First there was Denial.
“It’s not broken. They must be updating something. I’m sure it will come back on any minute now.”
Followed by Anger.
“I can’t believe it’s still out! Don’t they know I pay for this service!!!”
Next came the Bargaining.
“If only I could connect for 5 minutes! Do you think my computer can pick up the neighbors signal?”
“Why do these things always happen to me?” Followed by silent pouting while folding laundry.
And finally Acceptance.
I've accepted that for the next few days I may very well be unplugged.
I actually consider myself a rather unplugged person. We don’t have cable television, and we limit our movie watching to once a week (if that!). We don’t have smart phones or internet access apart from a wireless connection. Since my Ipod touch died a few weeks ago, I no longer have access to streaming books, sermons, or games like I used to. I have to wait for things to download on the computer the old fashioned way :)
And at least for now, even that isn’t an option. Sitting in my kitchen writing this blog post, I am completely unplugged from the rest of the world, and I’m not sure how I feel about it.
I never considered myself to have an internet habit. Sure, I enjoy checking facebook several times a day, and I often spend 15 mins (or 20…or 30) when Rooster goes down for a nap reading blogs and news articles. I do all my bill paying online and enjoy looking for new recipes. I even love online shopping when I find a really good deal. But when we lost our internet service a few days ago, I was truly surprised at how lost and disconnected I felt. More than once I found myself standing in the kitchen saying, “Now what do I do?”
Of course, I recovered quickly. In fact I had several very productive and happy days. I got laundry done and drawers organized. I made supper, washed the dishes, and put away the leftovers in record time. All because I wasn’t distracted or tempted to sit down for just a min and check my email. I had time to read my Bible, play with my little boy, and even write this blog post all before 9:30 pm!
As crazy as it may sound, I kind of like not being connected. I like not having that distraction luring me away from what I need to be doing. Yes, I know the internet is very useful and I would argue almost necessary for our family. But still, I wonder how long it would take for me to adjust to a completely unplugged life? I wonder if I would have more days like these, peaceful and productive? I wonder if I would really miss the distorted worldviews and commercialism I’m constantly exposed to because of the internet?
Maybe I need to reevaluate the way I use my time and resources online.
Am I honoring God with my use of the internet?
Am I seeking God’s guidance when it comes to how much time I spend online?
Or am I simply seeking pleasure and entertainment for myself?
Is it possible that God’s will for my life doesn’t include facebook or email or online shopping?
Honestly, I hope God doesn’t ever ask me to give up those things for good. I like them! They are convenient! But if anything, being unplugged the last few days has taught me that the internet can easily become more of a hindrance than a blessing. And like it or not, there may be a time when I need to power down and disconnect so I can focus on the more important things in life.
Maybe I don’t actually need to be plugged into the world to live for Jesus.
*Editorial note: This was written a few days ago when the internet was down, but I am happy to report that the nice At&t service man came and climbed the pole this morning, and we are back online. Praise the Lord!