Vox’s Victorians: Live Free or Die
People are increasingly going a different path away from modern society. Rejection of the rat race, people running away from the world to live a simple and rustic life. What is the appeal? Is this the natural recoil of humans towards technology?
I’m still working on the particulars but a couple this past month broke the internet by posting a personal essay on Vox about their anachronistic victorian life complete with corset, bustles, big wheel bicycles, and dated technology. Slate.com wrote a scathing article talking about how unrealistic, fake and pretend the couple was being by basically playing dress up pretend and calling it life.
I don’t care about that but what I don’t understand is why do people flee from technology as a way of life?
What is the appeal? I understand that trying to stay away from a smartphone and not spend hours on Facebook (we’re spend more time on Facebook than TV now) has a certain appeal in terms of time management and having real life hobbies that take place in the real brick and mortar world. I get all of that. But let’s think about all the amazing things that these new technologies have granted us. Our ability to consume, produce, and interact with information is unparalleled. In almost every area of our lives, although unsustainable ecologically, we have created a far better society than anyone in 1895 could have any imagined. No matter where you look: medicine, learning, media, personal safety, everyday products: technology has delivered a far better world. Why withdraw to a dated environment?
In TV, this idea has had on-again-off-again roots. Shows like, The 1900 House and The Oregon Trail:A Journey Across America have sought to give us real life proof of how hard our ancestors had it. But these shows all come to an end and the participants go back to their modern lives with life lessons learned. I don’t think any of them wanted to live that way permanently. They were smart. Sarah isn’t on board with that.
Sarah, one of the Victorians, talks about how her skirts help guide her around the house and that having a waist chain with small scissors and other small helpful accessories has become a go to necessity for her in her everyday life. She even stood on The View and showed off all the exercises she could do in skirts and corsets. The whole exchange smacked of someone trying to justify their weird obsession with a lifestyle that is no longer practical. Afterall, humanity moved on for a reasons. People in the 18th century believed that a better world was possible and they activity worked for it, especially temperance women, suffragettes, and amazing inventors who felt that what they had was not good enough and that we humans could do better. And we did, unless you live in 1895 by choice.
While they might be the ultimate hipsters and certainly have earned admiration from the Steampunk fandom, I think rejecting society by trying to live the way they do, while nothing is intrinsically wrong just seems to be a quiet judgment worthy of a snobby Victorian housewife.
Their Victorian life has not stopped them from making use of the internet however. Her popular blog makes up part of their income and she has written two very popular books on their experiences. You can use this annoying new technology and learn all about them below!
The Credit for the Title Photo: Photo by Hyo Gyung Choi, Mary Studios
Her website: This Victorian Life
Originally published at www.cameroncowan.net on October 14, 2015.