After just getting through talking with you about the take-over of technology in our lives, I had an ironic experience that both lent credence and uncovered surprising realities to that thought.
Over the last day or so, my internet connection has gone a-sputtering, leaving me without connection for the better part of a day and sections of others. I had not realized how much of my time is engaged on the computer and online, but this past offline period enlightened me to just how disconnected I had become from a daily routine.
I have been under the (false) assumption that I had plenty of activities sandwiched around my computer use. Tennis, biking, shopping, visiting…these were my varied time consuming activities away from home.
My day off the computer, though, showed me how little that time actually amounted to, or more precisely, how much of my time was tied to the computer.
Once I finally conceded I was not getting back online, I decided to move on to the growing list of procrastinated real world activities I never seemed to get around to doing. In just one day I accomplished a number of important home tasks and some not-so-immediate things from my “want-to-do” list (like hanging all my drawings back up – which served as an additional reminder to bring my sketchbook with me to Washington D.C. next month).
I knocked so many things off my list in just that one day that it caused me to rethink just how much time I spend on this machine. It occurred to me that I sometimes use this machine as an excuse to doing less pleasant tasks at home. Not particularly revelatory; we all have reasons we concoct to avoid such duties.
What I had not expected was that the preceding “unpleasant” jobs were nothing of the kind. The fact was, I enjoyed doing things around the house and accomplishing tasks far more than I missed being on the computer. Strange, for a life-long procrastinator, but I found a good deal of satisfaction completing so many items on my “to-do” list.
So I’ve rearranged my daily schedule to better balance my online time and my home time. In a strange way, I had to become disconnected to become reconnected.