The Opt Out Weblog

The Blog for Garrick van Buren's 'Opt-Out: The Survival Guide for This Modern Age' Book

Category: Disconnection

Architecting Distance

“Technology is a way of organizing the universe so that man doesn’t have to experience it.” – Max Frisch


“Hell is Other People is an experiment in anti-social media. Using FourSquare, this site will track your “friends” and calculate optimally distanced locations for avoiding them.”

Just Stop. Really. You’ll Be Happier

If you want to keep the illusion of “not missing anything important”, I suggest you glance through the summary page of the Economist once a week. Don’t spend more than five minutes on it. – Rolf Dobelli [pdf]

Dopamine Addiction

“I’ve made a conscious decision to live a life that is not driven by someone else’s priority. No matter how good that dopamine feels.” – Dr. Peter Whybrow

Opting for Greater Value

“We’d all be much better off simplifying our technological footprints and consolidating our trust in the few services that provide us the greatest value with the fewest unintended side effects. In the end, I’m not afraid to admit it. I’m a quitter.” – Ryan Block “I recently just disabled/deleted most of my public online presence […]

Even VCs are Noticing.

“There’s some magic peace that comes over me when I’m not constantly looking at my iPhone. I really noticed it after two weeks of not doing it. After a few days of withdrawal, the calm appears. My brain is no longer jangly, the dopamine effect of “hey – another email, another tweet” goes away, and […]

Finding Yourself Disconnected @ JSConf EU 2012

“The single most valuable resource I have is uninterrupted thought.”

“I’m going to say “no” a hell of a lot more in my life than I ever have, in order that I can put more energy into an increasingly curated set. That is much harder for me than quitting Twitter for a month—or even quitting Twitter entirely.” – Adam Brault


“The Internet is awesome. But it will be awesome tomorrow, too. Get offline one night a week (meaning, from 5pm until you go to sleep don’t touch the Internet in anyway on computer, phone, TV, nothing) and do something you need to get done.” – Colin Devroe

Natural Forces

“Had I been responding to any of the number of alerts on my phone, I’d have missed the beauty around me for the digital existence that would, and will still be there for me when I’m ready to access it again.” – Lee-Ann Bigwood