Unplug Everything! – A review of “Logging Off” by Nick Spalding

Logging Off
Finding Balance in a Techie’s Life
Graphic artist, Andy Bellows is a mess. He’s lashed himself so securely to the digital world that he’s developed a psychosomatic disorder that has him in a state of constant constipation and neck and jaw pain so severe he seeks medical help, only to have the doctor tell him his condition is common and he just needs to unplug (no pun intended) by going strictly analog. His physical distress is very real and as frightening as the idea seems of going unplugged cold turkey, he knows its what he needs to do. But how does one go from revealing every aspect of one’s life on every  social media platform to nothing, nada, zip, zilch, zero? So Andy gathers all his electronic devices, boxes them up and stashes the box high in his closet. Andy goes through a withdrawal period similar to that of any addict, constantly wavering on the brink of throwing in the towel and saying to hell with this idea! But his inner conflict soon subsides and as a result of starting the Logged Off movement, he meets Grace who helps him navigate the scary existence of the analog world. In the process, Andy becomes something of a techno hero to others who are similarly immersed in technology. This prospect terrifies him even more than did the idea of being unplugged. But how does one extricate oneself from unwanted fame and live a more normal and balanced life?  A question for the ages.

In “Logging Off” author Nick Spalding’s writing shines with classic British humor and dry wit. His protagonist is so eaten up with self doubt and recriminations that he spends all his waking hours analyzing and second guessing his every action. Some of it was amusing but mostly it just tired me out. But then I’m probably one of only a handful of people who found more tragedy than humor in “The Graduate”. Go figure. Seriously, Andy struck me as pitiable or hapless, even a bit pathetic, which is very unfunny. Maybe it was just my mood after five weeks of sheltering in place. That will affect anyone’s mood.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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