I'm an "IT guy". Not the stereotypical IT guy people think of these days:
But a normal person with a life, a wife, animals, hobbies and interests. Having had this stereotype consistently applied to me by friends, family, and others throughout my time on this planet has been rather trying. No matter how hard I try, I continuously get these references foisted on me. I receive texts with "IT Guy" memes and image macros. But I digress; this is not the true point here.
Long have I lived on the internet. I was one of the first households in my county to have dial-up internet. I lived on BBSes. This sound is forever ingrained in my memory. I would sit for hours, constantly breaking then fixing our Emerson 8086 diskeater, then our first up-to-date machine - a 75 MHz Packard Bell running Windows 95.
I got my first formal introduction to what would become my career in middle school. My teachers found that I had good skills when it came to the computers and nurtured that skill. I, along with one other close friend, got to take a BASIC programming course in the 8th grade. When I reached high school, I entered the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge. My team would enter this each year, and in our final year we made it to the semifinals for attempting to develop an AI for a cat-and-mouse type game using QuakeC. It never ran, but we tried. I also helped teach computer classes. My friends and I were given our own PC lab which we used to run a dedicated Quake 2 server. I worked in an electronics repair shop, building soldering and testing skills that would assist me to this day.
For years, I pushed myself further and further into technology. Building machines, hosting websites, housing gigabyte upon gigabyte of data in my closet (this was early 2000s). My home was cluttered with drives, cards, boards, broken and working computers, the typical IT guy stuff. Then I got bored.
I started realizing my lost love for cars. I started posting on Jalopnik and Oppo. I purchased and started rebuilding a Saab C900 SPG. Then I got remarried. Then we bought a house. Then we bought a nine hundred dollar Dakota. I found my life drifting further away from the technology I had embraced for so long.
I do own one computer - a MacBook Pro that I am trying to sell. I play video games still, but maybe 10% of what I used to. My only real door to the interwebs is my Windows Phone. I find myself cancelling accounts that have been standing for years. I'm slowly removing myself from the online world, and I feel okay with this. People seem dumbfounded when I say "yeah, I don't really use computers" when I'm a systems administrator. Well, when you stare at a screen all day long, the last thing you want to do when you get home is stare at a screen. Now I wrench.
Removing yourself entirely, or at least ensmallening yourself, from the internet is not for everyone. It's not easy, either. How many accounts - forums, games, "work related" - have you signed up for? How many of those have you probably forgotten about? The answer may surprise you if you sit back and think about it. These accounts generally aren't easy to deactivate or delete either. Even once you think you're done, there's always more. But if, like me, you find yourself spending too much time in front of your devices, and are growing tired of it, doing so can be a breath of fresh air. There's nothing wrong with biting the bullet and decreasing your online presence. The nettertubes are fun, yes, but they can also be a fad. For me, this online world is getting boring. It's time to move on to other, IRL, things.