Luddite Club

I read a fascinating article about a group of teenagers at a high school in Manhattan who have formed a “Luddite Club”. They focus on freeing oneself from social media, smartphones, and other addictive technology.

The term luddite has its roots in 18th century English weaver Ned Ludd, who supposedly lost his temper and broke two stocking frames. In the early 19th century, textile workers protesting industrialization appropriated his identity and called themselves “Luddites”.

The modern meaning of luddite is one who is opposed or resistant to new technologies. It's usually meant as a derogatory term.

But these young people have embraced it, rallied around it to support each other as they try to be intentional about the technology they use.

They've faced some challenges, though. In a hyper-connected world where everyone is assumed – even expected – to have a smartphone, it's hard being among the few who don't use one.

I feel for these youth. I had the privilege of living my high school years in the late 1990s, where the only access I had to a computer was the school computer lab until my senior year (1999) when my family finally got our first home computer. Basic cell phones hadn't been widely adopted yet and smartphones didn't exist. The best ways to socialize online were through email, computer-based messaging apps, IRC, and online forums. But you had to be physically sitting in front of a computer to use any of these services.

Things have changed a lot since then. And I don't think they've all changed for the better. I'm very encouraged that there are young people out there who also realize this and are trying to do something about it.


#100DaysToOffload (No. 82) #tech #intentionism