I have one more week of my Internet Fast and I’ve been cheating people. It’s cheating-lite but cheating all the same. At least according to Husband. I've been able to explain away most of it.
Giving myself the permission to search on the internet can be loosely interpreted as spending time on Amazon looking for crap I don’t need or trying to find out more about an author and getting side-tracked by various murders that relate to a book they might have written. The next thing I know, hours have gone by and my brain is bloated and stupid again.
I was doing fine with short forays on until Husband called to let me know Robin Williams died. One short search to verify Husband’s facts and I was in a loop of reading this to find out why and that to find out how... And then, it was a search to read about Lauren Bacall… and then what was happening in Ferguson and just like that, I was off the wagon and full on in trash mode again. Little facts I do not need to know were filling my quiet spaces in my head and I was spinning down the tunnel again. Thankfully, I pulled myself out and managed to get back to a peaceful quiet again.
But then the damn ALS ice bucket challenges – and yes I’m going to hell for saying that - happened and Facebook came rushing back into my life.
Being off Facebook hadn’t been the hardship I thought it would be when I first started this adventure. The first few days were lonely. It’s amazing how full your life can feel reading about what other folks are doing and getting the occasional ‘like’ on your edited version of life. But a few days in, it didn’t matter. I chatted with friends via text message and email. I called my mother more. I actually went out and saw people face to face. It was good. It was great even. Yes, I had no idea what my virtual friends were up to but that was okay. Yes, I’d popped onto Facebook a few times when a search lead me to someone’s business page or to check in with a quick message but I didn’t scroll down and look at pictures or read anyone’s mini opus of their day. I was good.
And then a friend nominated me for the ice bucket challenge. Husband told me it had happened and that I’d 24 hours to respond. So I did and I posted and it was good. Husband told me about the snarks that folks were posting and I was still good. I peeked at other people’s challenges but that was it. For the most part…
And then I volunteered at this conference this weekend.
The thing that is hard about being off Facebook or the Internet in general, is when I’m standing in line I need to kill time. Or when I want post when something spectacular goes down - like when the dude at the writer’s conference was upset because I had no idea whom he was. And later when he "you people"-d me because his sound and projector weren’t in place yet. Or when I got yet another “Did anyone ever tell you, you look like Robin Roberts?” again. Or when I hit my knee on the coffee table Friday night after standing and walking at the conference all day and then did more standing and walking on Saturday and my knee swelled to the size of a small egg. I finally know what ‘water on the knee’ looks like and I can’t post a picture because that would be cheating… and yet my knee is huge and squishy and funny looking…
At this conference when there were issues with some of the set up and instead of being able to register folks or stuff bags on Thursday, I was standing around. Standing around when you don’t know anyone is boring. That’s when Facebook becomes your best friend. A little peek here while waiting, a tiny troll there and I was back on. I didn’t ‘like’ stuff. I didn’t post my amusing retorts or a picture of my squishy knee. I didn’t even read my notifications. I just scrolled and trolled and filled my time with virtual life again.
I guess it would have been fine if I’d stopped there but then there was an earthquake in Northern California and my knee was swollen and I was icing it and I had nothing to do soooooo, I got back on again. I had to look and see what had happened to my friends and family, right? Who’d been hurt? Did anyone have pictures? Did anything funny happen – like during the ’89 earthquake when Brother was on the toilet and stood up, pants around his ankles in the doorway until the shaking stopped. Or when the toddlers I was watching in the yard kept falling off their trikes and getting back on because they thought they were falling, not at all aware that the earth was pushing them over. I had to see if there was any comedy gold that came out of the shaking…
It was at this point that Husband caught me looking. There was glee in his voice as he shouted and shame in my face as I admitted it. I shut down the laptop and sheepishly shoved it away from me. And then I sat there, unsure what to do next. A few short hours trolling and I’d forgotten what to do with my free time.
This week will be hard. Father-in-Law comes in on Wednesday and the crazy is about to begin. I’m going to do my best to resist but that little taste of time waste is teasing me. Wish me luck and strength and something to waste time with that isn’t on the Internet.
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me