Give Me Back My Internet

internet obsessed

Since about 2001, I’ve had pretty consistent access to the internet. Remember waiting for the modem to dial-up? I’d wait patiently, hogging the family home phone line while I checked my email address, each page taking nearly a minute to load.

I only vaguely remember a time before our home had a computer (shout out to our boxy, grey Power Macintosh circa 1994 – you were the gateway drug to my technology addiction). In fact, I honestly can’t remember a time longer than maybe a day when I haven’t had access to the internet.

Before we left for vacation, I thought that being cut off from the internet for a week might be nice. My active, constant use of the internet sometimes makes it hard for me to give anything my full attention. A whole evening can go by and I’ll realize that I’ve paid zero attention to N because I was “doing blog stuff” (which somehow involves 30% writing and 70% making graphics and trying to fix stupid formatting stuff).

Before we left, I scheduled two blog posts for this blog and two for Blog Brighter. I was proud of myself for not completely dropping the ball but I knew that it would be a challenge for me to just send posts out in to the world and not be able to read the comments or get a feel for how the posts were being received (I’m always scared I’ll start some big commotion and suddenly everyone will hate me. Isn’t blogging fun?).

So it came as a surprise to me when I realized that not only was I a little antsy about not being able to access my blogs (or Twitter and Instagram), but somehow my brain has become completely dependent on Google for everything from basic information to actual survival.

Like for instance, what should you do when you sunburn your butt cheeks? Is Tylenol the better option? Or ibuprofen? Should I just go with aloe or should I steal some green tea bags and find a way to soak in them?

Stuff like this kept happening all week. At one point I actually wondered if the cruise ship had a set of encyclopedias, just so I could look something up.

Like, am I seasick or just hungover? What is it like to work on a cruise ship? What beach is the best beach in St. Lucia? What to do if you are supposed to take your medicine at night but you weren’t thinking and took it in the morning? Without the internet, you literally cannot know.

I was honestly astounded by the number of things that I just don’t know and cannot figure out on my own without the help of Google. It made me feel super dependent and every time I couldn’t get an instant answer, a little ragey.

And it was such an innate reaction – don’t know something? Google it. My mind instantly believes that if I don’t know the answer to something, I can find it easily, in a matter of minutes, on my phone.

I guess what I’m saying is, if the apocalypse happens, I’ll be the first to go. Probably because without Google, I accidentally took the wrong medicines together and it killed me, got food poisoning from cooking something at the wrong temperature, or generally did not possess enough survival skills due to my complete dependency on technology.

p.s. As much as I missed the internet, I missed Archie even more.

p.s.s. I promise I’ll stop talking about our vacation now.

  • This is too funny!! I was actually in Canada last weekend and had the same experience! There were so many times where I wanted to see what race was happening downtown or find out what the conversion rate on my American to Canadian money was or to find a shoe store when the shoes I was wearing gave me a blister the size of an egg. It’s so funny how connected we are to technology. Great post 🙂

  • First of all– Disqus! You went for it! 🙂 Second, I need to say that the burning your butt cheeks scenario is a real struggle– something that I inevitably do once a year.

    I actually love not having internet. I think we’ve become so used to constantly checking in with our phones and Googling everything under the sun. I think Google has almost become a crutch for us, a reason to get out the phone. In reality, most of what we Google could probably be figured out with some serious discussion or common sense. It feels like a dumbing down. I think about how many times I’ve said, “Oh, yeah, that totally makes sense” or “That’s sort of what I figured” after googling something. Not having internet reminds me that we can live just as easily without our phones and devices and it allows me to disconnect and focus on the present. And usually, when I’m in a situation like this, I realize just how quickly I forget that my phone is with me to begin with.

  • I always joke that I am one of the first dead should the internet and technology we are used to cease to be. It’s become second nature that I learn everything off of there. Which is a fact that should worry me more, but yet here I sit. P.S. – I’m loving the Disqus change! Hopefully you enjoy having it!

  • This happened to my boyfriend and me when we flew into San Jose, Costa Rica a few weeks ago! We had researched the city we were staying in, Tamarindo, and knew there were plenty of wi-fi options. But we hadn’t researched the city we were flying into. We found ZERO wi-fi, and suddenly I began to realize I need oxygen, water, and wi-fi to survive as a human being! How was I supposed to find the bus station? Or check the weather? Or use my translation app? Or know my own name? It was quite the adventure 🙂

  • Yeah I also went through internet withdrawals when I went on a cruise I ended up paying to use the ships internet just so I could check in with things. How often do we think of something and Google it, how did we get by without Google…………..I can’t remember it has been part of our lives for what seems like forever.

  • Haha I really loved this. Did you ever figure out if you were seasick or hungover? I’m constantly aware of and ashamed of my internet addiction; I check my phone ceaselessly for the stupidest things. I think it started as a way to waste time between classes or before appointments, but it’s morphed into this awful extra appendage that leaves me with phantom limb syndrome when not being used. Disastrous!

  • i feel so lost when i don’t have the internet too. i feel like i’m missing out on something which is so dumb ha.

  • FOMO is a real thing and I feel like I know NOTHING without the internet. I’m not even sad or embarrassed by it, it is what it is.

  • I was without Internet at home for a few months when I was living abroad without a computer. It actually wasn’t that bad! But then, once I had a computer again, I didn’t know how I survived. Or even how I had passed the time.

    And I feel you. I stopped cross-posting my stuff on other sites because I didn’t want to have to scrutinize my writing for what might possibly ever offend people.

  • We recently decided to get rid of our data plan and I find myself doing the same thing whenever I’m out of wifi range. It’s crazy how much we depend on internet.

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