Removed from Society by NBN Cable (Digital Detox)

I thought I may have finally got the balance right regarding social media and the internet. Refraining from oversharing, and pulling back from the dreaded Fear of Missing Out and understanding the truth behind a cultivated snap and status. Seeing who the fearsome Wizard really was behind the curtain in Oz. A house move saw me taken off the internet for the term of my natural life (okay, it was a month)! A fibre optic cable below my house was damaged and needed replacing. It was a month filled with highs and lows.

The Lows:

  1. My daughter is enrolled in some excellent classes, which can only be accessed online. This presented a problem.
  2. No Netflix, Stan or Apple TV!
  3. This led to no The Handmaid’s Tale for four weeks!
  4. I couldn’t complete research for my upcoming book.
  5. I couldn’t write on my blog.
  6. Our many groups sent out invitations and vital information, via Facebook, which we couldn’t access.
  7. We missed hearing loved one’s news, and knowing what was going on in their lives.
  8. A strange feeling of isolation, of being on an isle by ourselves, took place.
  9. Paying bills and keeping informed about payments was a hassle.
  10. We missed opportunities only presented online.
  11. We certainly missed the feeling of connectedness.
  12. We craved the immediacy of being able to put a query into a search engine.

The Highs:

  1. When we woke, the first thing we did was not look at social media. We chatted over breakfast instead.
  2. My daughter rediscovered workbooks and the joy of reading novels.
  3. We played board games after dinner.
  4.  We found ourselves having early nights and waking refreshed.
  5. We were so busy setting up house (and our lives), that we rarely thought of social media.
  6. We found out who we were and where the internet left off in its cultivation of us.
  7. We rode out the listlessness and found a contentment with being without our devises.
  8. There was time to potter, to read, play and rest.
  9. We found that if we took a photo and couldn’t upload it to Instagram, it would still exist and bring joy.
  10. We brought out our old DVDs to delight in.
  11. I lost a large chunk of anxiety, being offline. I sometimes felt as though social media were a beast that demanded to be fed and acknowledged. Once you were on Facebook, for example, it would feel rude to answer one or two messages, and not the rest. The same feeling applied to going to one or two groups and not the others. So many invitations and details to remember!
  12. We needed this month to reflect and replenish, and we did just that without the sensory overload.

A lovely fellow came over and fixed our NBN connection, once and for all. Sure, it was a relief to be back online, but there was also a feeling of wistfulness. You know the feeling when your phone has been off and when you switch it back on it lights up and buzzes with numerous notifications? Whilst we enjoy being back online, with all that it entails, we are also wary of getting sucked back onto the digital highway. You know how one moment you are answering a Facebook message, and the next you are looking at Meerkats on YouTube? You don’t know how you got there, nor are you adult enough to switch off. Before you know it, its 2am and you have to be up in four hours. The IPad and laptops may be fired up again, but we have kept the board games and novels out, as a pertinent reminder that we are more than an avatar, and we need to regularly switch off.

 

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