Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Onto the Face of the Earth

This is the first time I've actually sat down at the computer in weeks.
Even the spammers have given up on me.
I have dropped onto the face of the earth.

Around the first of June I decided to deal in the tangible, the immediate and the things I could touch, taste, feel. I have not regretted it. I think the Internet is a useful tool, but it had become, for me, over the last several months a giant black hole. I read countless posts about managing social media, about all the ins and outs of social politics on Facebook, about the "rules" of blogging, about finding balance in your life, about dealing with kids and technology, finding time for important things and on and on. I don't think it's terribly uncommon for people to get sucked into the virtual world. Technology has improved exponentially over the last several years, getting quicker, smaller, more accessible. Sometimes I'm not sure it's entirely healthy for humans to move faster than the speed of light all the time.

The complaint du jour seems to have revolved around finding enough time in our lives that spread us so thin and run us ragged. I am no exception, really. There are all the activities and necessities and demands of an active life. But it has nagged me more and more over the last year or so that it seems that all these devices and services that we have in order to make things quicker and easier, are actually just filling up our time with more stuff; that they're not really freeing up our time, but just consuming more of it. And with what?

I am tired of quick and easy. I'm tired of a constant stream of information. I am worn out with commentary. I find that it isn't necessary for me to know what everyone I've met (or haven't) since elementary school thinks about NSA or potty training or gluten free living or their neighbors or what they had for breakfast. So I have unplugged. I temporarily deactivated my Facebook account, I check my email only for messages that are pertinent or immediate to my life, I have mostly neglected the entire blogging world. This is not a permanent solution, it's more like a cleanse. There are people about whom I care and with whom I keep in touch only through electronic means and I miss them. Rumor has it, a few people miss me, too.

But for right now, I've disconnected electronically for the most part. If you are over twenty, you probably remember a time when people wrote letters with actual pens and paper, when you had to wait to hear from someone, or when you picked up the phone and interacted with a real voice on the other end when you wanted to communicate long distance. You probably remember a time when sitting and waiting meant reading a book or a magazine or even interacting with the people around you instead of looking at a tiny computer you held in your hand. You may remember a time when the things that you did or experienced were not a status update or a post, but your real life for you and your loved ones to enjoy or despise without an audience. You may remember a time when your "friends" were people you actually knew and with whom you interacted tangibly. We'll never get that time back, and I'm not sure that I want it back. I like having gotten back in touch with people I thought I'd never hear from again. I like "meeting" and interacting with people I would otherwise never have met but for the Internet. But sometimes the best way to get perspective is to step away and view from a distance.

I have dropped onto the face of the earth.

For now, dear readers, I'll be on a bit of a sabbatical. My writing will be done the old fashioned way for a while - on paper with a pen and without the immediate gratification of instant sharing and commenting. My communication is mostly with my own vocal cords and with hugs and holding hands and laughs that people can actually hear without being reduced to a ubiquitous acronym.

Enjoy your summers, friends!


  1. Good for you, TL! I wondered where you have been but I was absent there for awhile too so I know things happen. I definitely think that there is too much today - too much fast, too much talking, too much false connecting, too much too much too much. I am taking a break myself from pretty much everything but exactly what I want to do. That means I travel slowly through the day. I read a lot. I write some. I paint some. I take naps and walks and play with the dog. I just sit and listen to music. Can you beleive that???? Just listen to music - NOT listen to music while doing something(s) else. No, just be. I like it.

  2. What if everybody had that attitude? Where would Facebook stock go then?
    But, it will probably be months before you read this comment, so I hope you had a good time away.

  3. Great decision! Have a wonderful summer!

  4. I admire this and hope you have a wonderful summer making and reinforcing the connections that can only be made when you're disconnected. :)

  5. I know, I so know.

    Radio silence sounds luxurious.

    See you 'round the bend.

  6. I unofficially made the same decision. Thinking about extending it because it was so worth it. :) Hope you're having a fabulous time.

  7. I too have had a summer with a blogging sabbatical, however mine was kind of forced on me and I am trying to come back with a little perspective rather than the all tearing 'I need to do it all' attitude I had before. I am officially one of the people that missed you, hence coming to check in and finding your virtual house, like mine has been, a little deserted, but in such a good way. Go live and enjoy real life and I hope one day to read all about it ;-)

  8. well. bad decision all around child. You must remember that first of all, you are not blogging, you are in fact writing. That you have readers, i.e. here, means that you are a writer since writing without readers is sort of like the product of cleansing.

    As a literary friend of mine once said, I vill be back, and thus with you. Your writing on the blog greatly improved with time... honest... and you got better and leaner and clearer and it is too bad that you are quitting just when you started to write. I find that a sadness because you have a lot to write yet.....

    1. Garry, darling, this might be the nicest comment that I've ever received. Perhaps I was just waiting for you to come back? No, it was never meant to be permanent. I just needed to step away for some perspective. I would never quit. Never.


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