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Patton Oswalt Explains His Conscious Unlinking from Twitter and Lessons Learned, Then Jumps Right Back into the Fray

By Cindy Davis | Celebrity | September 2, 2014 |

By Cindy Davis | Celebrity | September 2, 2014 |

Rejoice! Our favorite series guest star and troll haunter has relinked himself to Twitter; nothing but good (depending upon your definition) can come of this. Oh and not only has Patton Oswalt announced his return, he’s written an amusing Time op-ed from which we can all learn pull out silly quotes and remark on their truth…or lack thereof. Highlights ahead.

Oswalt’s departure was planned.

“On June 1 of this year I resolved to take a break from all social media. No Twitter, no Facebook. No visiting click-bait video sites, news aggregators, or any link with the words “… you won’t BELIEVE …” in the title. I logged off on June 1st and planned my return for Tuesday, September 2.”

What he accomplished, and lost:

“In the first week alone I dropped 15 pounds, re-watched Krzysztof Kieslowski’s The Decalogue, built a sustainable small-yield garden for my daughter, and learned knife throwing. “

Not really…

“Actually, I spent the first week silently lurking on Twitter, checking my “@” mentions, visiting the feeds of people I both love and despise. I did the usual Google searches of my name and played game after game of GemCraft: Chasing Shadows. I gained weight. I started but still haven’t finished Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, and Howard Cruse’s Stuck Rubber Baby. I still clicked on videos. Visited my usual news aggregate haunts. Wasted time.”

What he noticed about the people around him…

“A couple of times, in line at a grocery store or coffee shop, instead of taking out my phone to stiff-arm the creeping ennui, I’d look around instead. At the world. At the people around me. Most of them looking at their phones. We now inhabit a planet where the majority of the population is constantly staring downwards, entranced, twiddling like carpenter ants. Do pickpockets know they’re living in a second renaissance?”

…and a demographical discovery:

“They [teens] were the ones not using their phones. They had the strongest immunity to the devices’ pull. It was the older people, the over-40s like me, and those way older, who couldn’t escape the tiny gravity of connection constantly yanking us out of existence.”

Take the Oswalt challenge:

“…what if the next fashionable rebellion, from whatever generation rears its head after the millennials, is to become “unlinked.” Only reachable face-to-face. Hmm.”

His personal resolution:

“I think I’m going to do this every summer. June 1 to post-Labor Day. Eyes up, logged off. Remember how, in The Matrix, mankind had become batteries, so the machines could feed off of us? Well, it’s happening now, just 140 words at a time. It’s too late to go back, but you can carve out three hot months to recharge.”

And damned if he didn’t take the opportunity to show off with the coolest True Detective box set ever:


But I especially enjoyed his return engagement:

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Cindy Davis, (Twitter) purposely forgets her phone at home.