Monday, April 06, 2009

Unplugging

I graduated from college in 1996. It was a time when the Internet was only 5 or so minutes old. A whole world was opened up to me from an antique Mac computer on the desk at my first job out of school. I scoured the web for guitar tablature, concert tickets, open mike nights in Boston where I could play. I waited as the slower-than-weight-loss bandwidth delivered information to me. I did not use the Internet to find that job. But I sure as heck used it to find the next one, searching during work, of course, as I had no computer in my apartment.

That was 13 years ago. Over the years more and more of my life was lived online. I was bored to tears at a job a few years after my first job, and I made friends with a great group of women online. I’ve known them for 10 years, and I am still active in that community. I write here. I read other people’s blogs. I get all my news online, with the exception of NPR during my commute. I have a Facebook profile. I have a linked-in profile. With every click I am connecting to some other facet of the Internet. With every click I am making some other commitment that I have to spend my time maintaining.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that my Internet access at work has been slashed to pieces. When I happen to visit a restricted site, I am denied access and warned that my indiscretion may be noted on a log somewhere. The thing I did at work to ease the brain cramps caused by work was taken away. My link to all my electronic connections was cut.

At home I’ve been making more of an effort to limit my time on the Internet. I hadn’t logged onto the Internet for days on end. My offline life needs my attention. I cannot remember the last time I used my canoe or my kayak. My husband is getting interested in jogging with me after work. I have a boat to restore. I have a book to edit. I have a house to renovate. I am getting flabby. I am getting stagnant from sitting still. I sit in a cubicle all week—which is nothing more than a padded cell with a doorway—and the thought of plopping myself in front of yet another computer when I get home is becoming less and less appealing. I need to get up. I need to move. I need to stretch. I need to burn off some energy.

I will still write here. I’ll still visit your blogs when I can.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Taoist Biker said...

I'd been starting to wonder! I was giving you until tax time before I started calling the bloodhounds.

I very rarely log in from home. Like you said, it just seems like the wrong thing to do after spending all day in front of a computer. So if my work access was restricted, I'd be in the same place.

Hope your offline life reaps the benefits and then some!

April 7, 2009 at 7:32 AM  
Anonymous crisitunity said...

Good for you, Beej. I'll miss more frequent doses of your wit, but I'm jealous of you for doing this.

April 7, 2009 at 4:16 PM  
Blogger HockeyNut said...

Hmmm, you have now explained in one post how I lived for so long with only dial up access at home. Who needs DSL when you have a T-1 and lots of free time at work?!

April 7, 2009 at 9:13 PM  
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November 17, 2009 at 11:30 PM  

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