I can - occasionally - be a little obsessive: it’s true.
Whether it is a new hobby, sport, educational endeavor, blog or television show (luckily I have not seen any of Making a Murderer yet!), I seem to jump off the high dive head first. I once did a belly flop off on outdoor high dive in Canada in March, but that’s another story entirely.
My Latest Obsession
You have probably seen the warning signs in many other posts. Somedays I am ashamed of how much control it seems to hold over me: I am thinking about it all the time, looking forward to it, and even daydreaming about it. As the new year rolled around, GSV put up a Technology Challenge for us to reflect on our use of technology in our daily lives. Other than this post, I have pretty much ignored all of their recommendations except watching only 2 television shows a week - I have watched none this month!
In case you are new to the blog, on a daily basis I live without the internet, telephone service, LTE, or any G. I ride a bicycle about 10 minutes to the nearest wifi. If that connection is bad, it is at least 20 minutes by bicycle to the nearest coffee shop with wifi. Most days I like it, but it has rearranged my life in many ways.
The thing about giving something up, even if it is voluntary, is that the sacrifice may not always have the impact you intend. I often feel like each day I am preparing for the next time that I have the internet. Of course, my process has come about because of the horror I felt at having wasted my precious internet time on a few different days when I became distracted for a few hours.
Here are some of the ways I prepare for my time using the internet.
I actually prepare
- I write my blog posts ahead of time - sometimes it will take me 2 hours just to format the post, upload photos, and make final edits.
- I edit all my photos and put them in a folder to be uploaded.
- I write emails to people ahead of time - In the early goings, many people were lucky enough to receive blank emails. I poured my heart out in the offline email drafts on my iphone and then my thoughts were lost forever!
I make lists, Lots of Lists to prepare-
- Things I need look up
- Medications I want to learn about
- Research I need to conduct about my patient
- What a medication I am looking for is called here in Thailand
- How Stoke City, The Blackhawks, etc... are doing
- Ideas for sustainable projects or improvements that may be made here
- Things I need to do
- Contacting financial institutions
- Upload Photos to Blog
- Skype so and so
- Text so and so
- Download podcasts
- To Infinity & Beyond
- Things I need look up
So I feel like I am obsessed with the internet on a daily basis, but the relationship we have is more apparent and intentional to me. It still distracts me, but only long enough to write down what I am looking up instead of looking it up and then getting a Facebook notification, and a text message, and checking the news, and the weather, and repeating this cycle anywhere from every 5 minutes to 1 hour.
Consequences of Internet Deprivation
Warning: My experience of internet deprivation has been coupled with a lack of television and sporadic movie watching - or what most people of my generation might kindly refer to as a nightmare, whilst thinking it sounds more like the apocalypse.
I have become extremely productive in both my time using the internet and my time away from it. I tend to be more present than when I was “connected,” but I can always find distractions like my guitar, a book, or preparing for the internet. I plan more in my daily life, sleep a bit more because I don’t mindlessly ‘surf’ for an hour or more in the evening, but I do seem to have a few more meltdowns when the internet is not working and my planning goes awry.
Actually, my relationship with the internet does not sound nearly as bad as I thought it was when I decided on this post!