Journalist Robert Kingett accepts a dare: one that at first seems simple… to adapt to his blindness without the Internet. This account is a cozy diary of battling with an FM radio, hooking up a landline phone and the journey of adapting to a brand new way of living from someone who has never disconnected from the World Wide Web....
|Title||:||off the grid living blind without the internet|
|Format Type||:||Kindle Edition|
|Number of Pages||:||136 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
off the grid living blind without the internet Reviews
As a blind person, I really, truly didn't think that Robert could do what he chronicled in this book. As he stated both toward the beginning and toward the end of the book, we "need" the internet. it's a utility. it should be a common carrier. Robert's will power is a thousand times stronger than mine, as I tend to identify with things too strongly. The fact that he had the testicular fortitude to make those calls, fiddle with that landline and tell millennials that he didn't have internet access puts him into a higher echelon in my book. I've never been good at walking in other people's shoes, as my feet are too narrow. As for Robert, well, he's a rockstar!
Off the Grid by Robert Kingett In Chicago, legally blind Robert Kingett takes the dare to live without the internet for one month. Has the internet really added to the degradation of society? Kingett shares his experiences, both positive and negative, in this journal-entry like publication.Initially, due to the main title, I was expecting the author to go off the grid, which means disconnecting from public utilities and trying to live off rainfall and solar power and the like. As I got into the book, I realized this was just a small, but very interesting, experiment of trying to live without the internet in a major city. The author still has his apartment, public utilities, and access to public transport and such. At first, I thought that living without the internet wouldn’t be too big a deal. (Living off the grid is a bit more rigorous.) However, I was wrong. I’m glad the author only had to suffer for a single month as he underwent this experiment.I really enjoyed the diary-like entries as I felt I was discovering these little nuggets of wisdom at the same time as the author. As he struggled to get movie times for a visually-impaired screening, I struggled with him. Installing a land-line phone was hampered by the fact the manual that came with it is in really tiny print (the author, while legally blind, can read large type… if it’s large enough). Meanwhile, he experienced the rush and joys of meeting people in person and getting to know them through long phone calls or conversations in person, instead of digging up stuff about their hobbies on the internet first. The author uses well-placed humor even when he’s clearly irritated with something, making this a fun read.There were two scenes that really stood out for me. First, the author was job searching during this month and the lack of internet service definitely affected his chances of getting a job or internship. The other one concerned his gaming system (I think it was Xbox, if I recall correctly). His efforts to play a certain game, which he had the CD for, were cut short when the game required him to be logged into his online account. Customer service was unable to assist him in this.All together, this humorous account of one man’s adventure made me appreciate the internet more for the services it makes so much easier. I can pay all my bills online. Obtaining information is generally very easy. I have access to news, anything from immediately local to world view. Also, I quite enjoyed all the little references to nerdom – Harry Potter, gaming, etc.I received a free copy of this book.Narration: T. David Rutherford was pretty good for this book. He gave a sense of humor or frustration as the story dictated. The production was very good, lacking any external noises or lip smacking. While he only had to do a few voices, he did them well.
It's a great book. Kind of takes me back to the days before i got dial up internet. He is a great person and i'm glad he excepted this challenge. I'm not so sure i could be around my friends etc without begging them to let me borrow their phone or other debice so i could check my email or tweet. At least once during that month.
