Friday, May 11, 2012

Offline, for a Change

Remember a while ago when I said I was going to do something radical one of these days? I think I have begun it, though perhaps not quite in the way anyone could have expected. I suspect this is the first phrase of a much longer journey.

I no longer have the internet at home. That's it for me: cold turkey. And no, I don't have an iPhone.

Lest you think I am not qualified for such a bold move: I haven't had a working television since 2000, except for one short stint in 2004 to watch the Olympics.

Lately I've been realizing that I spend way, way, way too much time on the internet, and most of that is wasted time. I'm not quite ready to say I'm addicted, but it worries me that I lack the willpower to create moderation.

I have tried setting a timer. I have tried limiting myself to just doing 3 things. I have attempted "unplugged weekends." All without success.

I should say I have no problem being away from the computer when I'm away from home. It's just that when I am at home, I have trouble resisting the urge to go online. Once I'm on, hours slip by while I do little more than the equivalent of channel surfing.

When it comes to the internet, I am definitely someone who can't eat just one cookie, or buy just one pair of shoes, or have just one drink. Although I have no trouble doing any of those things!

I had a revelation the other night, while talking with a friend. I mentioned something that I'd done, and he said, "You didn't tell me about that" and I said, "Well, I blogged about it." And then I thought, that is just so wrong.

Meanwhile, I want to write, create, read, exercise, and garden more, and spend more time with the people, places, and causes I care about. I want to have more of a real life. Yet I am challenged to find or make the time to do that.

I intend to keep blogging here and at my new nature blog. I know I will have to be more organized, making plans ahead of time for the things I need to do. I won't be able to Google up directions at the last minute. I will have to carry the laptop around more often. It is probably going to be a major inconvenience while I adjust to my new, disconnected reality.

I am sure this will be a major adjustment, because so much of life these days takes place online. I hope, though, that once the drama of withdrawal is over, I will be more deliberate and intentional about my internet use, and that with the extra free time, my real life will flourish.

I think giving up the internet is going to make me happier and healthier in the long run. And it will probably provide some good blog fodder, too.

9 comments:

  1. It'll be fantastic. I love it when we are free of the internet, as much as I do enjoy being on it....though I am also generally someone who finds it fundamentally a little boring. Check my mail, check blogs, write a little, hit fb for a few secs and I'm gone......

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  2. That said, I find it more interesting when I am not in love with the book I'm reading!

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  3. I know how you feel. When I was recovering I didn't go near the computer, and it felt liberating. I have been kicking around limiting myself, also. Good luck with discovering a new old) outloook.

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  4. I remember how much I "used to" do and wonder where I ever found the time...of course, it's spent at the computer.

    Good for you and all the best with your expanded endeavours!

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  5. Thanks for the encouraging comments -- they do help!

    I am having little withdrawal twinges, but overall it's a good feeling to know I won't be glued to the screen when I get home.

    Instead, a little cooking, a little reading, who knows? Early to sleep, even, maybe. Wow, what a concept.

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  6. Okay, I can understand where you are coming from but... I enjoy feeling like I am in touch with you and your life through your blogs, your facebook photos and comments and emails. It has been a wonderful gift to me these last few months. Internet is not all bad after all.

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  7. Sister Friend, I still plan to do all those things -- just not so obsessively!

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  8. *big eyes* You'll have to let us know how that goes. I am not sure I could do the same -- when Wikipedia, JUST WIKIPEDIA, was down for a day I felt totally incapacitated. :P

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Talk to me! I love external validation.