Holiday Travels Part 9 - Off the Grid

Contact: Joe Leonard, ragbraijoe@gmail.com

MANITOU SPRINGS, CO - During a rare episode of pre-dawn insomnia, Cactus Joe today made the bold move of removing both Facebook and Twitter from all his mobile devices, well ahead of the planned January 1 start date for his New Year's Resolution to fast from social media for a fortnight.

"I don't know if it was the thinner mountain air or the coffee I drank before bed or what, but I couldn't sleep," Cactus Joe said. "At first I occupied myself by doing Duolingo exercises in Welsh and Spanish, but after surpassing my daily goal for that, I still wasn't sleepy, so I said 'eff it' and just started my social media fast a couple days early."

Anonymous pro social media establishment pundits quickly took to social media to condemn what they are calling irresponsible action by Cactus, apparently missing the irony that the maverick free agent in the cosmos will be completely unaware of their trolling during the fasting period.

"It's almost unheard of for someone to voluntarily disconnect from social media," wrote one of the more literate ones, named TrollBait69, in a far lengthier diatribe that seemed to be mainly intended for their own benefit. "We wholeheartedly believe this behavior is dangerous to both Mr. Cactus [sic] and the online community collectively. If he can do it, what is stopping anyone else from tuning out and depriving themselves of social media distractions like Grumpy Cat memes, Morgan Freeman attributed quotes, and dramatic, if ill informed, political bickering between one's social media peers. The long term economic consequences could be disastrous for online snake oil charlatans and the smug political elites who tell us what to think."

None the less, Cactus Joe appears to be on a trajectory for successful completion of his fortnight foray into the scary and unknown wilderness of social media deprivation.

"My early experiments in corporate mainstream mass media deprivation were remarkably successful in restoring my happiness, reasoning capabilities, and free thought," Cactus Joe said, referring to his controversial early studies that indicated ignorance was indeed bliss. "Social media, though far less relevant, meaningful, and informative than mainstream mass media, is much more addictive and destructive to human ambition, progress, and time management. If I can demonstrate that it is possible to survive a two week social media fast with no adverse consequences, it could be revolutionary in ending the operant conditioning exploited by social media trolls and click bait advertisers. I fully believe humans can be re-conditioned to resist the impulse to press the social media lever in anticipation of a reward that will never come."

Cactus Joe said he plans to fill the void created by the absence of social media with analog antisocial substitutes like reading, writing, exercising, playing the piano, and continuing to improve his fluency in Spanish.

At press time, no one on social media noticed this blog post because it was overshadowed by a brand new hilariously cute video on Facebook of Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund dressed in a Santa Suit.

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