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Call Me Laura…

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!

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7 thoughts on “Call Me Laura…

  1. When we were in Arizona just a few weeks ago we were staying at a place without internet..it was really nice for a few days and then I started to go a bit crazy…I had to sneak off to a place with wi fi every now and again just to get my fix 🙂 Overall though it did help me recharge to get away from it all, I definitely recommend it if you can pull it off.

    One tool I use on a regular basis is an app for my computer called Anti social. I think it cost me like 15 bucks, but it basically lets you block sites for however long you want (up to eight hours). I am a total Facebook junkie so I use it to block my facebook. That way I can focus on my writing and other things without being tempted. It’s helped a ton since I seem to lack the discipline to not be checking my feed every ten minutes.

    1. See, I HATE Facebook, so I could avoid that for years and be fine… it’s just the other things I love (Twitter/Tumblr) that keep me coming back. I’m glad you had a relaxing birthday, though!!!

  2. I wrote a blog post the end of December, “Tackling 4 in 2014” and reducing my computer time to no more than 2 hours per day is on that list. It’s embarrassing to admit just how much time I was spending on the computer each day. What’s even more embarrassing is how easily I could convince myself how important it was for me to spend all that time on the computer. There were things to Pin on Pinterest, news to read, Hollywood gossip to check out, etc. And all the hours I’ve wasted online could have been spent doing something much more productive.

    As predicted, it’s been the most difficult 1 of the 4 I’m tackling this year.

    And with that said, my time is up and I’m shutting the computer 🙂

    1. Breaking the internet addiction is SO HARD!!! I totally commend you for attempting it, and I know it’s a total struggle. Do you find that you’re easily able to shut off your computer when your time is off?

    2. Giving up Facebook was so much easier than I imagined it would be. Shutting the lid on my laptop has been more challenging. Some days I’m very good at shutting down, other days it’s more of a struggle.

      I have so many things I need to get done during my day and when we finally move to the country, my to-do list is going to grow. I need to find the discipline now to make that move easier.

  3. I love hearing how others take occasional internet breaks…and survive 🙂 I’ve been known to deactivate my FB account for a few months, much like a dieter would just remove the temptation of ice cream in the fridge. It’s freeing. It’s light. It DOES feel a bit pioneery doesn’t it?

    We have frequent power outages up our way, my children shout for joy and drag out the candles and headlamps. I, on the other hand, try not to worry how much charge I have on my iphone 😉

    Great post!!

    1. Well, it’s encouraging that your kids handle the loss of electricity almost like it’s a party! Not a lot of kids would react that way these days, I’m afraid! I’m like you, though. I hear there’s a bad storm comin’ and I’m charging my table and e-reader and phone – priorities!

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