I’ve lived a month without the Internet at my house. The first few weeks were hard, you guys. I blew through my entire allotted 1 GB on my iPad in about 8 days. For those not used to counting their MB like an old miser counts pennies, Instagram and Facebook are extremely costly.
So I decided to cut myself off cold turkey. Every morning I check my email at 8 a.m. while I drink my coffee, sometimes I check the weather, but otherwise I stay off the web unless I’m at a WiFi spot in town. The change was so alarming — not only to me, but my friends and family — that I received a call from my mother early one morning “checking in on me.” You see, I hadn’t posted any pictures to social media in the last three days. My mom was pretty sure I’d died … or that I was avoiding her. Mom, I’m not avoiding you. I really don’t have the Internet.
Losing the Internet was sort of like a dieter cutting junk food out of their life. Those first few days all you can think about are french fries and soda. You long for them. You crave them. You yearn for them. But then something strange happens and suddenly you’re content with vitamin filled mango shakes and pistachios. When you do get the chance to have that soda again, it tastes odd, too syrupy, too bitter.
Every once in a while I login to my old media accounts, but it simply doesn’t hold my attention anymore. So, what have I been up to?
Let me introduce you to the world of the public library. I was an avid library goer when I was a kid. I remember my mom dropping me off early in the morning and not picking me up until late in the afternoon — either my librarian was very tolerant or these were the days before parents were expected to “helicopter” their children every second of the day.
But other than a few visits when my daughter was a toddler, I haven’t been to one with much regularity since childhood. Now I’m a card-carrying member. I’ve read 17 books since mid-August. Some of them I loved (The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West, The Memory Book by Lara Avery, and The Fireman by Joe Hill) and some of them I hated … sorry, Arcana Rising, you weren’t for me. The point is, love or hate, they were all free!
Some other amazing things I’ve learned at the library:
The books are new.
I didn’t expect to find anything released in the last decade, to be honest, but there are books on the shelves released just last week! After learning this, I was sort of appalled that I’d never even looked before. With cover prices ranging from $12-$25, why aren’t more people borrowing books from the library?
They have movies and TV shows.
Again, I was clueless. Most of the movies are older, but they also have new releases. They have every season, besides the most recent, of Game of Thrones. Lately, my husband and I have been watching a BBC version of Robin Hood. We also watched Gone with the Wind, which is more racist and sexist than I remembered.
They have current magazines and newspapers. Some are free to take home.
The news still comes in print form. I did a crossword the other day, like an old lady, and it was fantastic.