Useful Connections

The vacation spot was really the perfect location for us. It had a private lake for fishing, and a large pool for swimming. The bedrooms were ample sized, and it had two bathrooms (double the potty capacity of our actual home) one of which featured a large jacuzzi tub, much to the delight of the children. It was close enough to home that I was able to travel back one day, and the children didn’t feel like we’d been to the end of the earth getting there, but far enough away that we felt like we were away from home and taking a break.

 

It was perfect except, there was no internet.

 

Or more precisely, there was a single wifi connection in a location quite a distance from our apartment and that connection appeared to be powered by a pair of hamsters with attention deficit disorder.

 

I was able to check email a couple of times, but beyond that, my digital dependency was REALLY put to the test. I was encouraged on day three when I notice that I hadn’t thought about Facebook, or Twitter or Pinterest. Those things, while captivating in the moment, are not the cornerstones of my internet usage. Even if I had access to the internet, we were so busy I wouldn’t have been using those things all that much anyway.

I REALLY missed the blog. I missed touching base with people and getting feedback on the things that float around in my brain. If I had known that I would be completely disconnected, I would have pre-written a few things and had them scheduled to post, just so I didn’t leave you all in unexplained silence.

But mostly, I missed the general usefulness of the internet. I was going to make breakfast casserole. Can I make it the night before and then pop it in the oven in the morning? Just Google that . . . oh. I can’t. See a sign for a seemingly interesting nearby attraction. Let’s look up those details . . . Oh. I can’t. Finished the book I’m reading on the Nook. I have a free Friday book in my Nook library, I’ll just download that . . . oh. I can’t. What time is X olympic sport going to air, and on what channel? Don’t know. Just have to guess.

I had been wondering lately if my connectedness was primarily powered by vanity and laziness, but six days with no connection showed me that I use the the internet in a general way in almost all aspects of my life. It isn’t a luxury item I justify as a necessity. It is fully integrated into a good deal of my daily activities.

Whether or not that is actually a good thing is a discussion for another day.

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About Coralie

After 11 years of infertility, I am now a mother to three, a wife of a Presbyterian (ARP) preacher and a struggling homemaker. Welcome to my little corner of the net. Kick off your shoes, put your feet up and join the conversation. View all posts by Coralie

4 responses to “Useful Connections

  • Kaitlin

    I’m the same way! I love Facebook and I like to check my email, but I never know ANYTHING it seems without a way to Google something. I didn’t know when a store closed today, so I looked it up. I look up recipes all the time and then try to use stuff I have to make it. I hear ya =)

  • Sandi

    Me too. We both got iPhones just over a year ago and I find myself checking stuff out all the time. We were recently at the local Exhibition and the judge made a call made during the chuckwagon races that I didn’t understand. Tried to look it up, but alas, no cell reception. Funny how accustomed we are to having information at our finger-tips all the time. Our eldest son’s principal even told us that they are gearing education more towards teaching kids “how to find” the information rather than memorization. Times are changing!

  • Jenni Leverett Sparks

    Yes! I had a similiar experience with technology today. I drove Ryan’s car and it actually takes a key to open the door, which I discovered after I pushed my van key thing several times. I felt like I’d lost all my abilities! I was holding lots of things so I went on the passenger side to put them in- no key hole there. Once I got to the right door I had trouble lining the key up to the hole. Then, which way to turn? Does it make a sound? Does it just unlock my door? I chose to be encouraged that I’ve integrated all types of “intuitive” technology into my life:)

  • andreajennine

    I was thinking about this recently, too. My mom always compares computers to TV, and I was trying to figure out why that didn’t make sense to me. Yes, they’re both screens, and yes, you can tune out real people in your life for the sake of virtual reality. But during her recent visit, I realized exactly what you’re talking about here. So often, when she assumed I was online for passive entertainment (i.e. like a TV), I was actually looking up a recipe, or reviewing a tutorial for a sewing project I’m working on, or checking information for a restaurant we wanted to visit. I use the internet the way my mom would use cookbooks, magazines, and the phonebook! This idea really came home to roost when I had to change an entire meal plan one night when the website with my recipe was down.

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