Shelf Talk: The (Almost) Net Free Vacation


Welcome to Shelf Talk, a bi-weekly discussion post that covers a variety of topics including, but not limited to, gardening, video games, cooking, crafting and of course books. If you have any suggestions for topics that you would like to see on future Shelf Talk posts, leave it in the comments or send me an email, and I’ll do my best to cover that topic in the future.

Last week we went on a last minute vacation. For me vacations can be tough, depending on where we go, but especially when we visit family, which is what we did during this vacation. Our problem is trying to squeeze in visits to two families in a matter of one week when we have a two day drive there and back. It can be a challenge to spend enough time with one family without making the other family feel neglected. However, with this last vacation we managed to balance the time easily.

On top of getting to spend some time with them, we spent some amazing days experiencing things we haven’t before. The two highlights of the trip for all of us, but especially our son, was visiting the Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto and going to the Brigden Fair (which I will talk about at a future date). However, that is not the significant part of the trip for me.

Getting away from the internet was a major bonus. I am, whether I like it or not, very addicted to the internet and anything with a screen. If I can’t log on for a day I tend to get a bit antsy, which I know isn’t good. So this last vacation was a blessing in disguise when day after day there was little to no internet happening. My in-laws are picky about people touching their computer, so that wasn’t an option for me. Plus it’s a Mac, and I don’t understand or like those. So on occasion I would check my phone, just so I could still be connected, even if it was for just a few minutes.

But it was the few days we spent at my parents that really cut me off from my beloved internet. Since my parents live out in the country, internet is not overly available. They can get dial up and that’s it (and as far as I know don’t even have dial up at the moment). Even our phones couldn’t connect out there. Then when we went into the city to visit my grandmother, we found another dead zone in her house. At all other points between, we were told through messages that if we used any data or made calls we would experience roaming charging, which were insanely high. So into flight mode our phones went.

It bothered me at first, not being able to check on things, but after a day I didn’t mind so much. It allowed me to focus on the things around me and enjoy time together with family and taking part in all kinds of fun activities. I didn’t really realize how much the net had taken over my life until it was striped away for a week. Instead of spending several hours each night staring at a screen, I was playing ping pong, or chatting with family, or enjoying the fresh country air. Being net-less really expanded my opportunities.

When I finally got home, I didn’t even want to turn my computer on, emails could wait a day or two and so could everything else. It was so nice to get away from that addiction of constantly looking at a screen and being connected. I feel like it really let me recharge and reevaluate things. Sure, I will still use the internet (I’m using it right now after all), but I will start making a conscious effort to not feel so attached to it. After all, I don’t need the internet in order to live, I just want to use it.

Do you find yourself addicted to the internet and at a loss when it’s unavailable? Or are you able to keep the addiction at bay and limit yourself on how long and often you are online?


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