Life without WiFi

Leaves
I’d rather be out here instead.


In the weeks and months leading up to the Big Move-In with Spencer, we talked endlessly about two facets of life in our new place: the fact that he does not have cable (the horror) and, worse, the stunning truth that he also does not have Internet.

I’ll repeat that again, lest the crushing weight of this truth didn’t settle heavily onto your chest the first time: Spencer does not have Internet. We do not have Internet at home.

Look, we all know I’m addicted to technology. From Instagram and Facebook to Flickr and Etsy, I am online all the time. Like most twenty-somethings who remember life without social media, however, I often think about the toll it takes on my everyday relationships . . . you know, the ones with people waiting for me to stop snapping pictures of my wine slushie and just drink it. Not long after I got my first iPhone, I remember Spencer literally getting up to put it on a shelf on the other side of the room (“for my own good,” he joked. Or should I say “joked.”)

I felt anxious. Genuinely anxious. Like, upset and itchy and freaked out not to have that little portal connecting me to the outside world. When we visited the UK for two weeks in 2011 and I was totally sans online access (save the times I broke down to put a few pounds in the hotel lobby’s computer), I honestly felt like a crack addict itching for her fix. It was even hard to concentrate.

It’s been more than a week since I moved into a place without Internet — or cable. And though I’ve been endlessly busy with unpacking and organizing the upcoming wedding (less than three weeks!), I have to share words I never thought would leave my lips: I only kind of miss it.

Cell phoneNow, let’s be frank here: I’m definitely not without online connections. It is not at all the same as going abroad for two weeks with literally no access to anything digital. I didn’t realize how much I’d come to rely on my phone for everything from weather reports and maps to keeping in touch with my friends and boyfriend, and how dependent I’d become on that stream of communication.

So no, I’m not stranded in a digital desert without any water. I realize this. There’s my iPhone, for one — still ever-present in my little paws. And, you know, I’m online for eight hours a day at work — albeit not doing personal projects, so it is different. But still. I’m not disconnected, and I’m not pretending to be. But as someone who routinely spent all day on a desktop followed by all night on a laptop at my parents’ house, this is . . . unusual.

But not unwelcome.

I’m writing this at Mom and Dad’s on Sunday, popping onto the family computer to touch base with a few folks I didn’t reach during the week. I reported a non-paying bidder on eBay (why, why do people do that?); I put my beloved Etsy shop on vacation because I can’t keep up with “Harry Potter” scarf orders beyond the current fill (which is an awesome problem to have). Just, you know, putzing around online while I wait for Mom to get ready so we can run errands and do whatever nonsense we feel like doing on a beautiful fall day.

And I don’t need the Internet to do any of it.

After a few weeks of no WiFi at our apartment, I’m sure that familiar ache for online access will return — and I’m sure that, down the road, we’ll break down and sell our souls for some sort of monthly service plan. I know I will really miss the Internet when I want to work on pictures after the wedding, because how will I upload all of them? That’s when I get a little itchy and weird: when I think about getting my pictures online.

But I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. For now, there’s a whole big world out here just waiting for us.

And I’ll only Instagram some of it.


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13 thoughts on “Life without WiFi

  1. Oooh. I think that would be a deal-breaker for me. I’m all for keeping things in balance…my family won’t let me get away with being glued to my computer. But there are times when I’m home alone (!), when my kids are out, my husband is out of town, and I relish the opportunity to manage a photo album, order some library books, or order gifts for someone’s birthday. I give you a huge amount of credit for even trying!

  2. Reblogged this on Nina Honey and commented:
    Me identifiquei mais do que qualquer coisa com esse texto. Penso numa lista infinda que amigos que deveriam ler e refletir sobre…

  3. I must confess I am not sure if i would be able to go through my day without using the Internet. Most of the time I use it when I´m at work and that´s why I try to reduce my time spent online when I am home. Unfortunately, I sometimes work from my house so I have to check it time to time. Anyway, good luck to you. I´m sure you can do it.

  4. Cable I could go without and often I don’t even turn on the TV. But no internet? No way! I have moved too much of my routine stuff, including bills, online – plus I’m looking for a job and there is no way to find one without internet. The toothpaste is out of the tube for me – no way to put it back or return to a simpler time.

  5. Ohh Gosh. I do wonder how are you surviving? I can live without internet for a day or two, maximum a week. but…..
    I remember when we shifted to our new address and we didn’t had internet for a week or so. It was good to some point but after a while it felt like I am disconnected from the world.
    Cheers to you… keep going 🙂

  6. Wow, sending you a high-five! I often contemplate going a day, or a weekend, without the internet and technology…but living without the internet at home? Not so sure if I could do that, but then again, it is doable – as you’re proving! Happy to have stumbled across your blog 🙂 And best of luck for the last few weeks before the wedding! My sister is getting married in February, and although it’s been fun preparing for it, it has also come with a big chunk of stress, eek. Hoping that the next few weeks are more on the fun side 🙂 looking forward to following along!

  7. Dang! No Internet! The few weeks the boyfriend and I have been without Internet during moves have always been really frustrating for me. We wouldn’t have cable if we had the option (we live so far in the boonies there is NO broadcast tv), but I don’t think we’d make it long with Internet. Even so, I think it’s worth appreciating the time forced offline to think about why you need/want Internet and learning to balance better.

  8. I get really raving beasty when I don’t have internet, but that can largely be attributed to the fact that it only goes out when I have to grade papers. Like HAVE to. Otherwise, I might not miss it so much. I’d definitely read more!

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