Friday, May 20, 2011

How could I live without the internet?

Everyone in my family, including myself, is addicted to the internet. We now have one laptop per person, so that we can spend "together" time, each with his or her own screen. Everywhere I hear reports or remarks about overwhelming screen time.

Imagine I tried to make my home internet-free. Could we survive without the internet evenings and weekends?

It's hard to imagine. Dinner recipes? I would need to get my cookbooks out. Music, movies? I would need to plan in advance what I want to hear or watch. Transportation? I would need to keep my bus schedule accessible. What about arranging for travels, train, flying, hotel reservation etc.? That would have to be done at work, it seems. Friends? Without facebook, some of us would be out of the loop, or we'd have to make plans in advance. Plumber, electrician, garagist? We would need to resurrect the old fashioned yellow pages. Running errands? A combination of yellow pages and phone. Paying bills? Either do it at work, or resurrect the old fashioned checks, envelopes and stamps. Trying to revert to an internet-free environment would require quite a lot of organization!

What would be the upside? Perhaps our books would stop gathering dust on the bookshelves. Perhaps we'd spend more time in conversation, or exercising, or gardening, or in general doing all the things in which one interacts with the physical world. Not that the internet exactly prevents us from doing all those things, but in reality it's a sink that is revolutionizing the way in which we spend our time.

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