of us — myself included — find ourselves wasting our lives away on the Internet.
Maybe Miller will discover ways to become less connected so that when he is connected, he really has a purpose.
Perhaps not the best omen, but Miller had no luck finding a really basic Nokia phone in New York City. He spent more than three hours and had no luck, but with just a few minutes on Ebay he was able to find exactly what he was looking for.
I hope Miller uses this time for sociologically research. I’m very interested in hearing how people without the Internet go about their lives. So much news, information and even government services are now online. What is it like for those without the Internet?