Yesterday, I took a trip to Walnut Grove. I was a modern day Laura Ingalls, blazing through the Polar Vortex or Snowpocalypse 2014 or whatever it was that made Indianapolis slightly colder than Antartica. Bundled against the temperature, we used candles and oil lamps to help heat our home because our furnace couldn’t beat the cold drafts coming through our doors and icing up our window frames like a freezer badly in need of defrosting. We scrounged for food. We only went outside when necessary. And most importantly (and most pioneer-like), we were without internet. Or cable. *gasp*
Anyone who says they aren’t addicted to the modern conveniences of the internet obviously hasn’t had it ripped from their arms like a beloved child. Yesterday, without online or cable access, we were lost. We didn’t know what to do with ourselves. Oh, we cursed Comcast or Xfinity or whatever the heck their name is this week. We used the Sprint network on our phones to reach the outside world, where I needed to find out if work was cancelled or not (it was), but the connection was slow and spotty, and it felt so much like the dial-up we had circa 1997 that we were soon frustrated and gave it up completely. And then, when there was nothing to watch and no websites to surf or random topics to research, we wandered. We napped. We talked. We played with the dog. We checked our internet connection. We ate. We checked to see if the cable was working. We ate some more.
We were restless and, at first, I couldn’t figure out why. Sure, there was a mountain of snow outside and terrible roads, but we’d had that before because this is Indiana. And then, midway through my day, it hit me – OH EM GEE I NEED THE INTERNET. My husband was much more concerned about the lack of cable, but since I only watch a few shows and I always watch those online, I could go without a television in the house and not even notice. Cutting me off from the web, though, was brutal. It took me hours to move myself through the stages of grief. Once I got to acceptance, we popped in our Petticoat Junction DVDs, I pulled out my sewing, and we settled in to an evening rhythm. And it was nice.
I never really realized how often I was online. It’s become habit to immediately google something or look up a recipe or check my Tumblr dashboard or…. the list of what I do online is endless. And this dependency kind of scares me a little. I’ve noticed that I have a lot less focus now. Part of this I blame on my job, but a lot of it is due to my online habits. My mind bounces from subject to subject and I have fourteen tabs on my browser open at any given time and it’s just too much.
So I decided today, when Comcast finally decided start working again, that I need to do something about this dependency. I want to wean myself off the internet and work more on my writing (which I’ve actually started to do again!) I have sewing projects waiting for me. I have a home that needs organized. I have a dozens things I could be doing besides googling celebrity gossip.
I’m not pretending that I’m even going to be successful with limiting my online time, but I’m at least going to try. My goal is much less time online during the week and when I’m online, to make my time more meaningful (i.e. this blog). Weekends I’ll allow myself a little more time to surf. All I know is that yesterday was eye-opening, and I didn’t like what I saw.
I know I’m not the only one to realize this and attempt to do something about it so I ask you, my readers – have you pulled away from the web at all? Has it worked? Please share!