turning off the computer

It’s been very hard to adjust to living again with a computer in my bedroom. There are definitely aspects of it I find nice, but I’m not really sure I could say that, as a whole, I “like” it. Until I moved in to my most recent room, it had been about 18 months since I had regular access to the Internet from my home. In many ways, I liked it like that. When I was in LVC, I had access to the Internet while I was at work and when I went to the library, but that was about it. This fall it was the same set up, and the summer of 2006 I was at camp, where I only got to check my e-mail on weekends (or while doing day camp/Bible school).

Being in a place this weekend that had dial up Internet that I couldn’t be on all the time — and which I didn’t want to — was refreshing. Being here with access to my blog before I go to bed is nice, but I’d enjoy it just as well if I just wrote the blog now and posted it in the morning. Have Internet access helps me waste time, something I very much dislike doing, on things like checking e-mail or facebook or random websites I don’t need to check out, instead of reading or writing or even watching a movie.

How many of us spend much more time on the Internet than we’d like? I think my life would be more full if I just kept the Internet cord out of my computer at night, or limited myself to maybe 15 minutes to check e-mail once before I head to bed or a similar limit, allowing myself to really feel like I’ve accomplished something instead of heading to bed with little to show from the evening than a new status on my facebook profile.

I’m far from addicted, to be sure, but it’s just to easy for me to sign on and roam around with nothing to do as the hours pass me by. I need a little more self discipline and maybe even some encouragement to leave the Internet behind when I want to but just can’t. It’s that societal idea of instant gratification — the ability to find the answer of wikipedia in seconds and not having to wait for hours or days to find out. I was just talking about self discipline and self gratification last week in relation to receiving a letter in the mail: wait until the following day to open it, and you’ll challenge your self discipline, to be sure.

But for now, maybe I’m not ready for the 15 minute time limit — I think I just need to unplug the Ethernet cord, pick up my book, light a candle, and try to forget which century I’m living in for a few hours.

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