Step Away From the Computer and No One Will Get Hurt
- July 24, 2017
- 6 Comments
There’s an old I Love Lucy episode where Lucy and Ethel bet Ricky and Fred that they couldn’t manage without modern conveniences. Although the episode is really funny, I loved it for the actual doing of things, like baking bread and churning butter. I doubt I’d want to do that on a regular basis, but once in a while chores like that have a certain charm. Things take the time they take.
So over the weekend I baked my very first scones ever. Then I pressed a block of tofu and made a dish of sweet-and-spicy tofu with cashews. Cooking and baking created a slower pace that was satisfying even while I kept up with email and Twitter and the rest. I felt very smug about it.
Then my cordless mouse croaked. I panicked in a way that would have—should have—been funny. Except it wasn’t. I had to rearrange the next day to drive to the store to buy a new mouse and I wasn’t happy. But I finally got the mouse to work and realized how ridiculous I’d been. No trip to the store was needed but if it had, well, it was only a mouse. An expense, but not the end of the world.
What would have happened if my mouse had stayed broken? I could have written with paper and pen. My iPhone kept me connected to the Internet and email if I needed them. My Kindle was available to read from. And yet, that panic and frustration overrode everything I could have done.
I’m making a conscious effort to be Internet free for one day out of the week. I can still write, and if I need to contact someone on that day, there’s an odd little device called the telephone. But the computer is off limits, including the access available on my iPhone. It doesn’t matter which device has the connection—for one day, the connection is off.
I tried it. It was an odd, blank feeling at first. I became starkly aware how much of my time and energy was spent online. I wandered through my house with little purpose. But eventually, as the day went on, the quiet left space in my thoughts. And maybe the next time my mouse decides it really does need to be replaced, I’ll just shrug and click my pen open or reach for a frying pan.
Stepping away from the computer for a day? I recommend it.