Facebook, twitter, cnn.com, and every other website that I visit on a daily occasion are all part of one big picture… The internet. I decided to spend my week on break without it. Since I was staying with my grandfather, I felt that it would suit the occasion as well since it is something that he rarely uses other then to send an occasional email. I spent my time putting my feet up and just enjoying not having a book that I had to read. At first, there were the occasional “Oh I should check what’s going on on Facebook” and such. Realizing that I had made a pact, I just tucked that urge away and found many other things to do.
I strongly disagree with what was stated in the movie we watched where one of the participants said, “no computer… what am I going to do for fun?” I think that it is a sad portrayal of our generation and is actually not true for most of us. If someone were to say “no outside for a month” then I think I might say “No outside… what am I going to do for fun?”
During the week I found myself walking around outside and taking in what was in front of me more. I went on a few nature walks with my camera and took pictures. I went skiing (lucky me). I read a book that I hadn’t had time to before. I watched the nightly news instead of reading it online. I even wrote two letters to friends, which is something that I haven’t done in a long time. Not having the internet didn’t bug me very much and I actually found myself grateful to have an excuse to be banned from it.
Though I wasn’t as connected in the digital web, I think that it was a good thing. We often are too available and accessible and getting “off the grid” for a little while was nice. When I sat down to write two of my friends, I realized how much more personality there is in a letter then in a Facebook message or and email. I had to take the time to think about what to write and how to say it because there is no CMD+Z or Delete button once I put my thoughts down on the postcard. My handwriting was a part that spoke wonders about me. I cannot write in Times New Roman. As I got to the bottom of the postcard, my letters got smaller and my lines closer together because I still had a lot that I wanted to say. Everything about writing the letter felt to me as though they were going to appreciate the fact that I had taken the time and made the effort that much more. I put a “Telluride, CO” sticker in both of the letters, definitely something that is impossible with an email. Though I could have written the same exact message online that I had put down on paper, it would have been no different then any other wall post or email that they got. I took the time to look up their school addresses, went down and bought stamps, and then went to the post office to sent them out. I think that the end result is a product that is much more appreciated upon receipt. I know that somebody who writes me a letter really had to want to and had to carve out the time to gather materials and such as opposed to just clicking keys and sending a digital message into the electronic abyss by clicking send.
Back to the internet though, I don’t think that I would have been motivated to do these things if I had access to the web. When there was something that I felt like doing online, I though about what that activity stemmed from in real life and tried to go through that medium. It was very nice and put me more in touch with the tangible world in terms of activities I usually do on the internet. To tell you the truth I had NO lack of ideas of things to do that weren’t on the internet and am very glad that I was provoked into coming up with those! Though the urges were there because of the convenience and accessibility, I was able to withhold and find workarounds with maybe only 1 proxy experience during the whole week 😛