The New Off The Grid Is In The Cloud
When people wanted to live off the grid, they used to go to the woods — as Henry David Thoreau said, to “live deliberately.” And some people still do. Some people remove themselves physically from society and exit the rat race, looking for a piece of the world free from the burdens and obligations of society. Some of these people move frequently, nomadically, whereas others settle into a remote spot and start their new lives.
The point of off the grid living, for so many people, is freedom. It is freedom from unwanted responsibility. Freedom from the impositions of government and its perceived tyranny. Freedom from social encounters that don’t seem to serve but always seem to undermine the kind of live you really want to live. And in a world in which we are increasingly connected, to the point of pathology, many of us find this idea appealing.
But most of us don’t have the skills or the desire to go into the woods, to pick up and relocate (sometimes often) and leave the people and the things that do bring us joy and security. Fortunately, in the digital era, there is a kind of off the grid that is very much on the grid and in the virtual community. It is a space in the clouds rather than on the ground, and it allows and affords us the freedom to feel as disconnected from (most) institutions as possible while maintaining connections to whatever things we hold dear. For many of us in the digital age, the cloud, the internet, is the new off the grid.
Why Seek Survey-Taking Jobs?
If you are like a lot of people, then the idea of working away from any office and without any direct supervision fills you with longing — longing for a life free of the things that hold you down (your boss, your coworkers, your deadlines, traffic). Most people think that this way of living is impossible for them, that there is a particular set of skills one needs to have to work online and from home — that you need to be a talented writer, a prodigious programmer, an experienced editor, etc. But if you are willing to do certain things in the virtual community, you can have that lifestyle as well.
You will make your own hours, wake when you want to, take days off when you want to, work from home, from a coffee shop, a library, or anywhere else with wifi, and you will have discovered what so many people have already discovered — that it is possible to reverse the direction of work, that you can work to live, and work in a way that frees you, rather than living to work. And you can do it in your pajamas, which feels divine.
One of the ways to make money virtually is to find something you are really good at and do it for money. Of course, that thing needs to be something you can send in an email, but it can include website graphic design, writing, editing, programming, painting, film and photo editing, music recording, and many other things. Of course, not everyone is artistically inclined, and not everyone has the training needed to do these things. So there is another way. Find the small things you can do online and diversify — get paid to write Amazon reviews, start a blog (about anything) and sell ad space.
Another great way to make money online, easily, is taking surveys. Why would you take surveys for money? Because it is something you can do anytime, anywhere, easily, and get paid. Remember, we are trying to work to live and not live to work. Taking surveys online does not define your life, it enables it (along probably with some other online jobs).
Who Pays You To Take Surveys?
There are large sites, such as Swagbucks, that will pay you to take surveys. They won’t pay you a lot, but they will pay you, and the work is as easy as giving your opinion. Who ultimately benefits from this work? There are many companies looking for advertising research, and this is a cheap way for them to do that and cut out large advertising researchers.
Why Would Someone Pay You To Take A Survey
The point of a survey is to see what you think. And companies, though they may not care about you, care about what you think. What you think determines how you will act — what you will buy, what sites you will visit, etc. This information is valuable to companies who are trying to sell products, create popular websites, develop new business plans, and do just about anything else to make what is ultimately your money.
These companies are likely the kinds of companies you are trying to distance yourself from if you want to live in the cloud. But by taking their surveys, you are taking their money, and using that money to get off the grid. Remember, work to live.
How Much Can You Make Taking Surveys?
It is difficult to make enough money simply taking surveys to pay the rent. Difficult, but not impossible. If you sign up for enough different panels (14 maybe), then you might get one survey a day. This will give you $200 or $300 a month. So if you sign up for that many on multiple large survey sites, and take surveys for hours each day, you could stand to make a (very) modest living.
That isn’t what most people do though. Most people have other sources of income, which can include other virtual jobs. Together with those things, survey-taking can add up to enough money to live. Perhaps you will not live lavishly, but you will live. And it will be on your terms. For many of us, that is the whole point — your terms. There is great freedom in being off the grid, Thoreau knew it and thousands others before or after him did as well. Now, with digital technology, we can enter the cloud to find that freedom.
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