Time For Blowing Bubbles
I think most who read this blog regularly are aware of my intense frustration at not having a working internet connection. Since Saturday, I have been sporadically trying to connect, with no success, until yesterday evening when, for some completely inexplicable reason, it worked. It’s been strange time, because surely, to be offline for a matter of days is no big deal. So why did it affect me so much? I felt adrift, aimless, untethered from one of the elements which anchors my life. It’s such a small thing, and yet it has become such an integral part of my life. I’ve lost count of the number of times over the last few days that I went to check my email, my feedreader, my comments, Twitter etc. before remembering that I couldn’t! It’s almost as though it has become a part of my consciousness, in a way that I’m not even aware of. And I don’t think it would have even been so bad had I made the decision to disconnect – the fact that I technically couldn’t connect was what was driving me crazy.
Interestingly, yesterday, before the connection was restored, I had begun to stop thinking about it as often. I found myself brainstorming after writing my morning pages instead of catching up on my blogging. I sat and watched a programme with the kids without checking my emails during the commercial breaks. I started work on my next thesis chapter instead of randomly stumbling. I took the time to blow bubbles: beautiful, big, iridescent bubbles that floated briefly before drifting to the ground, and nestling in the soft, dew-bedecked grass. I feel on some level I began to reconnect with the world around me – the one that doesn’t require a router!
I like to think that I’m someone who is quite engaged in my environment. I like to think that I notice things . I like to think that my attention is both broad and yet focussed. What being offline has taught me over the last couple of days, is that my investment of time spent on the internet is beginning to rob me of some of the qualities that I like best about myself. There really is no need for me to be on the net as often as I am. I need to be more efficient in my use of my internet time. I need to cut loose more often.
I need to blow more bubbles.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re offline? What changes do you see in your perception when you have spent some time without a connection to the net? Do you think we’re becoming too reliant on our virtual relationships? By developing a rich virtual life, do we risk losing some of the richness from our actual reality?
I’ll leave you to ponder these rather large questions; I’m going outside to play!