Thursday, May 21, 2009

The first step is admitting you have a problem...

I just went through internet detox, and I lived to tell the tale. Yes, a week ago, I returned home from work to hear my husband utter the dreaded words, "Something's wrong with our internet connection. Oh, and they can't come until next Tuesday to fix it." My heart began to race. Seriously?!! They can't come for 7 days? Turns out they had an appointment available 5 days sooner, but the earliest I can get home after leaving work and picking up the little guys from preschool -- even traveling at mach speed -- is 1:00pm. And they insist that you are available from 12 - 5:00. No exceptions. Apparently, a full 4 hour commitment to stay home, doing nothing but waiting for "the guy", just isn't quite enough time for them. It's gotta be 5 full hours or no deal. Now, that's what I call customer service! SIGH. So, there you have it. No internet for 7 days. My first thought: "Omigod, how am I going to talk to anybody? They're not going to know what happened to me! They're going to think I'm blowing them off." As if the friends and family I stay in touch with primarily through email or Facebook couldn't possibly live without a message from me for a week. Second thought: "Damn! I was going to list all that toddler stuff on Craigslist tomorrow. Now, it's going to have to sit around on our bedroom floor for another week, and I'm going to keep on tripping over it." Third thought: "I CAN'T BLOG! What if I get some thought I'm dying to share? What will I do?" I actually felt a little bit of genuine panic at the thought. So, I took action steps. I immediately re-recorded the answering machine message on our phone to say, "Hi. You've reached us, but we can't come to the phone right now. You can't reach us on the computer either, because our internet is down for a week." I then called several friends to let them know they couldn't reach me by computer for a week and asked them to please spread the word. (Again, as if I am such a crucial part of their lives that they'd go into withdrawal without a Facebook response. I know, it's pathetic, isn't it?) After that, I settled into a week with no email, no Facebook, no surfing the internet, no blogging, and -- blessedly -- no computer games for the hubby. That part, I did not mind at all. And, what do you know? I replaced all the time I usually spend dinking around on the computer with some old loves -- like getting lost in reading a good book, actually writing a couple of letters (by hand!) to old friends, and spending nights playing Scrabble (or, let's face it, watching more TV shows) with my honey, instead of taking turns using the computer. I really never realized how much time I spend glued to this machine, even when I'm just squeezing it in around the kids or hopping online after they're tucked in for the night. My husband realized how dependent he'd become on the computer as well. He wanted to take me out to dinner and a movie for my birthday (Yes, ladies, he came through with some romance this year -- good man!) , but he didn't know the movie times. After all, you can't Fandango without the internet, right? So, he called one of our friends and asked her to look up the movie times on her computer. He said it just didn't even occur to him that he could call the theater. Remember phones? Oh, yeah.

So, I've recaptured a bit of life before the age of computers, I've realized how much time I've spent being plugged into the machine, but not plugged into the rest of my life, and I am pledging to cut down on my computer time. I know, I know, we'll see if it's actually possible. But, I have made a start. I forced myself to wait almost 24 hours to get back online after we were up and running. That's pretty good, right? Also, I quit Facebook, because it was way too addictive following all the threads of conversation and seeing what everybody's been up to. Finally, I am about to log off and go snuggle on the couch with my sweetie. (If he asks me if I'm all done on the computer and leaps up to play computer games, I will physically hurt him!)

But, I'm not going to stop blogging! Some things just feel too good to give up. Cheers!

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