Two weeks ago I took what felt like a huge step, swearing off the internet for a time. I thought I was being a rebel, declaring my independence in order to cosset my poor, overworked muse. But now it seems (not surprisingly) I was just part of a trend. (Couldn't I be cutting-edge just once?) When the idea even makes the New York Times, you know it's already part of the public consciousness. This is from Times columnist Mark Bittman:
"I TOOK a real day off this weekend: computers shut down, cellphone left in my work bag, land-line ringer off. I was fully disconnected for 24 hours.
The reason for this change was a natural and predictable back-breaking straw. Flying home from Europe a few months ago, I swiped a credit card through the slot of the in-seat phone, checked my e-mail and robbed myself of one of my two last sanctuaries.
At that point, the only other place I could escape was in my sleep. Yet I had developed the habit of leaving a laptop next to my bed so I could check my e-mail, last thing and first thing. I had learned how to turn my P.D.A. into a modem, the better to access the Web from my laptop when on a train. Of course I also used that P.D.A. in conventional ways, attending to it when it buzzed me.
In short, my name is Mark, and I’m a techno-addict. But after my airplane experience, I decided to do something about it. Thus began my “secular Sabbath” — a term I found floating around on blogs — a day a week where I would be free of screens, bells and beeps. An old-fashioned day not only of rest but of relief."
So now I find there's something called Internet Addiction. I Googled it, and OMG, there were dozens and dozens of sites. I must not have it, though. It was way too easy for me to cut myself off, so I must have been ready.
And my muse is thriving, thanks. I recommend a virtual vacation to everyone!