Posts Tagged ‘internet free’

I tried a foolhardy experiment, which is quite obvious from the status of my blog and social media accounts: one year, internet-free.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

It can’t be done, not completely, not unless you want to go live like a Yeti in the forest.  Not if you want any sort of modern life.

It started like this: I took a Dream Job, which, of course, as all Dreams do, paid way less than my former job.  So I decided to go 1982 on this bad boy: no internet, no home phone, no cable television, no Netflix, no nothing.  Actually, seeing as my house was built in 1942, it didn’t notice any difference whatsoever, except for the fact that I didn’t wear an apron and dance around the kitchen crimping pie crusts.

Losing the internet was the hardest thing. When I lived in England for graduate school, competition among companies kept internet rates more than reasonable. But here, two monopolies keep prices sky high.

I spent a LOT of time driving to Mumsy-Dearest’s house this past year, just to do “one thing” on the internet.

In fact, my experiment really only lasted a few weeks, if you count that Mumsy-Dearest went anti-medieval-times on my heinie and forced me to upgrade my phone to a Smart version.  My old cell seriously only made calls.  It couldn’t even text, not after my argument with the phone company about the sexy photo texts I was getting en espanol, on Elva the Spanish Sex Kitten’s old number.

I wish I could say that my Experiment was enlightening, that I accomplished So Much this past year and that I’m now moving to a commune to raise chickens.

But, as a writer and as a modern chickee-poo, it was a study in frustration instead.  99% of my writing and internet time was suddenly work-related only.  I’ve never been married to my Smart phone to the point of going out with a friend but texting the world during dinner as if said friend didn’t exist.  Sure, I could have done more social media from my phone, but when you’re watching your data limit (the modern equivalent of counting calories), you don’t dare take that first nibble.

The worst of it was that I spent more time watching television than I ever had before.  Whereas I used to catch up on one or two shows during lunch breaks, on the internet, this year if I wanted to watch, I had to plan my evening around it.  And, once I huddled down and curled up and got comfy… yeah… you can see where that’s going.

Medical research proves that people who watch more television are less happy.  I could feel it happening. It impinges on the freedom of leisure time.

Yet with all the movements toward a screen-free life, and screen-free children, it’s just not feasible. There’s productivity to take into account, as well as keeping up with ever-changing technology. You can still buy most things locally, but, unless you want to drive all over town, a quick internet search will at least tell you if what you need is available, and where.

Screen-free?  Ha!

But screen-savvy? Indeed.  Consider screen intelligence.  A little planning on the best use of our screen time, and THAT is what will buy us more time in this harried, over-scheduled age of the screen.



Read Full Post »