The Digital Gypsy

Posted in Uncategorized by aintnothingright on May 10, 2011

Those who decide they don’t want to be surrounded or defined by personal possessions must go through an interesting thought process.  I’d suggest it would be catalyzed by some sort of existential crisis, followed by doubt, exploration, and finally acceptance, resolved with some unnatural sort of conviction.  Such behaviour is unnatural in that it is iconoclastic.  However, we now live in a time where this new sort of minimilast, iconoclastic lifestyle is not only perfectly achievable, but also made simpler by the internet, of all things.

I’ve been browsing Everett Bogue, Colin Wright, and Tammy Strobel’s blogs.  All of these individuals make their living through various services marketed and provided through the internet.  All of these individuals also espouse a minimalist, travel-oriented lifestyle.  They have few possessions, no cars, and promote sustainable, minimal living.  Flying in the face of conventional understandings, these individuals have more stable, conventional presences online than they do in the real world.  Indeed, they even have their careers online.  Offline, their careers are no doubt much less salient to the world.

An interesting reversal of the roles of reality and the e-world is occurring here.  The internet used to be about vicarious experience.  Now, for these offline bohemians, reality is experience –  they float through the world with little in the way of tangible impact; they instead accrue real-life experience which forms their real-life identity and perhaps their online identity.    Real life used to be a 9 to 5, a grind that you relax by visiting media of various sorts; now, the internet has become the office, the place we advertise, work, and network.

It’s as though nomadic lifestyles of bygone eras have become viable once again.  More than that, this way of living is becoming more apparent to more and more people each day.  I’m mildly jealous of these people, but perhaps I’m more jealous of the strength of their convictions.  I couldn’t abandon my job and possessions –hell,  few people I know could.

Of course, this all may be the veneer of a lifestyle choice that is currently in vogue, but more possibly, this is the beginning of a new interplay between life and work.