The 40 Year Old Bat Mitzvah

Is NOT Being Connected the Ultimate Luxury?

Posted in personal growth, philosophizing by Juliet on May 20, 2010

Over lunch with friends the other day, we got to talking about the next thing.  First there were My Space and Friendster, then there was Facebook, and now there’s Twitter, and now there’s the age-related Facebook/Twitter divide, plus the My Space art crowd….what’s next?

My personal theory — and nobody else at the table agreed with me so maybe I’m all wet —  is that the next thing is going to be a giant pendulum swing backward to being less constantly in touch.  Less connected.  Less reachable.

People are going to purposely seek out a calmer, less rushed, less now-now-now text-me-back tweet-me existence.

They are going to opt out.

You know how more and more people nowadays are foregoing landlines to strictly have cellphones?

We are going to see a possibly small yet significant and important movement toward no cellphones.  No texting.  No email.  No Facebook or Twitter accounts.

There has been for several years now a craving for simple times.  A reverence for retro.  Check out the Restoration Hardware catalogue:  page after page of beautiful, well made items from 40 and 50 years ago.  These aren’t sold as novelties like the old-fashioned candy at the Vermont Country store.  Items on the pages of this fancy catalogue and others like it are meant to encompass an entire lifestyle.

Or open this month’s Vogue, which features ten simple pleasures (things like riding a bicycle or eating a sundae), all of which are comfortingly retro.

Even mass market megaplayer Target is in the act, with two aisles of retro-look toys:  the same Fisher Price xylophone and jack in the box, lovingly recreated exactly as 50 and 60 year olds today (grandparents buying for grandkids, perhaps) remember.

There will be a movement, and these people will be important because they will be wealthy, and they will be decision makers.  In a world where every American has Tivo and texting and Tweeting, existing off the grid becomes the ultimate lifestyle choice, and the ultimate luxury.

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