I was on holiday in Norfolk last week. Very nice it was, too. I hung around on the beach with my family and counted crocodiles with my daughter. That second bit was in a zoo, by the way – not on the beach…
Fading in and out of network coverage, I spent most of my time in East Anglia without the information conduits that provide my daily fix of Aston Villa news (the Worldwideinterweb), pointless babble from people I don’t really know that well (Twitter) and pictures of people I once knew doing REALLY CRAZY THINGS, like drinking (Facebook). I’ll be honest; I missed all that online rubbish.
I mean, it’s good to go without stuff you like once in a while. Like having a period without booze, dropping your reliance on email and web stuff can leave you feeling cleansed and healthy. My lovely wife – bored with my continual logging on – used to challenge me to have internet free days (IFDs).
I’ve done a few IFDs. They’re OK, but you spend most of the day thinking about how you can stop yourself from logging on. Which means you’re just as internet-obsessed as usual, only you’re thinking rather than actually doing.
A seven day IFS (internet free stretch) allows you to move beyond thinking/stopping/doing. There’s that first period of twitchiness, but you slowly get used to having no online access. In fact, you start to rely on other conduits; in Norfolk, I bought a newspaper every day and read it cover to cover. And I even used Ceefax on our non-digital TV. Yeah, man – old school.
Anyway, I’m back home now and the first thing I did was turn on the computer. I discovered I’d missed out on absolutely nothing, but it was nice to have ‘new faithful’ back. It’s tragic, I know. But I am a sucker for all that online crap.