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GET OFF THE GRID!!! well, O.k. just one day out of seven. No cars or busses. No work or stress. You can hear the birds...

More sleep, more fun, more family... Tens of thousands of years mankind survived, strived and succeeded in propagating the species without the technologies we now possess. Technologies that we have become quite adapted to and even reliant upon for most, if not all of our daily activities. Can we manage to enjoy our lives, our very existence without leaning on this technology, for a minute? for an hour? for a day? Are we doomed to be hooked on external power sources and technology or can we or are we even capable to imagine one day in seven without it? What do you think? Could you? Would you?


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    Aug 13 2013: I think you may have mixed two themes here, Mark. I believe when people say get off the grid, they are not saying not to work or that you'll have no stress, they are saying you still have to work and may have some stress, but you can work in a simpler way where you are more directly self-sufficient. For instance you can have a little farm where you mostly raise your own food, wear simple clothing and have a simple house, maybe not have heavy farm machinery but just simple tools, not necessarily have a television or computer, maybe do things like wash clothes in a less machine-oriented way. But there is still work and probably some stress.

    I would imagine myself that noone is 100% off the grid or 100% on it, that people make individual choices about places in their life where they want to live simply, and places where they are more technological. I wash a lot of clothes by hand and dry them on a clothesline, and I really enjoy that, but I sometimes use a washing machine, and that's okay, too. I don't have a car, so I walk almost everywhere, but sometimes I enjoy taking a car or bus somewhere. So life seems like a mix.
    • Aug 13 2013: No mix up here Greg though there is plenty of room for everyone to interpret the term and my intention, which was and still is that for one day, just one day out of seven, to "take it back a notch" and to spend that day unencumbered by as much of what we rely upon during the other six days, as we can while still enjoying it.

      For some people "the grid" is about computers, for others it's about energy supply dependance and still there may be additional interpretations and they all work for me as my emphasis is on how focused we can be upon ourselves, other people and the natural world, again, just one day out of seven. Thanks for the "heads up" on the possible misunderstanding.
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        Aug 13 2013: Well, hope I don't seem nitpicky, technically you could get "off the grid" for one day out of seven, yet still do work and have stress during that day. Like I say, someone could live very simply in a very rural area, be "off the grid," and yet still have to work seven days a week to keep the farm going, as animals perhaps have to be fed seven days a week, cows milked seven days a week, and so on. And there could be stress.

        If you're promoting a day of rest every seven days, something like the Jewish Sabbath, I tend to doubt our physiology really wants to go 24 hours straight without activity, it seems like something in our body wants to be somewhat active at least at times every day. I tried the Jewish Sabbath for a while, I'm not Jewish but have many Jewish friends, but I think 24 hours straight of rest gets funny enough kind of tiresome. I prefer to just rest here and there throughout the seven-day week, couple of hours here, couple of hours there, it feels more natural.

        I think it might get tiresome to go off the grid completely one day a week, like sticking to a rigid rule that you can't use any technology for 24 hours. I think it's more interesting to design a life that uses the grid where you want to, when you want to, and doesn't use it in situations where you don't want it, when you don't want it. Often during a week I'll just lie in bed for half an hour or an hour, no radio, no TV, just quiet, but I wouldn't want to do this for 24 hours straight.
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          Aug 13 2013: I am guessing your Jewish friends don't interpret resting the way you may be interpreting it. For example, people use the day to read, study, and discuss ideas with other members of their community. People take walks either alone or with other families. What observant Jews do not do on their sabbath is anything that could be construed as manual labor. This includes, say, fixing stuff around the house or driving. People don't turn lights or stoves off or on but can typically leave those on timers. Reading things in your briefcase that you need to do for work would not typically be okay, but reading things you want to read and understand for your own purposes is fine.

          For many people the stretch away from normal labors takes them away from the norms of the work week better than an hour here and there, but the tradition has religious rather than strictly practical origin.
        • Aug 13 2013: Definitely not feeling the "nitpicky" and glad you expounded. O.K. I did say "no stress" :) well that is not guaranteed by, well, by anything really. "No grid" (whatever the definition) and "no stress", are not mutually inclusive as you handily pointed out. Yup, there are still chores but then, I never said we should meditate for the 24 hours either, though there are worse ways to pass the time.

          Don't really want to go theological here, but I wasn't as much promoting the resting part of the day off as I was wondering if we could swing it, you know, sure milk the cows water them horses and whatever but those are easy choices because there is no choice, you have to milk the cows, right?

          But can we experience pleasure, enjoyment, community, togetherness, self-worth, growth, interest...without being supported, or by being minimally supported by the technological umbilical cord that we have artificially attached ourselves to?

          Its not so much about what you won't be doing as it is about what you will be doing. Talking with family, a walk, a run, preparing a meal. Yes, the things we've learned to categorize as mundane. How warped is that, huh? A walk with friends or family mundane?

          Just existing a little, breathing in, breathing out. Could we do it or have we been conditioned beyond all repair, by our own hand, to disregard that which is most accessible to us, ourselves?
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        Aug 13 2013: Yeah, I don't know if people in general want to live off the grid for blocks of time, say an hour block, a two-hour block, a 24-hour block. The only people I spend much time with besides myself are my mother and sister. My mother definitely doesn't want to go off the grid, any time of just lying in bed the TV is on, my mother says she doesn't want to think as she gets afraid of the future. My sister also rarely goes off the grid, in spare time she is playing computer video game and has TV going off to side. As I've said, I like to lie in bed here and there and just think, or exist, for an hour or two, oh, I probably do this here and there for eight or ten hours total a week, but I wouldn't want to do it all day one day a week, it's something I need here and there and when I need it I need it. My guess would be that more people are like my sister and mother. It is hard for me to understand them, personally I need some time to process what happens during the day, but I guess they don't. But I think Mark it's about doing what comes naturally, if it comes to someone naturally to take time out, great, if they naturally always want to have a device going, that's fine, too. I can't imagine you'd force anyone to go off the grid if they didn't want to, would you?

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