I remember how scatologically incensed I was when I saw how many hits the words digital rectal thermometer had on amazon.com.
My mind was racing with the realization that digital had finally achieved on- and off-the-grid association and fame.
Sometimes when writing online you never know what you’re going to lead with. Often you write and re-write your lead a gazillion times. Sometimes you edit it out entirely and just begin vomiting. No matter whether you disregard the first two sentences of this piece or not, I’ve chosen to leave them in.
For somehow and some way, this will all make just a little bit of sense before the last word of the missive is absorbed by the vast majority of those not looking for meaning to their existence.
If I were truly off the grid I would use a typewriter instead of a word processor, app or some other contraption that involves software born of the digital world.
Being off the grid is admirable, yet also largely unobtainable.
Many of us have established it as a preferred way of life with respect to living healthily.
My dog is off the grid.
Always has been.
And speaking of always, he has been a constant source of inspiration as to how to live.
Currently he is scratching his rear end. In his case, gnawing is a better word than scratching.
But, I get it. It itches. So you scratch it.
How many of us want to scratch our rear ends but can’t or won’t? And it’s not because we live in a digital world. It’s because of who is around at the time, that we don’t just naturally rear back and gnaw on it like man’s best friend does. Well, maybe we wouldn’t be gnawing, but we would reach it to scratch with our hands.
The dog doesn’t care who is around to watch but we do. The gnawing of the dog’s own butt is an example of his version of living off the grid.
For humans, the presence of mixed company is especially treacherous when considering such behavior. Accordingly, it is the prime reason we choose to wait for an opportunity where less scrutiny from others is prevalent.
This human behavior of doing unsavory things out of the public eye predates the digital world of course. But, depending on when manners actually became a thing, we may have been scratching our rear ends and elsewhere no matter who was around. To me, that is evidence of the beauty of life off the grid.
Like a lot of people say about poor behavior today…if you are offended, don’t look.
But we can’t help it. It’s not a matter of our physically looking at the butt scratching of others. It’s that when we’re online, we’re bombarded with digital images and streaming media. It is often upon us before we are able to look away. And this is what I like to call proof positive of life on the grid.
I’m lucky enough to have experienced an upbringing completely off the grid. Unless you consider the general, electric grid that supported such devices as blenders and television sets a grid. It may be technically a grid, but it most certainly does not resemble the digital one of today.
Getting a like is a byproduct of the digital world.
In the off the grid world I grew up in, you could like something or some one could like you, but you couldn’t actually get a like, unless, of course you considered something or someone liking you as receiving, or getting, a like. We, of course, considered no such thing.
Getting a like can cause many of us to experience happy thoughts and feelings. I think somewhere and by some body or entity, corporation or university, it’s been proven via study that someone liking a photo or social media status update can cause the body to emit feel-good hormones–similar to those that flow upon receiving a hug from someone whom you like.
The only thing more complicated than the whole like phenomenon is the physical act of the hug itself.
If new Seinfeld episodes were still being made I would envision Jerry riffing on hugs.
“Do we just go up and hug someone anymore?”
“Or must we pause before following through on the hug until the person intended to be on the receiving end has given some signal they are receptive to the hug?”
“Can hugs ever be an innocuous display of comfort ever again?”
“Will the hug ever come back in style?”
I think not. Especially, if we’re on the grid.