Patrick Rhone is Nonline

Rhone’s Sabbatical

In March, writer Patrick Rhone posted a notice that he was taking a break from online publishing to work on his next book.

“This includes my websites and social media accounts,” he explained. “No blog posts, no tweets, no status updates.”

He concluded: “I’m nonline.”

This adjective caught my attention as I hadn’t heard it before. Here’s the definition Rhone linked to in his notice:

nonline (adj.): No longer found on, made available to, or primarily accessed or contacted through the Internet.

I like this phrase and hope it catches on as something that more and more people feel empowered to use to untether from digital distraction as needed.

Perhaps more important than the phrase itself is the trend it represents. Cultural revolutions, like the one we’re currently experiencing courtesy of the internet, are disorienting at first. New vocabulary — like nonline, or deep workor attention merchants — can play a key role in helping people sort through this confusion and figure out how best to react and thrive in a changing world.

(Hat tip: Spencer S.)

15 thoughts on “Patrick Rhone is Nonline”

    • The problem with “offline” is that it’s already so strongly associated with a specific meaning: in the particular moment you are not connected to a networked device. The implication when you say you are offline is that though you cannot be reached at the moment, you are, generally speaking, still reachable online and will be back online again soon. I think Rhone wanted “nonline” to capture the notion that his life is separated from online endeavors as a sustained state.

  1. We should make a revolution to push our efforts more in deep work and create a culture that supports it. With this revolution, how much more would the USA advance in academic research and what positive long-term benefits could arise?

  2. Interesting to read the remainder of his post in regards to the alms bowl…I wonder how successful this will be – can he find enough giving to support himself through the book writing? An interesting concept for those “monk types” who want to go deep (and have other support them financially while doing so).

  3. Cal, in your YouTube video “2012 Texas Regional Project, “Study 30 Minutes a Day, Get a 4.0 GPA!” around 11m40s you say the following:

    “I would, sometimes, lie to my roommates during finals period to pretend as if I was going off to the library to study because I just couldn’t face that look on their face, where they were gonna go off and get another all-nighter. I couldn’t admit to tell them that I was done and I was going to see my girlfriend and would probably score higher than them on the test anyways, right? That would be bad roommate karma.”

    Something that my girlfriend told me when I showed her “I wouldn’t he help his roommates?” I have this doubt since then. Why didn’t you help them, telling about your new form of study that was better in both ways, in getting the information quicker and in relaxing more in the nights. Did you tell them but they didn’t believe? Were you not as close to them?

    Thank you.

  4. Cal, you might find this article very interesting:

    Let’s call FB, Twitter and all this other **** for what it is: a refined way to advertise products. People react less and less to conventional advertising, hence, new channels like product placement in TV series and social media are a more subtle, and therefore, more powerful tool to nudge people into buying products. And people willingly hand over their most personal data to these advertisers.

  5. It’s summer. College is temporarily over, time for hanging out with friends, but bombarded with tons of free time. Now, in your previous posts over the years you mention that it’s good to think big thoughts over the summer by reading articles such as Aldaily, Harper, and The New Yorker. Combined with your previous advice of thinking big thoughts and utilizing a deep work approach, what advice would you give to college undergrads looking to spend their time more efficiently over the summer whether it begins looking for more opportunities for next year or thinking more big thoughts with the deep work approach? Thanks


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