When my flatmate came in from work to find me still sitting in my underpants after an all day Internet binge, I had an epiphany. Maybe I spend too much time online?
I started to use the Internet regularly about 3 years ago, mainly to check emails and do a bit of ‘surfing’, but recently I noticed that the only activities I engage in which don’t appear to require Internet access involves bodily functions and nipping out for milk.
I use the ‘net for almost everything else: work, university, banking, keeping in touch with friends, shopping, phone calls, booking tickets, watching films and TV, listening to the radio…
The only interlude in my unremitting requirement for Internet access was a perturbing 2-week period last year when Tiscali gaffed and disengaged me, but my local saloon offer free Wi Fi access, which de-bittered the pill nicely (sorry my dear, I can’t, I have to go to the pub to catch up with some work).
So I decided to have a holiday from the Internet and see how long I could abstain.
The first 48 hours of cold cyber-turkey were endured with only mild withdrawal symptoms, but I began to agonise over the possibility of unread emails. My potentially bulging inbox played on my mind until I conceded that there’s no harm in having a peek if I only answered the important ones, and before I knew it, I fell off the wagon and was back bidding for CDs on eBay.
There’s nothing noble in enforced neo-Luddism, I suppose, and I’m forced to accept that I’m a geek. But I now make sure to put on my breeks before checking my emails.
Article for Shetland Life magazine - February 2007