In Chicago, legally blind Robert Kingett takes the dare to live without the internet for one month. Has the internet really added to the degradation of society? Kingett shares his experiences, both positive and negative, in this journal-entry like publication.Initially, due to the main title, I was expecting the author to go off the grid, which means disconnecting from public utilities and trying to live off rainfall and solar power and the like. As I got into the book, I realized this was just a small, but very interesting, experiment of trying to live without the internet in a major city. The author still has his apartment, public utilities, and access to public transport and such. At first, I thought that living without the internet wouldn’t be too big a deal. (Living off the grid is a bit more rigorous.) However, I was wrong. I’m glad the author only had to suffer for a single month as he underwent this experiment.I really enjoyed the diary-like entries as I felt I was discovering these little nuggets of wisdom at the same time as the author. As he struggled to get movie times for a visually-impaired screening, I struggled with him. Installing a land-line phone was hampered by the fact the manual that came with it is in really tiny print (the author, while legally blind, can read large type… if it’s large enough). Meanwhile, he experienced the rush and joys of meeting people in person and getting to know them through long phone calls or conversations in person, instead of digging up stuff about their hobbies on the internet first. The author uses well-placed humor even when he’s clearly irritated with something, making this a fun read.There were two scenes that really stood out for me. First, the author was job searching during this month and the lack of internet service definitely affected his chances of getting a job or internship. The other one concerned his gaming system (I think it was Xbox, if I recall correctly). His efforts to play a certain game, which he had the CD for, were cut short when the game required him to be logged into his online account. Customer service was unable to assist him in this.All together, this humorous account of one man’s adventure made me appreciate the internet more for the services it makes so much easier. I can pay all my bills online. Obtaining information is generally very easy. I have access to news, anything from immediately local to world view. Also, I quite enjoyed all the little references to nerdom – Harry Potter, gaming, etc.I received a free copy of this book.Narration: T. David Rutherford was pretty good for this book. He gave a sense of humor or frustration as the story dictated. The production was very good, lacking any external noises or lip smacking. While he only had to do a few voices, he did them well.
I find it ironic that I am about to review this title on the Internet. It was really a fun, witty, informational and really just an all around great listen. The author really does a great job catching the humor and irony in everyday life whether you are blind or not. Myself being blind this really was interesting to me and I could really relate with the trials of not having the internet. It is written in a journal style where each day the author attempts to accomplish something without using the internet. Some of these include finding out information about a company, solving a argument by asking Google, and even attending a job interview. let's not mention starting a new dating relationship without facebook... those were the days. This book also included some helpful hints whether intentional or not and even helped me remember some facts of life when you are blind. For instance, just because I cannot see someone does not mean they can't see me lol. I really enjoyed the piece on how us blind folks associate voice with how someone looks. I could not stop laughing during this part. #BlindfolksProblems for real. I cannot say enough great things about this book. The narration was really well done too. The tone and pacing was great. It really added emphasis to those scenes or stories that needed it. Just an amazing all around listen. ** I received this audiobook at no cost from Audiobook Worm Promotions, gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it **
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.This was a journal entry style novel following a legally blind man who attempts to live for a month without the internet. It was really interesting to see the diverge between sighted people and blind people and the needs of the partially sighted and blind. This novel really does back up that the internet is becoming so ingrained into society that it's needed, rather than wanted. I really liked it, I thought that it was interesting, partly funny, partly informational, it was just great.
When I first picked up this book my initial presumption was that it was about how vitally important the internet is in the life of somebody with such a debilitating disability, and the struggles of life without it. Of course, the immediate response to that of most people above a certain age is likely to be that blind people have always had to live without the internet, and it is only very recent times that have afforded the opportunity for the better quality of life it provides. And while I think this is the basic premise, the book seems to be more a simple observation of the pros and cons of the internet generally. Robert’s dare seems to be a study with no particular hypothesis, and this, I think, makes it better – it could very easily, and I felt at one stage early in was going to, have become a love affair with ‘old-fashioned’ society and an indictment of the impersonal effect the internet has had on our lives. But in this light-hearted book, Robert, to his credit, embraces both worlds, and simply explains what is happening and how it feels - I like it because of that.In doing so, he addresses a lot of issues, some important, some more flippant. It should be understood that Robert is from the internet generation – his age, blindness and career mean that he spends a disproportionate amount of time