The Internet has been down at my place for the past week. I’ve used my cell phone’s hot spot to get on, but only when I absolutely must because I’m already into data overages and extra fees. And today my (awful) Internet provider robo-called to let me know they could not fix the problem due to “unforeseen circumstances,” until further notice. (Read: we’re all on strike and we’ve got you over a barrel. Take a number and get in line.)
If the past two years’-worth of personal austerity measures have taught me to trim the excess and live lean, the past week has reminded me how to get on in the great void of communication with the outside world—you know: how to live like we all once did, without the Internet, without easy access to pretty much anything in seconds.
What I’ve learned is that I have devolved into a lazy person who has not opened a thesaurus or dictionary’s pages in a while save when Handsome Chef Boyfriend urges me to look up something to guess a crossword puzzle clue (he believes looking on the web is cheating). I waste all kinds of time every single day researching things I convince myself matter, but really do not at all. I’ve started saving my hot spot for twice-daily Internet usage, and more often than not, outside of quick email responses, there is just not much I need to do online that is of immediate and critical importance.
My conclusion is that I mainly use the Internet for work avoidance. I’ve gotten all kinds of things done in the last week—things long put off because I felt too pressed for time. I had lunch with a friend (how delightful). I sat down to read a couple of times. I even went to the tiny library that serves my town and chatted with its interesting, bilingual librarian while I was pulling DVDs from the shelves to borrow (no Internet = no Netflix streaming). I learned some stuff that day I would not otherwise have known (including the fact that the tiny local library has lightning fast 24/7 wifi, ironically—you can sit in your car and use it after hours, if you want, and the librarian said she’d let me in if her car was there). I also got out my beautiful Martin classical guitar, cleaned and maintained it a bit, and played some scales.
I’m antsy to be reconnected—this is not a Luddite-style anti-Internet argument, just an observation about me and my habits.
I miss y’all; call me if anything exciting happens.