Even though I do not participate in Lent, the concept of abstaining from a vice for a prolonged period is intriguing. Why not permanently? I have decided to do that with Facebook, mostly and the internet and email, in general. If I had to tell the world my one vice, speeding wrecklessly on the internet super-highway would be it. Not smoking or drinking or recreational drugs but instead....hours and hours wasted on the computer. So, last week, Sam pulled the plug. Literally. Sam actually disconnects the modem and takes it to work with him, because I am so distracted by the computer. He has been so supportive and loving in helping me make a transition to a healthier frame of mind. It hasn't been hard to give up though, and I'm finding that I'm happier when I don't feel compelled to "check" email all the time.
Moreover, I ask myself, "what kind of person do I want to be when the power goes out?" Certainly, I'd be grumpy because I can't wash my clothes in a machine, and I've insisted that Sam get a generator to power the washer/dryer and fridge if and when the power does go out. I think I could be quite happy without the TV, telephone, computer, internet, microwave, etc. And I haven't had any misgivings for disabling my Facebook account a week before their policy changed even more peoples minds about the service.
Honestly, I've been thinking so concertedly about the help and hinderance of technology in our life and how I want to balance it. (And, I am less and less curious on whether an iPhone would really improve my life!) I remember reading a book review in the Wall Street Journal last year about some policy maker intertwined in the poverty struggles of America. The reviewer stated that sixty years ago, poverty wasn't defined by VCRS, dishwashers and microwave ovens. No one had them. The whole scale was different. Now, even lower income families in the US have those things. I want wealth...of time and experience, knowledge and interest. I can't say that now. I feel pretty empty. The distractions of the computer had to go, so I can work on filling my proverbial cup, again.