online; he utilizes the internet to much more of its potential than many of us. What is interesting is his observation that he uses the internet more expertly because of his disability; this, of course, is in contrast to the real world, which, based upon his experiences in this book, actually seems to have gone backwards in terms of disabled provision since the rapid advance of the internet – the internet has taken over as the default provider of accessibility for the disabled, and the real world has washed its hands of the problems. “Google it” seems to have become the standard response to Robert’s enquiries, as indeed most of our own; the denial of any access to the internet is met with incredulity. Although a fun book, this particular aspect has very serious implications when considering the millions of disabled and elderly who live without the internet every day of their lives. At one point in the book Robert is advised that if he has no internet access, he needs to find a library and use theirs – this, of course, speaks volumes when told to somebody physically unable to get to a library.The most interesting, and I guess inevitable effect of Robert’s study is that he examines human nature and interaction much more in the real world. Clearly, it is not surprising that he finds human interaction much more fulfilling, and actually meets a new boyfriend – this may be incidental or directly related; why not treat ourselves and assume the latter? He does things he wouldn’t normally do, such as hit the cinema, and has conversations he wouldn’t normally have; these conversations teach him the enjoyment of travelling to the point, not just getting to the point, like internet chatting does. What is a little more surprising though, is that he realizes that answerphone messages are not a patch on email messages in terms of their quality and provision of content – a good point which I’d never really considered; so, in this respect, and others, the internet itself has some benefit to our interactions to each other. But, simultaneously, the most damaging drawback is that we have come to trust what people post on Google, than the spoken word – even if that word is coming from the mouth of a trained medical professional. I myself have actually sat in a GP’s office and witnessed him Google my symptoms! Other negative traits Robert attributes to online interaction include a couple of serious ones - perhaps more serious than Robert himself even seems to realize: firstly, he is aware that the internet has changed the definition of the word “comment”, which can now actually mean online abuse; in this chapter, his sexuality and the multi-coloured skin and sexuality of his social group is relevant, because they are targets for internet trolls. The for-granted nature of which Robert accepts this as part of life is particularly sad – unprovoked insult is not something older generations have generally had to grow up accepting. Conversationally, combining this abuse with the younger generations’ willingness to believe what they read online, seems to me a cocktail for depression and very low self-esteem. Number one on Robert’s list of concerns undertaking this study, right from day one and until the last minute, is how many Facebook “friends” he will lose by not being digitally accessible, which gives older generations a good insight into how their invention has affected their children. The second serious concern is that because the internet enables us to get straight to the point, Robert’s generation feel that they are in complete control of the information they receive – I’m not necessarily sure how true this is, considering that information will only consist of that which Google chooses to put on its first page, and may suggest that the internet generation have been brainwashed to think that they are in control, when they are actually perfect targets for marketing, exploitation and propaganda. Thirdly, a side effect of this quick snippets of information mentality is that this generation are unable to concentrate on anything for long periods of time, and need to be constantly multi-tasking or refreshing their activity – unfortunately, it is difficult to see how this will benefit them in the world. The main conclusion I took from this book is Robert’s understanding of how many opportunities for real interaction are being missed because of our involvement online.Generally, this is a good, short book, which I enjoyed. There were a few frustrating moments of incredulity, such as Robert’s proclaimed ineptness at trying to come to terms with obsolete technology which only came onto the scene a decade or two ago (certainly within his lifetime), the whole caricature of sheer shock in people’s reaction to his deprivation of the internet seems a little far-fetched, and one can’t help thinking that if he was so desperately job-seeking at this time, he would have most likely suspended the experiment in favour of his priority. The proof could do with a quick editorial once-over and the text is not formatted in any way. But, if read in the intended spirit, this book is not really to be taken too seriously. It is light-hearted, fun and very well written, and I think you’ll enjoy it.
Robert spent a month offline in october 2014 as a result of a bet. as a blind person whoʻs grown up in the connected world, thatʻs quite a bit more challenging than you could think. so much of technology relies on the internet.the writing is funny, the observations of people and situations neat. while the journey offline happens, there are a lot of bizarre events, from using directory services to trying to set up a landline and figure how to use a fm radio.i grew up before Robert, but could not really live without for pretty much the same reasons. i was offline for several weeks at the end of 2014 but that was not because of my choice. never again. i dream of a more accessible world... it certainly was so much easier to enjoy this book from bard than to wait for the nls cartridge or have to listen to samantha or daniel read the ebook. a good book, whether you are blind, sighted or somewhere between.
