Life in the Slow Lane: The Up-Side to Going Without Internet

photo by eternal

For the past two weeks, our apartment has been quieter than usual: No streaming movies or Youtube, no reciting the latest hilarious/insightful/fact-finding Facebook update, no flitting through music on MySpace. Our internet has been down, due to a late-night rendezvous someone had with the telephone pole outside our apartment building. (When the crash occurred, Michael went outside to check and is pretty sure the guy is, surprisingly, totally OK, though it's suspected it was drunk driving.)

This has caused its share of problems, especially considering Michael is in his last semester with his fair share of research papers to write and one class being held completely online and I work from home, via internet/email. We've packed up our laptops and made our rounds to the various area coffee shops, pecking away to get as much done in as short a window of time as possible.

And yet, in spite of the frustrations, it's taught me something. Having spent the bulk of the past 8 years in front of a computer screen--first during college and now in the professional sector--I've come accustomed to finding stuff to do online. When I get bored, I'll troll through blogs or pull up the latest online article or surf through Facebook. I'll reload and reload my inbox, waiting for the latest email (and then put it aside to write back to...later).

Without that luxury at my fingertips, I've learned that I really can go 24 hours without checking my inbox...and I'm not missing anything! I've noticed that now, when I do check my emails, I'm quicker to go on and respond (albeit if not as longwindedly as before) because I don't know when I'll have another chance to check. I've noticed that my life is no less interesting or up-to-date by not having my Facebook newsfeed at my beck and call.

I've also noticed that I don't really miss it... I spent one whole day curled up in bed reading a novel I picked up at the library. I went through a bunch of cookbooks and photocopied some recipes for easy cataloging. I created a little "household" binder for a place to store all the ideas and magazine pages I tear out about things like decorating or crafts or planting a garden. And I also don't have much fighting to distract me from my morning quiet time (except for my Sudoku book!).

It's funny how attached you can get to something like the internet with its instant-gratification smorgasbord of options and entertainment. And this little "situation" has been a handy little reminder of not getting too attached to things like technology.

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