Tooning Offline

April 28, 2010

Cartoonist and alumnus James Sturm (MFA 1991 Illustration as Visual Essay) is, like a typical member of 21st-century society, a regular user of the Internet. He communicates via e-mail, looks up information through search engines and downloads music to an iPod. But recently, he started to wonder if he’d become too reliant on the Web.

So Sturm decided to go offline, a process he is documenting with cartoons and text in “Life Without the Web,” his new series on Slate.com. “Over the last several years, the Internet has evolved from being a distraction to something that feels more sinister,” he observes in the first installment. For four months, he is going cold turkey, which means no e-mail, no texting via cell phone, no managing the Netflix queue, no paperless bill paying. Of course, there is one Web-centric thing still on Sturm’s plate: “The irony of blogging about not being online doesn’t escape me.”

Check out the first installments of “Life Without the Web” here, and check back every two weeks for updates from the offline world.

Images: James Sturm, from “Offline: Life Without the Web,” Slate.com, 2010.

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