Monday, May 29, 2017

Taking the Day Off

I decided early yesterday morning that I'd take a 24-hour break from all things Internet. I spend an excessive, unhealthy amount of time online, reading news, being social, and so on, and I wanted to see how it felt to take a break. I wanted to see just how addicted I am, in other words.

It felt strange but good. I got a lot more reading done. (Also some laundry.) It's finally mid-February in Old New Yorker Land, because I finished a boring article about Preet Bharara going after a hedge fund manager for insider trading. I don't always make myself finish reading articles I find tedious, but it was Preet Bharara so I felt an obligation.

When we went out walking, I used my phone only as a camera and pedometer. I ignored my laptop until this morning, completely forgetting that I'd been cooing over this* on Saturday night.

I did check my phone's home screen two or three times, to make sure there weren't important texts about elderly relatives. I manage my mother-in-law's home care (she has Alzheimer's and has caregivers most of the time) so I have to be reachable. Yesterday there was a minor problem but my husband also received the emails and responded for both of us.

I didn't miss much of what I would have normally spent most of the day perusing. On Sunday mornings, I look forward to Newsday's sudoku puzzle, always a tough one. I also like reading the Food52 weekly newsletter, but both of those could wait until Monday.

I didn't have a strong urge to check the news or my email, Facebook, or Instagram accounts. I'd wondered if being away from all that would bother me and it didn't. I had 19 emails this morning, and nothing urgent.

I did have a problem getting a weather forecast yesterday, since we don't subscribe to a newspaper. I had to ask my husband to look it up. (I also opened the window.) There's the Weather Channel, of course, but I don't know what channel it is, and learning that would require the Internet or talking to the TV remote, which I hate. (At least I know how to turn the TV on and off now; that was one of my 2016 accomplishments.)

I tend to use the Internet like the World Book Encyclopedia, turning to it whenever I want information, which is often. It felt frustrating to want information I could only get via Google. I reminded myself that it's okay to not immediately get answers to every random question. It's how I got lived my life until about 20 years ago.

I've spent most of today "catching up" on news and social media, and now blogging. I'm now wondering if I'm less "addicted" than just stuck in a very time-consuming and bad habit. I suspect I'm just plain lazy in using the Internet as my easiest form of entertainment and info. I think I'd do better to read, among other things, so I'll keep taking Internet breaks this week to see how it affects me. I'm going to sign off now and try to stay unplugged until tomorrow morning. Wish me luck.

* Those are Norwegian Forest cats; two mamas, each with a litter of five.


  1. You've made yourself aware of how much of the internet connects with your day. No 'good' or 'bad' just is. Patty O'Malley now yanks at my earbud wires, if I sit with him but keep listening to my audiobook. He's telling me to pay attention to HIM! And he's right, but listening is good when I'm walking.

  2. I guess that webcam is much more interesting than my own.. :)

    I've taken some internet free days too, they are liberating.

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