Today our world went silent. Right next door a new house is beginning construction and the internet line got cut by a bull dozen. So our entire ‘street’ went quiet. Someone forgot to call the utility companies before they started digging. The result was a day without the internet.
We discovered our connection was dead late yesterday afternoon and went to Starbucks to finish out the day’s work. We figured it would work itself out by morning, we were wrong. Today we found out the line was cut, and the utility company was out repairing it late into the afternoon. We spent the day working offline, making phone calls using hot spots and cellular connections. It is amazing how resourceful you can get when life must go on.
This silence made me realize just how dependent – let’s call it addicted – we are to the internet. I had three or four or maybe more like ten to fifteen times I wanted to do something, check something, manage something to no avail…no internet connection. Almost all of my to do items to keep our world running involved something online. Without the ability to stay here and connect we were forced to seek out other places to find a source. I felt like a junkie addicted to an invisible, intangible something who would do almost anything for a connection fix. I do not drink coffe or visit boutique coffee shops, yet I found myself gald to see the one in our town because it had free wifi. Desperate made us just like everyone else. We were held hostage by the lack of an internet connection.
What I find more sad is our inability to just be quiet and still. The panic of life without getting things done found us scrambling for a ‘fix’ and relieved when we found it. It was as if our blood started flowing again once we were back online. I posted my blog for the next day, and disconnected. We took a walk and meandered around until we hit our step goal for the day. But we had to stop, close the computer, take a deep breath and walk away. Our addiction had us by the throat until we saw the light and stopped the madness.
As a world we have become connected and addicted to online life. Surfing for cute pictures of cats and puppies, funny sayings and news has taken over our lives. We spend more time looking at a device than talking to the people we love. All the data of our lives is stored online for anyone to see. The concept of a selfie did not exist until the internet. The concept of a paperless life was unimaginable until online storage became the norm. Now we are so addicted we cannot imagine life without it.
The irony of all this is that I am posting my trials and tribulations about our online addiction…online. Even my rants have become part of the internet, in over 42 countries no less! This brief glimpse into life without the internet has reminded me that there is more out there than ignoring people to particpate in an invisible community. It is time to pay attention again to the people and ones we love in the room. We need to live more balanced lives and manage being online instead of letting online things manage us. The question is, do we have the courage to make this a practice or just leave it as a good idea we read about online?