I’ve recently come back from a 16-day walk with my son that started at the New Hampshire/Canadian border and ended at the New Hampshire/Massachusetts border.
It was 16 days of spotty cell coverage and non-existent internet service. In short it was a time of being, for the most part unplugged (dark.)
The only news we recieved was when we got to our hotel each night and turned on CNN thirsty for the outrageous things a presidential candidate had said that day.
We had no GPS and had to rely on maps to tell us where to go.
I had no connection to tell me if rain was in the forecast or what the UV factor was for that day.
My son and I had to rely on ourselves for conversation and entertainment. Such a rarity – such a gift.
And I loved it.
Loved it so much, that I want to go back. Truly. I want to have a tiny house in northern New Hampshire and only be on the net when I absolutely need to. (I know, how very Little House in the Big Woods is that?) I want to write uninterrupted.
Our walk taught me that I spend far too much time cruising around on the internet in the pursuit of etnertainment. Sure, as a writer, I have to sit in front of a monitor, but do I really need to check the news sites to see if there’s been an update on a situation? Do I need to click on that which is so cleverly disguised as click-bate (you got me again!)
Our walk made me realize how much of my life is wasted on the internet and how little of it is spent outside enjoying the real world. It’s the new Matrix dilemma – plug into the fake world or go join the true one.
I choose the red pill.
This experience has left me determined to limit my internet interactions. I’m going to try to use the internet deliberately and with thought. I’m going to take back control.
I have seen the light and I’m going dark.
I’m now taking my computer to places where I have no internet connection so that I can write with unbridled and uninterrupted abandon – while sipping a cup of tea and watching clever little birds dip in and out of the bird bath over there on that verdant green lawn.
Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.
Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens). (www.simplethrift.wordpress.com) She writes about her chickens for GRIT, Backyard Poultry, Chicken Community, and Mother Earth News.