Off the Grid
I find the idea of living “off the grid” an interesting one. I know at least one person who’s told me aloud it sounds like a pleasant idea for the future. I personally wouldn’t be inclined to opt out of this plugged-in global society of ours, for a number of reasons; chief amongst them being: how?
Is it feasibly possible to actually go “off the grid” for real?
Well, let’s see. In theory, it is. Assuming you can fake your death or something so that no one comes looking for you, you could conceivably get your physical self off the grid. And you’d have to give up all your electronics. Which would mean you couldn’t learn anything about the news. Not even with newspapers and such. You can’t have someone throwing newspapers at your home if you’re off the grid. They keep track of their subscribers!
So if you’re off the grid, no news. Period.
Entertainment-wise, your options are truly limited. If you’re really committed to this “off the grid” thing, then you’re gonna want to stay at home. Play solitaire, write little vignettes, throw a baseball at the wall. But no video games of any kind. You want to be off the grid! You can’t risk having any electronic devices!
But if you don’t mind risking a little bit just to enjoy yourself a lot more, you can always go to the movies, wear lots of clothes so no one can identify you, and give the ticket person cash so you can see the latest superhero flick. As long as you position yourself the right way and avoid whatever secret security cameras the movie theater has installed, you’ll be fine.
And speaking of pleasures, what about food and maintenance? You’re gonna need money for those. And unless you’re really rich and just decided to live off the grid for God knows what reason, you’re gonna need a job. You can’t really risk a life of crime, they inspect wherever you’ve struck for forensic evidence. So you need some kind of work.
Well, what you’re gonna want to do is find an employer who doesn’t ask too many questions. Find someone who has no problem paying you in cash and who has no interest in getting to know you as a person.
But, then, there’s the big question: what about your social life?
And this gets to the fundamental heart of what it really means to go off the grid. That very act indicates you want to sever your ties to the rest of society, so you might not particularly care to interact with others again. But keeping to yourself for the rest of your life is terribly boring, and life has no variety if you can’t interact with people who have different views on the world.
Going off the grid, in truth, is a wholly selfish idea, borne of the idea that your right to privacy trumps all else, even your right to happiness and your right to a decent living. Privacy is important, and I’m not trying to downplay people’s concerns about violations of individuals’ privacy, but going off the grid is a way of telling your fellow man that just by parting company with them, their lives will be much fuller and richer.
[Editor’s note: All right, have at it, people with different opinions.]