Blake’s Advice Column
My husband and I decided a couple of years ago that we wanted to live a simpler, slower-paced life so we moved from Detroit to a rural town in West Virginia. We decided to get rid of our TV, tablets and social media accounts and trade our smartphones in for landlines, among other changes. Since then we have been focusing more on our marriage and our four kids. We have picked up new hobbies and have been learning better communication skills. The result: We find ourselves happier and less stressed overall. The problem is we have encountered a lot of hostility from friends and family. We have been told we are crazy, backward, anti-technology, and have even been accused of abusing our kids because they spend most of their time outdoors and don’t watch TV. Your thoughts?
From Kingwood, West Virginia
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The decision to abandon technology is extremely rare in this society. However, you won’t get that same criticism from your new neighbors in West Virginia, since those hillbillies will probably have your same mindset. Before you made the big move, I think you should’ve tested the waters first. Such as, live with some Amish people for a while, to see if you could adjust travelling around town, constantly having to look at a horse’s butt. I was going to suggest that you and your family spend some time in a third world nation, but because you lived in Detroit, you already had that experience. Or, you and your family could spend a few weeks with some remote tribes in South America. While you’re there, avoid the deadly headhunters at all costs, but the good news is, the cannibals are very friendly toward tourists. The bottom line is, if you’re happy in your new location, good for you. Hopefully if your landline ever goes out while your house is on fire in your community, your illiterate neighbors will gladly fill a bucket of water from a nearby creek to help put it out, assuming they don’t have a hangover from consuming their homemade moonshine. I hope this helps.