As a late Baby Boomer, I grew up just fine and quite happily without the Internet and email. When the Internet did come along, I took to it like a duck to water. I was a computer programmer, so not intimidated by this "new" technology. I fell in love with the Internet, the instant access to information and people and entertainment (not the least of which was pornography) that used to take so long and so much work to get ahold of, if they could be gotten at all.It wasn't long before I had my first website up, an in-depth fan site dedicated to one of my favorite 60s-70s bands, a very popular group with over twenty charted hits. The site had menus and links and charts and photo sections and discographies and interviews and a chat section and bios and polls. It received an award for design for rock music sites. It wasn't long before my site was number one on Google when the band's name was searched for. I had over a quarter million visits a year. Not bad for a beginner who taught himself HTML. And I did it all using dial-up.So, I was rather taken aback when this audiobook's author wrote, "I was tempted to open up my email on my dumb phone. Instead I opened menus and fumbled around like a confused Baby Boomer."But author Robert Kingett had to get his digs in at the Baby Boomer generation, because that's what people in Robert Kingett's generation have to do.Baby Boomers didn't invent cell phones or the mobile phone. Those honors go to the generation before the Baby Boomers. The oldest Baby Boomers were about five years old when the first mobile phone was introduced in the late 1940s by Bell and Howell laboratories, the technical partners of AT&T. On the very same day, B & H introduced the concept for the cellular phone system, combining radio waves with the in-place electric telephone lines (all of which were strung across this land by AT&T, and through which your cell phone calls still run, no matter what mobile plan you have.) That working demonstration model phone was about the size of a knee-high snow boot.Baby Boomers were, however, mostly responsible for the invention of the Internet. Boomer Al Gore is often mocked for something he never said - that he "invented" the Internet. The fact is he played a huge role in its conception and development. He passed a bill to begin a Congressional study for a system that would connect computers at scientific institutes and learning centers around the world so that they could swiftly and easily exchange information with each other, a system he called "The Information Superhighway". That was also the name of the book he wrote about his ideas and plans.But the Baby Boomers didn't invent the mobile phone nor the cell phone; however it was the Baby Boomers and early Generation X members who worked on the technology to make it small enough and affordable enough to bring it within the the budget and usability of the average consumer. Generation Y did not give us the cell phone as some people say they did; they did not give us video games nor email nor Skype nor any of those things; they just use them and with their typical arrogance claim them as their own. I was 13 years old when I joined the Science Fiction Book Club. It took me eight weeks to get my introductory package of free books. Eight weeks! It seemed like an eternity at the time. Thinking back on it, especially at 13, it was an eternity. Just imagine how long eight weeks seemed, when today people are used to receiving packages within a couple of days, and are indignant if they don't.But as a child entering my teen years, along with that wait came a bit of learning about patience, and an incredible building excitement, the kind which is inexplicable to young people today who demand instant gratification.Then again, waiting for a package of books probably wouldn't have been exciting at all to a generation whose motto — no, creed — is "Reading SUCKS."Any second thoughts about that, millennials?So, I was quite intrigued to hear about a book by a person who had grown up without ever knowing life without the Internet. And he would take on the gargantuan task of living life for one month without the Internet.Now, I understand that this task truly was gargantuan for him. In addition to being raised in the technology which he was going to voluntarily force himself to abandon, he was also legally blind, a handicap for which modern technology, including the Internet, has made life much, much more livable. This author is also a journalist by trade, and it is on and using the Internet that he makes his living on a regular daily basis. To me, it was very hard to imagine how difficult life could be for someone who had never known life without the Internet. Or for someone who never had to run into a house, or never had to knock on a stranger's door, or look for a payphone when they had to make a telephone call.Before everyone had cell phones, if your car broke down when you were out in the middle of nowhere, you were up s***'s creek. These days, if you're in your car and you break down way out in the middle of nowhere, you're often still up s***'s creek, because you can't get any "bars" on your phone. So much for the advanced technology. That situation is improving slowly but surely, but in my lifetime my car has broken down more than a few times in dangerous or isolated places and I'm still alive and well to talk about it.But I applaud the author's willingness to take the dare, and he writes about it with insight, intelligence and humor. This book holds revelations for people of all generations with all levels of technological ability or inability.There is a hilarious section where he and two other college graduates are attempting to install a landline phone in his apartment. They are in utter bewilderment, attempting to decipher the manual, which, to be fair, is poorly written