Friday, May 1, 2009

Internet Sabbatical

The internet is a tricky thing. There are some wonderful tools available via cyber-space, some of which I've become much more dependent on since I've had young children in the house. I order clothes for our family from clearance sites on line, work on my digital photo books without having to worry that little Johnny will tear up a priceless photo, do all banking online and schedule all bill payments so they don't get lost in the shuffle, email someone who's now living in Germany, etc.

However, the internet can be such a time drain!!!! When Carrie and I started this blog, I had three napping children in the afternoon, two nappers in the morning, and only 1 mobile child. Now, I have three very mobile children, no morning nappers, and 2 afternoon nappers (and 1 child who is awake all day...). In addition to that, we've combined our computer with our TV, so my time on the computer is non-existent in the evening.

All of that is fine, except that it's easy to follow rabbit trails through cyber-space, read fascinating blogs, write up random blog posts when I have time, and so forth...often when I should be doing something a bit more constructive. I've written this week about some tools of the digital world that I find very useful, but today I'm going to commit to an internet sabbatical: the entire month of May.

Why a sabbatical? Because as we all know, the internet turns your little internal clock off. You can sit down "for a minute" and an hour is gone by instantly. I do not have time for those precious hours to slip by anymore. There are better things for me to do: right things for me to do. The internet is not wrong, but I don't need to spend as much time on it as I do. How much time do I spend on the computer? Probably only an hour or two a day. However, that precious hour or two during kids' naptime (and 1 child's quiet time) is the only time I have now to communicate with long-distance friends, to work on projects that are best done when children are out of the way, to have my quiet time, etc. Those are more important than reading someone's blog I don't know or finding yet another fabulous recipe.

Why a sabbatical, though? Why not just limit my use? Well, I'm curious to see how many things I'll get done and how much better my life will be! I'm trying to talk my husband into a media fast in general (from TV and movies). We'll see if I can convince him. I doubt it. But maybe we can limit our watching to once a week. There are so many more worthwhile things to be doing, especially when the weather is nice. There are books we want to read, hikes we want to take, art projects to do with the kids, and so forth. So, consider this an experiment.

I can't go entirely without the internet because there are some people with whom I only communicate via email (aforementioned friend in Germany) and we bank with an online bank. However, I am committing to the following: no new blog posts (some are already scheduled), no reading of other people's blogs (sigh), checking email only once a day, no surfing the web for a new recipe, etc. What can I do online during my internet sabbatical? Balance my bank account, pull up a recipe I already know exists on my food blog, check my email once a day, and that's about it. I meant to have this post published first thing this morning (May 1st), but life interrupted that plan.

So, you'll be hearing few thoughts from me this month--Carrie has been quite busy herself, so TT may be a quiet place for the next few weeks. Feel free to subscribe and then you'll automatically get the next post without having to check back in.


Julie Sanders said...

Enjoy the sabbatical, and I've no doubt you'll be blessed. :)

Anonymous said...

I did this a while back and it was great! You can also call your far away friends during naptimes (the ones whose blogs you usually read), and unload the dishwasher while you are talking! Or you can come visit some of them... :)