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.


  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......

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

  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.

  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!

  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.

  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.

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

  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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