and in tiny print. It takes over an hour. Understand, uninformed people, that a landline phone has two cords. Two cords! One connects the phone to the wall jack. The other connects the handset to the phone. Once they have it hooked up, Mr. Kingett has no idea how to start using it because he is looking for the "power button"! He can't imagine that you could just pick up the handset and have it work.Now, the author is quite aware of the humor in the situation and how foolish he and his friends would look to one of us "clueless" Baby Boomers. What's great about this book is how honest and open he is about sharing his experiences in a very alien world which his generation is so quick to scorn. There is a wealth of observations and anecdotes that shed much light on today's society as well as perhaps the biggest Generation Gap in the history of mankind.You also learn a lot about life from the point of view of a mostly blind person. He makes the highly interesting comment that if he had the choice to become fully sighted, he would choose to remain as he is. I'll let the reader investigate that for him or herself in the author's fascinating rumination.The fact that he is gay is probably irrelevant to this entire experiment, but the author insists on reminding us of his sexuality at least every other paragraph. If he is trying to get across that every man, gay or straight, in every place or situation he enters is considered by him as a potential sex partner, his point is made. Whether he sees his attitude as an example for us of the mindset of all homosexual men I don't know, but that's a stereotype he's surely not trying to diffuse.Even as a heterosexual man with a very high sex drive, I don't remember thinking of every attractive, even moderately attractive, woman I encountered as a potential bedmate. I'm still highly sexed and I don't think that way.Does the author learn of any benefits or joys of the hopelessly old-fashioned and clueless members of the generations before him? Like having an actual phone or even — gasp! — in-person conversation with someone? You bet he does. And he forthrightly admits it and reflects on it.There's good and bad in everything, and the sensitive, observant, humorous and intelligent human being we share the ride with makes this an entertaining, enlightening and even important book.The narration is very listener-friendly and without speech affectations a gay man might have which could become distracting from the subject at hand. I apologize if that sounds homophobic - it's not meant that way. I'm just more comfortable listening to a narrator who can effectively convey those homosexual feelings and experiences without using stereotypical voice inflections which with one might normally hear them delivered. It proves it can be done. I think the author deliberately chose a narrator who would deliver it straight, and that was a good choice.I recommend Robert Kingett's Off the Grid with enthusiasm."This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."
Narrated in the first person in day-by-day diary style, this thought-provoking book chronicles the experiences of a young computer-savvy person voluntarily cutting off the umbilical cord of internet connectivity for a month. To add to the challenge, Robert Kingett is blind and, therefore, dependent on technology to a much larger degree than others.It was fascinating to follow his determined efforts to replace the ease and familiarity of internet searches and instant communication options with the almost obsolete alternatives of making telephone calls, looking up addresses in the phone book (by proxy due to his visual impairment), and talking to people in person having made the trip by bus or on foot.Truly mind subverting, some of this stuff! Alongside the predictable obstacles and delays, the author experienced a small epiphany in being forced to relate to human beings one-on-one without the artificial screen of electronic communication. In some cases, his self-imposed quest led to chance encounters that resulted in friendships and relationships that a gay man would not normally be open to without putting himself at risk - another unique angle to this challenge that highlighted the author's great courage and willingness to test the waters.By a strange coincidence, a serious local problem caused me to be without internet for four days. Since we don't own a TV and no longer travel to work, we had a mini-experience of the same sort. Now as a family we are, in relative terms, very loosely “connected” (that is, we use social media sporadically and do not have any sort of following to worry about). Even so, we were utterly lost, resorting to listening to the radio for weather updates, and eventually driving to a local WiFi hotspot to catch up on email and news. So I could relate to the unimaginable challenges of getting along without the convenience of searching, and finding, specific information of all sorts simply by typing keywords in a search box, as well as communicating in ways that go beyond making a phone call.The book is clearly organized by topic, and offers subjective first-hand experiences that easily suggest how each of us would be affected in our own circumstances. As well as reading the Kindle e-book, I have also listened to the audio narration version available through Audible. Total audio time is around 3 ½ hours of very good quality production. The narrator has a clear voice and lively diction. He made the material come alive.In summary, a very interesting piece of investigative journalism enriched by the author's quick wit and lively sense of humour. Robert Kingett covers so much ground and gives us so much to consider without forcing a conclusion, because that depends very much on the individual. The one fact that seems incontestable is that going back is not an option.