Saturday, May 15, 2010


On Friday, I decided to fast from all internet activity for 24 hours. (I lasted 23, and thought that was pretty good.) I've observed in myself and others an increasing lack of patience when expecting immediate responses to requests and questions, many of which have a tone of urgency.

Too many times to report here, I've been in face-to-face conversation with someone who, in the middle of a sentence, responded to a text message -- all the while still engaged (maybe) in our discussion. A majority of people in my daily life are "connected" at all times. It's great to be available in that way, and once in a while I'm envious. But being connected at all times makes us very bad at waiting.

Some good comes out of waiting, which sometimes includes silence. What I noticed during this 23 hour experiment was that toward the end of it, my anxiety level was nearly through the roof, imagining urgent messages waiting and the authors of those messages frustrated.

I've learned from this that I need to confront whatever it is that makes me think my response to something that's not an emergency is urgent enough to break into most of my days off. I've also decided that my irritability this past week has something to do with having responded to most everything immediately, day or night. This needs some work. For starters, I'm on my way back to Iowa City now, where I will not have internet access till Sunday morning when I arrive at 7 a.m. for church.

Patience, where art thou? One of my grad school professors back in the late 70s had a golden retriever named Patience. This dog did exhibit all the patience a human might want. I'm praying for the same, right now. And may your day, gentle reader, also be filled with patience and peace.


Blogger Castanea_d said...

Being "un-connected" on days off is important to me. We do not have internet access at home; we do not have a cell phone. Often, we will unplug the landline phone that we do have, or go outside.

This bothers some people. As you say, it has become normal to expect everyone to be "connected" at all times.


6:11 AM  
Blogger Trees of the Field said...

So what happens when you take a new netbook on vacation...stay connected, or not?

6:41 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home