Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Addicted to the Internet

1 Tim. 6: 18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;

It wasn’t until eleven years ago when I was first introduced to the computer. My brother-in-law gave me an old one that he said would be good for my writing, and my niece came around, and hooked me up to the internet via an AOL ‘try me free’ disc. And the rest is history so they say.

Before this humming machine rattled into my life, it was a much simpler life. I gardened; I swam in my aboveground pool, relished the seasons, and cherished the solitude of living the mundane life. It was a life where the real world was all I had, good and bad, it was mine. I had my family, albeit a family in dire need of the strength I seemed to give them, I had my dog, but something was missing. I was living but something was missing.

I never owned a microwave, hadn’t touched a cell phone, I didn’t even have a dryer; I hung my clothes on a clothesline! Then it happened in 2003. The internet happened. I was addicted to solitude, then the internet came along. When one has an addictive personality, don’t we always seem to give up one addiction and replace it with another?

This post came to mind when a friend, asking for prayer, mentioned he thinks his child is addicted to the internet. He and his wife took it away, and my heart sank. I totally understood her connection to the virtual world that holds many of us in its grasp. I’m sure he and his wife have outside lives where they connect with humans on an hourly/daily basis, but me, I really conjured images of me and my absorption of the internet.

I saw me, upon awakening, turning on my laptop computer, THEN making coffee. I saw my son awakening, with his ipod attached to his hand like a third limb. I saw my beau wake, and sit in his desk chair as the desktop computer behind me hums to life. I didn’t like the images I saw. I saw three people addicted to a virtual world that they lived in, on an hourly basis.

What has become of the real world and where did it go? I get in the car and ride down the dirt road, drinking in the beauty of it all: the sky, the endless farms, cows, birds and it seems like a picture ripped out of a magazine. It doesn’t feel real.

I think of taking it away, from all of us, and I feel like we would just lash out in anger at each other until we all gave in and re-entered to zone of the web. That’s pretty sad! BUT I don’t think I’m alone on this web of suffocation.

Sure, I’ll justify my actions by saying I’m using it for writing. He’s using it for writing, and Adam is using it to connect with people that in the real world don’t give him the time of day. We all justify our actions and it makes it okay? I don’t think so!

I have to be honest, I think giving up alcohol was easier than even the THOUGHT of giving up the internet. I gave up drinking at 21, and for seventeen years after that I lived without a computer, so I know a life without one can actually take place. Adam has only had his ipod for about three years and I know he had a life before the ipod came along, and at first it was used for games and music, until he found apps that took him outside the realm. I do think beau was a computer geek since he was a young man; still, a virtually good fella. (pun intended)

On a positive note, this summer I didn’t spend much time on this thing. No writing freed me up to play Chess. Yes, I play the game that came with my computer because not many enjoy the game I love so much! My days were spent cleaning, mowing, gardening and enjoying my surroundings. My arthritic pain kept me tied to my sofa a lot, and we watched movies at night and since I would rather be on the computer than watch what the TV has to offer, the net is a safer venue for me. No ads, no clutter and I CHOOSE the good and positive I can glean from the net. Is that justification? Denial?

Now that I’m back writing, I look around the house, YouTube blasts in the background, (through earphones mind you), keys tapping an almost melodic accompaniment, Adam with his third limb goes off to his bedroom and I sit here writing and peeking in on the active frenzy of my writing friends on facebook. Picture of a perfect, loving, Frisbee playing, ball tossing, family romping through the tulips of life, eh? I live in a non-communicative household and a world of communication at my fingertips. Go figure.

Hello! My name is Joni and I have an addiction. The first step is admitting it, right?


benning said...

I admit it! LOL

In the mid-90s my step-Sis gave me a Brother Word Processor, and printer. And that's what I used to start my novel. Then she gave me her used DOS Packard-Bell computer. One of those big computers with the old floppy disks? Then it was a hand-me-down Windows 95 computer. I played a Mahjjong game, and loved it. And I wrote!

Once I found the Net, I was definitely hooked! But I work, too, so I had to disconnect. And I still have to, so I'm not totally hooked. Not totally!

I need M&Ms! :(


joni said...

Oh you're totally hooked.

We ALL can justify! :P (see tomorrows post 'Justification')

I just need to prioritize my time, see Thursdays post 'Prioritizing' lol

I HAVE been writing! :) See Fridays post...lol

*tosses ya some m&m's*

Kristena said...

wow.. real food for thought.. thanks Joni

joni said...

It does give you something to think about. :)

joni said...

I didn't recognize you Stena, through the bars and all! lol

Debbie Seko said...

I admit it and my excuse is that I teach the stuff so I have to be on to stay up to date so I can teach it...go figure. :) Now you have me rethinking what I do for a living. :)

However, I have cut back and informed my work and students that there is more to life than the computer and I am going to enjoy more the disconnected world. Good post.

joni said...

Deb I was referring to leisure time not actual work. :)

Sometimes we can get lost in this box and forget there's a world spinning on its axis out there.

Thanks for visiting! :)