Oh, hey, internet. It’s been awhile.
I was a little reluctant to plug back in today, after a pretty awesome month without. On the technical side, I was able to get through August with minimal e-mail checking (I had to do so more than once a week as I’d planned), no facebook, no googling (except that one time I really, really needed the hours of the Marcy Library and had no patience for 311), no twitter, no instagram, no teuxdeux. The only luxuries I allowed myself were apps on my phone for the weather, my bank account, and google maps (I know, purists will cry foul that those conditions equal a whole lot of internet).
I think the biggest difference in my unplugged life was that I felt less busy, and made less to-do lists. I think I had the same amount of things to do (book reviews, grad school work, wedding gifts to buy, letters to write), but something about not hounding my e-mail, not following every whim of my google-fancy (where could i get modeling putty for wizards on the cheap? is there a good zucchini risotto recipe? how much are plane tickets to rome next summer?), and not living on facebook (like! like! omg, i love yr new haircut! like! attending! like! share!) — it all made me feel, well, relaxed. The e-mail was there when I checked. The world didn’t end if I replied to someone six days after they asked me something, rather than six minutes. It gave me a better sense about time and pressure.
And, man, I read. I read a lot. I think I finished a whole issue of the New Yorker for the first time ever. I listened to NPR every morning while making my coffee. (Friends recently teased that without the internet I had no idea what was happening in the world. I joked that I knew three things: Gabby Douglas won the gold, there’s a hurricane, and Bic tried to make a pen for ladies.) When I had free time, I fell onto my couch with a book instead of my iPad and a to-do list. How can this be preserved? Where’s the happy medium between my total love affair with the internet, and the joy of abstinence?
I’m planning to cap my e-mail checking to just two or three times a day. Facebook, because absolutely positively nothing monumental happened, I can do maybe once a week, or when I have an article/book review to share. And the rest of it? I’ll take it as it comes.
p.s. — i never made it to yoga. pssshhht.