As some of you know, I have this t-shirt that links Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace to ADHD, Narcissim and Stalking. Most every time I wear it, someone comments on it. This comment is almost always the same: they smile or even laugh and say, "I like your shirt." And yet, it's expected – even inevitable – that this person commonly indulges in the world of virtual social interaction.
And to some extent, I do as well. The point is that despite the electronic invasion into our homes, there is some semblance of basic humanity that continues to scream out from the depths of an oppressed psyche- "Something is wrong , here!" While I will always love video games and I well understand the benefit of various inventions, I have long since been of the opinion that we've overstepped the boundaries of creepiness. What was once considered voyeurism is now embraced as "connections" and what was once deemed blissful solitude has now been condemned as out-of-touch and pathetic.
Today, after being required to stay up-to-date on all the nightmare stories surrounding the broken PlayStation Network, I switched on the SNES in the bedroom. It wasn't an anti-Sony statement; it was an anti-invasion statement. The PSN was invaded and thus, so was I. So were millions. As I sat there, playing Super Mario Kart , I reveled in the simplicity and purity of the experience. It has nothing to do with the game; it was merely the fact that I wasn't "connected." Nobody else could know what I was playing or doing on my SNES unless they were peeking in the window. And certainly, private information doesn't factor in. Anywhere.
When the PSN returns, I'm sure I'll go back on the PlayStation Store and download stuff. But in the meantime, a crazy dream has sprung to life- I want to dedicate one day of the year to being unplugged. In fact, let's make it a national holiday: it's "Unplugged Day," the day where no computer is turned on, no e-mail is checked, no text message is sent, no phone rings, no TV blares, no headphones are worn, and all movie theaters are closed. It's a day where, contrary to recent evidence, humans find themselves capable of conversing face to face. They will sit beneath a tree in the park and have a conversation. They will go to the theater or a museum. They will take a walk.
It isn't about taking preventative measures against the onslaught of inventions that seem hellbent on destroying intrinsic charm and charisma, as prevention is a moot point. It's about reestablishing a sense of security and serenity. With all that we have, those are two ideals that are more difficult to find than ever before in mankind's history. Sony, when the PlayStation Network returns, your world will begin to turn normally again, and I'll be part of it. But you'll forgive me if I step off this crazy carousel to which we've become accustomed, as I will admit to a bout of queasiness now and then. At which time, I'll take a breather on a bench, smell a rose, and read a book.
If we all did that at the same time, the psuedo-human hackers would then spontaneously combust.