This will be a mash-up of what I’ve seen some bloggers do, plus my own experiences when I’ve unplugged myself and reaped the benefits. I’m one of those people who often has ten or more tabs open–Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Google Docs, Google Cal, TeuxDeux, 101Cookbooks, NYTimes.com, Gothamist, Flavorpill–and have more and more found myself forgetting small things and cutting out what’s important to me: reading, writing, and routine.
So for the first week of August, I’m taking a break. I won’t be working, so won’t have to worry about the overlap of ordering finger paint or Googling fabric recycling for my boss with my total detox. I’m planning to put up a vaca message on my e-mail, leave a call-me-if-you-need-me post on Facebook, and turn off my airport. In return, I’m hoping for quality writing time, catch up on the stack of paperbacks and literary magazines on my desk, and a general sense of relief that I’m not juggling fourteen tasks and eighteen thoughts every moment. We’ll see if I can do it without a slip–checking e-mail on my craptastic Nokia in the middle of the night in a bought of insomnia, Twittering via text message, jumping onto Facebook just to see if anyone misses me. God knows I love me some internet. Here are some answers to some hypothetical questions about problems that could arise from being sans internet for seven days:
What about your weather.com addiction?
I get the paper on the weekends, and it gives a broad forecast for the coming week. Otherwise, I’m sure I’ll just carry my umbrella with me everywhere in case of a pop up summer storm I wasn’t told about.
What if someone really, really, really awesome and important sends you an e-mail about something awesome and important?
I’m gonna include my phone number in my e-mail vaca automatic-reply thingie, so I’m hoping if something is dire (or awesome), the person will gimmie a ring.
What if one of the dozen of MFA programs that rejected you or couldn’t offer funding suddenly decides they love your writing and/or has found a bundle of scholarship cash hidden in someone’s desk drawer and desperately wants to know if you want the spot?
What if you get invited to some killer party via Facebook and everyone assumes you know about it and that you’re not RSVPing because you’re a jerk who doesn’t wanna go?
I know, I plan a scary proportion of my life via Facebook events and seeing what my friends are doing through their status updates. However, it’s just one week. Friends will text me if there’s some killer thing happening that they think I should come to.
What if you need to Google Map some place you want to go to?
This August makes 9 years of living in New York, so I think I can forgo maps for a bit. I’m mostly hoping I can survive a week without compulsively plotting every bike lane and block that I’m traveling on.
What about all the checking and updating of your bank account that you do through the internet? What about making sure your bills are getting paid and you’re not overdrafting all over the place?
Online banking is totally my crutch, and I use it like normal people use checkbooks, so I’m planning to make sure all my affairs are in order, then take out a bit of cash and work off that instead of my debit card, just to keep things cool.
What if you’re reading a book and it starts talking about someone or something that you just have to know more about and you can’t Wikipedia it or Google image search it right there and then?
Apparently, the word Wikipedia is derived from something called Encyclopedias. Which I can find at something called the Library. Tedious, yes, but I’m hoping that any hands-on sleuthing I’ll have to do during my detox will be totally worth it.
What if Lady Gaga releases a new video and it’s totally hot and queer and you’ll absolutely positively die to see it?
It’s. Just. Seven. Days.
…is there anything I’m missing? I have more than a week to geek out on my daily internet dosage before taking a plunge. I’m trying to get my fill of cat youtube videos and photo tagging before the end of the month.