I am back and ready to tell you about my computer-free week!
I was a bit nervous before starting this project because I was simply not sure if I could do it. I've gotten so used to using my laptop for pretty much everything that I was a bit worried that I'd end up spending the entire week going through miserable withdrawals before eventually yielding to the siren call of my trusty old iBook. But that was really a bit of the point. With the notable exception of my husband and son, I hate feeling addicted to anything. The idea of letting something, anything - a THING! control me is not a comfortable one to me. You ain't the boss of me, laptop!
So I put it away, fully expecting a week of jonesing for a Facebook update.
But then Monday morning came with a little guy with a really sore tummy who just needed all my attention. So I gave it to him, without much thought for my beloved internet, beyond a burning desire to google "4 week old baby gas pains." Which may be just as well that I didn't.
Tuesday was a warm and sunny day, and Espen slept for most of the afternoon. I spent the afternoon cleaning the kitchen and weeding a flower bed. I was able to eat and shower and take a nap and do lots of little things that I've been wanting to do, without being able to find the time. It turns out that the internet might be a bit of a time thief, you guys. Shocking, I know, but there it is.
The rest of the week passed much the same. I did laundry, cooked dinner, cleaned our bedroom a bit and even snuck in a little HGTV. And I liked it. I really, really liked it. Staying away from my computer felt a bit like a mini-vacation. I was free to spend every day exactly as a chose to, instead of wasting big chunks of my day on my computer. Of course, I might feel differently if last week was cold and snowy instead of sun shiney and springy, but life without the laptop was really calm and relaxing, even though I actually ended up staying much busier than I do with full access to my computer. I really didn't miss my computer much at all.
Computerless living is just not practical. And here are a few of the reasons why:
- This is a bit of a double-edged sword, but a lot of people had no idea how to reach me. And if they weren't friends with me on Facebook or loyal readers of my blog (What? Doesn't everyone read this thing?!?) they were left wondering why it took me a week to get back to them. On the upside, however, my cell phone got the biggest work out it has ever had. I swear only about two people ever call me on that thing.
- On a similar note, missed information. Not having access to my email meant that Nick and I got Espen all dressed up for church on Sunday, only to discover that we had missed the announcement that we had stake conference (a conference for our local region) on Sunday, and we were three hours late. Lame.
- I couldn't check accounts online or pay bills, which was extremely inconvenient. Here is where I cheated and had Nick do it for me.
- I've started listening to music with Espen (insanely cute!), and usually do that on my laptop. Instead I had to use my ipod or go crazy old school and use these weird round things called CDs. Sheesh.
- I've been trying to put together some birth announcements to mail out, but not being able to use my laptop has put me even further behind schedule. So, surprise! We had a baby - six weeks ago.
- This didn't really come up in the past week, because my mama was off jet setting the globe, but we often use Skype to chat so my parents can see Espen. That alone is reason enough to not go completely computer free.
- And on a similar note, I keep an online album with new photos of Espen for our families, and it was all kinds of annoying to not be able to put photos of him in his cute bear suit online for them to see. So I've included one in this post instead*.
- I missed my blog! What started as a little bit of silliness/kicks and giggles for myself has entirely remained as such. But it has also become a little bit of a creative outlet for me, which I feel like I need. I studied theatre and art history, people! What do you want from me?
- And yes, Google left a little hole in my heart. How could I live without the fount of all wisdom and knowledge?
So, in conclusion: While computerless living is relaxing and incredibly productive for a short time, it's also not at all practical. You'd basically have to scoot your lifestyle back to about 1992 to make it work, and endure the annoyance of everyone that ever has to deal with you. As in so many things, moderation is probably the key. If I can manage to peel myself away from the thrills and spills of Facebook and Google Reader, and actually put away my laptop for a few more hours every day, I'm pretty sure I can manage to get the benefits I enjoyed last week on a regular basis. It will take some discipline (especially now that no one really expects much more of me than to keep my baby alive and occasionally bathe), but I can expect more of myself.
Especially if y'all stop filling the internets with such interesting content.
*Please note that this photo was taken before Espen issued his 'cease and desist' ban on naps.