This was my Facebook status on Saturday morning:
Declaring my independence from the internet this weekend, and planning to be largely “off line” for the duration. See you on Tuesday!
Well, it’s Tuesday, and I’m back.
I periodically get overloaded on the internet – tired of being on it, tired of letting it suck away my time, tired of the technology buzz that makes my brain feel frazzled, tired of the mild ache I’m starting to get in my right wrist from “mousing.” I’ve written about it before, but my efforts to make long-term changes in my habit have not been very successful.
I also get tired of watching other people on the internet, particularly someone who lives with me (and I don’t mean Magic or Molly). My husband has become an internet addict, and now that he has an iPad and a spiffy new Android phone, his face is constantly buried in some electronic gadget or the other.
So occasionally I get fed up and throw my hands (and my mouse) into the air and scream “Enough!” It’s like when we were kids and our mothers would turn off the television, stand in front of it with their hands on their hips and say, “No more of this! You go outside in the fresh air and play and don’t come back until dinner!”
I went out and played over the weekend. The air was indeed fresh, the grass was green, the birds were happy. We attended an outdoor concert at Greenfield Village, where we were treated to some great music by The Detroit Symphony (or what’s left of it since the strike has sent half the players off hither and yon) plus a gorgeous fireworks display. I bought some more flowers for my yard, and finally found a little stone garden bench for the back garden. I walked the dogs.
Everyday I hauled a lawn chair into the middle of the backyard, poured myself a tall glass of iced tea, plopped in a fresh lemon slice, and read/napped for about two hours.
Most of all, I felt less harried, less agitated, although my fingers did itch to check my Facebook, email, Twitter, blogs….I just shoved my hands in my pockets when I walked by the computer room, and I hid the iPad under my (very heavy) mattress. Really, I did. Oh, okay, I cheated a time or two, but only for a minute!
But I also realized that I’m tied to the internet in an enormous and irrevocable amount of ways. There’s work, of course. There’s business – banking and bill paying. There’s communication (being off the internet meant I wasn’t around for impromptu Skype chats with my friend in China). There’s information -about family (seems I “communicate” more with my son and daughter in law via Facebook or Twitter than any other way), about the world, the weather, the TV and movie schedule, the restaurant menu….I use the internet pretty exclusively for ALL of those things.
Though I sometimes think about chucking it completely, I really don’t think it’s possible anymore – at least not for me.
So today, I’m back to the usual internet frenzy. But I’m hoping that a little bit of the fortitude I demonstrated over the weekend will stick, at least through the summer, and I can tear myself away for significant periods of the day.
Because my lawn chair is still waiting patiently in the cool shade of the maple tree.
How about you? Is there anything in your life you’d like to declare your independence from?