with my internet connection mysteriously gone for over a week, i came to an important realization: i don't like the internet.
now that seems absurd even to myself. i see the internet as a useful tool for easy to find information. a means of creative expression and sharing of ideas. a way of keeping in touch that is fast, convenient and all but free. it is a platform for media and entertainment without the mind numbing commercialism of cable tv. yet the mind numbingness is still there (and so, obviously is the commercialism). what is it with the internet? i've heard more than a few people refer to 'getting sucked in' to mindless web surfing. when i sit in front of my computer i always tell myself that i'll use my time productively and i won't stick around too long. i'll check and respond to emails. i'll write something on my blog. maybe upload a few pictures. i'll look for answers to any questions i've been having. yet hours may pass before i finally snap out of a monitor trance and ask myself, "why am i watching another skateboarder break his leg on you tube?!?" like cable tv, it is far to easy to get distracted by nothing.
so i find that when i sit down at my computer with the ostensible intention of being useful, i shift through emails without responding to any, pass over my blog without writing a word and fail to even open iphoto to sort through my mass of disorganized pictures. and the whole time i'm being busy in my unproductiveness, i feel antsy and anxious. i think of a myriad of other things i could be doing besides being plugged in.
so the answer to this whole problem should be easy... stay away from the internet. my two weeks off was blissful. i didn't even check my email for days on end. i was happy to not have to sit in front of the computer. but when i finally got around to opening my inbox, i saw i'd been inundated with facebook notifications and emails from friends and family. some of them were urgent. and thus my quandry. shirking the internet entirely would mean shirking my responsibility to keep in touch with friends and family.
i've been a little better at rationing my time on the internet. i now get up in the morning and enjoy a coffee while doing a crossword or sudoku puzzle. then some quite reading followed by a meditation. this is usually followed by a yoga routine or at the very least an intensive stretch. only after this morning ritual will i allow myself to check my email. and even then i try to make sure i make time for other tasks: cleaning my apartment. cooking some food to bring to school. this routine leaves me feeling good. almost as good as if i get out and go for a climb in the morning (which is my puzzle solving, meditation, and intensive stretch all wrapped into one). yet often i don't give myself enough time to do the things i set out to do when i sit at the computer. my blog has gone unupdated for almost a month because i haven't deemed it a priority when i get online. yet i've also managed to leave a slew of emails in my inbox unresponded to. am i really using my time on here wisely or productively? it certainly needs some work.