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Unplugging From the Matrix

The Rubin ReportApr 20 '16

"I recently did a nine day total online shut down... for NINE all too brief days I did not look at my phone, did not check email, did not look at Twitter and did not open Facebook." Stay tuned for clips from Dave's interview with Steven Crowder coming today, tomorrow 4/21, and the full interview on Friday 4/22.


Published on Ora TV on April 20, 2016:

Some of you might have noticed I recently did a nine day total online shut down. That's right, for NINE all too brief days I did not look at my phone, did not check email, did not look at Twitter and did not open Facebook. I also did not open Snapchat, but that was mainly because I couldn't figure it out. Instead, I took time and escaped for a belated honeymoon and overdue vacation in Cabo, Mexico. Most of my time there was spent laying on the beach, staring out into the ocean and drinking copious amounts of mojitos. Mojito hint for ya by the way: Just get it without the sugar. You don't lose much in taste and you'll save a lot in health.

Besides learning this lesson about mojitos, I also had a vital revelation. Taking a break from the online madness is not only incredibly important, I now view it as absolutely necessary.Think about how much time we all spend staring into this little device.We check work emails when we're with loved ones, we Instagram pictures of food so it looks tastier than it is, and we live-tweet the minutia of our lives. To be clear, I'm guilty of all of these things to varying degrees and have been working hard to control this ever growing online beast. It's not just the silly, often egocentric things we're doing online though, it's also the real world events that we're missing out on while we stare into that little black mirror.

When I wasn't staring into the ocean or the skyline while on the beach I did plenty of people watching. I saw people over all ages, from probably 8 years old into their 70's just staring down at their phones almost all day long. People were ignoring their friends and family around them and totally missing out on the amazing ocean view that they PAID to have right in front of them. One afternoon I spent about 2 hours watching a little kid play dangerously close to the waves while his parents were sucked into The Matrix. Actually, much of the experience did remind me of the Matrix, where we, the humans, are really just batteries for this digital world. We're might not be quite there yet, but we're certainly on our way. Or maybe we ARE there and we don't even know it. I guess I'm just waiting for Morpheus to offer me the red pill. Unfortunately, I think most people are going blue pill all the way.

After a couple days of being offline I felt more present, less anxious and truly freer than I've felt in a long time. When I got back and turned on my phone I felt dread, like 'here we go again', more than anything else. Fortunately, I quickly realized after scanning my emails, checking my Twitter mentions and scrolling through Facebook that not much had changed without me. I missed a debate or two, our Stephen Fry interview went viral for all the wrong reasons, and I got a lot of nice notes from you guys. But beyond that, the world just kept spinning, even if I wasn't locked into it. Of course, we all know the world doesn't stop without us, but it felt good to know it keeps humming along, with the good and the bad, whether or not we're paying attention the whole time.

Of course I admit I make my living here, in the online world. Not only that, but I do love much of it. Having honest conversations about important issues, connecting with my audience, and reshaping my beliefs along the way have become my life's ethos. None of that would be possibly without this little gadget. Despite this, like everything else in life, there's a good and a bad, a yin and a yang. A little more balance in life probably never heard any of us.

My guest this week is Steven Crowder. Like me, Steven is creating his success with an online show with many modes of distribution and by using social media to have his voice amplified. Interestingly, while I've spent so much of my time trying to fix what I see wrong with my side, the left, Steven has spent much of his time trying to fix what he sees wrong with his side, the right. I realize more and more everyday the traditional labels of left and right are loosing all meaning and the important piece of the puzzle is finding people who will have a good faith battle of ideas and let the chips fall where they may.

Now close all the other apps you have open, ignore the other person in the room with you, and let's have a talk about politics. Or go outside for a breath of fresh air and look up at the stars. Though if you do that, please click play on our next video first -- it's all about the clicks these days. All about the clicks.

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