Do you remember the days before high-speed Internet? Like, when we only had dial-up or even longer ago, when we had no widely available Internet at all?
I’d say you have to be at least 30 to properly remember those days. I’m older than that and I do remember. Faintly.
The Internet is such a commodity, we even write it with a capital ‘I’. And I have been without it for the past five days. Hence why there have been no recent posts. Not for lack of writing, but for lack of Internet access.
Here’s what happened: the main powerline to our building was replaced and as the workmen closed up the hole after the replacement, they damaged the Internet cable going into the house. Not noticing, they closed up the hole, and now my provider and the company seeking to repair the line needs a new permit to open up the hole again, which has to be issued by the city. It’s Monday. Of course, no such permit will be issued on a weekend. Or within a day and a half before the weekend begins.
Of course, I could have used my mobile data, but that is limited to 4GB right now (no flat rates in this country). And it’s still only the 11th of the month, so I have over two more weeks to go for my allowance to last. Usually, it would be more than sufficient for my needs.
Needless to say, my frustration has been considerable.
I can’t do my freelance work (not from home at any rate). I can’t do any research. I can’t seek any distraction whatsoever online. I have no TV either, by the way (same cable). I can’t look for other jobs to do. I can’t do any online shopping.
Yet, these past few days have also been a fascinating experience. I have cleaned a lot. My kitchen is nearly spotless. I don’t miss TV at all (I have stuff on various hard drives I can watch anyway). I do miss watching the news a little bit. I have not had any chance to get lost in mindless research (if even for purchases that I won’t make). YouTube has been completely off-limits, and I have coped.
It’s been a very quiet few days at home. I have read a lot more. My mind feels quite peaceful and not overloaded. I have stayed off Insta as it also chews up a lot of data.
I’ve worked the whole weekend in my other job as well, though. So, that provided a good kind of distraction. My focus was elsewhere, I had people to engage with, stuff to do and no reason or opportunity to binge-watch the shows I have downloaded on my tablet.
Still, even on Thursday and Friday when I had off, I used my time rather differently than I would have with Internet access.
The main drawback has been the impact on my freelance work and opportunity to seek new projects to work on. That is not okay.
But the involuntary Internet detox has been good for me in many other ways. I sat in the kitchen for my meals, not in front of the TV. I decluttered many of the little things that I often put off as they are only little things.
I wasted a lot less of my time than I usually would. I enjoyed the nearly complete quiet (this includes noise coming from my neighbors, where it has also been a lot quieter these past few days).
Of course, being mostly offline like this hasn’t been my choice. I appreciate the benefits and I am wondering whether I can continue to be offline more even when my Internet is back up again. Should I set time aside when I switch off?
When I read a book, I usually do that anyway. But probably not enough.
The repairs won’t be done until at least tonight, potentially not before tomorrow evening. So, I will have to see how I deal with the situation once I have ready access to the Internet again.
I will continue to observe myself, though, and give an update in due time.