The Internet Experiment: Unplugged 24 Hours

I wish I could say it was easy.

I wish I was one of those people who engages and connects with physical things and not so much more with cyber things.

I wish I could say it didn’t change me, but it did…..

You wouldn’t think it would. A mere 24-hours with no access to games, Facebook, or email. No big deal, right? Normal people do it every day.

Do you know the last time I was without internet access? Before my laptop days…..before my smart phone days…..too long ago to really remember.

It makes me realize how I traded out one set of addictions for another (theory of my life).

The good news is…I did it.

I shut down the Mac. I powered off the iPhone and I put it on a shelf for 24-hours.

In fact, I left my phone on the shelf and left town. It was not even in my possession.

In a way I think I cheated a little. I knew I would be in a car for 6 hours of the 24, and in my defense, I have service during those three hours. But isn’t it a little easier to entertain oneself in the car versus a regular every day? Probably…

At 8pm, I faced the unknown. What do I do with NO social networking? No screen to tap. No notifications to review. I felt really bitchy twitchy. I felt a little out-of-body. I tried watching TV, but I just couldn’t get into it. Finally, Sydney, Brandon, and I went to out to eat. We left Jason on his Mac (no fasting for him!). Upon return, we fired up RockBand and I banged out my frustrations on the drums (such a great stress reliever). We actually toured with our band and did pretty well.

I went to bed EARLY, and the next morning…it wasn’t so bad. We left for Oklahoma to see my mom. I read a book (and darn near finished it). I tried not to look at Jason or Sydney’s phone. I was a little fearful I would SNATCH it from their hands and begin tap tap tapping the screen. I had to hold my fingertips close to my chest. Thankfully, I never embarrassed myself in the heat of an iPhone moment.

I watched the clock most of the day, and hated myself for it.

Sydney and Brandon watched ME most of the day (to see if I’d break down? Cry? Convulse?).

I did none of those things. I imagined life without an iPhone and internet service. I imagined the olden days when I lived in the country and we did not even have cable.

We explored the creek beds. We played board games. We talked. We listened. We had friends and family we visited in person.

Maybe, at the end of this experiment, I realized…….there are a lot of issues about the operation of my life I need to examine.

I’ll be honest. I really didn’t miss much. In fact, I probably missed the internet more than it missed me.

There were certainly some emails I expected to get that I didn’t.

It was disappointing…..yes…..but also, life enhancing.

I don’t have to be addicted to anything. I can put my phone down for a day.

I can disappear and it’s ALL okay.

I thought this post would come out differently. I planned this post to be funny. Amazing what happens when you are faced with yourself and nothing in between you and your soul.

I highly urge you to unplug one day, and just see what happens to the you that is waiting there.

“Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become. -Unknown

The Truth– Why your New Year’s Resolution failed.

The truth hurts. I am going to give it to you straight. You were suckered my friend. You were blindsided, and betrayed by sweet little girls wearing green outfits with sashes. Sashes with badges and pins. I can practically see them swirling and twirling as a lure.

Those rosy cheeks, those twinkling eyes, and sunlit smiles. You didn’t even know what hit you, did you? One second you were walking into the grocery store – next thing you know – you are back in your car with six boxes of cookies stacked next to you on the passenger seat. You have no idea, right?

Photo by Babble.

The delicious minty goodness of Thin Mints. The mouth numbing madness of Peanut Butter Patties. The oh-so-chewy sweet Samoas. The crunchy Peanut Buttery Sandwiches from heaven. Let’s not even talk about the sugar melting Short Bread, and the fudge fountain of Thanks-A-Lot (yeah, thanks A LOT). Don’t even look for the low fat brands. They aren’t there. Go ahead, bow your head shamefully, and while you’re there wipe the sweat off. Pathetic.

I’ll tell you this. You are two seconds away from breaking your New Year’s resolution. That is, if you’ve made it this far already. Go ahead, open up a box. One won’t hurt. You believe that? I’ll tell you another one. But I think you get my point. Stop shaking and gripping your fists. Those girls got you. They got you.

Don’t try to breathe through it. It’s done. No you can’t take them back!?!? Are you mad? Do you want to DIE? Besides, you’re busted. Go home. Make some coffee or milk. Fight this battle another day. The super hero has left the building. The enemy has landed.

You can run, but you can’t hide. Now that you’ve seen them. You will see them EVERYWHERE. Malls, sidewalks, parks, and even at your office. It’s like those illusion drawings. They appear magically, then there is no erasing them again. You know what they look like. They will come for you. Tempting you, with their sweet faces, and silent begging eyes.

You think shutting your eyes will help? Maybe you won’t see them, but you will hear their musical giggles. Will you please buy some cookies, cookies, cookies? It’s an echo. You are worse off than I thought. You actually believed in resolutions? Huh. Don’t you remember last year? You thought they were starting the sales earlier than ever before. Wasn’t it usually Valentines day? End of January instead – REALLY? And now look at the date. Mid-January! Your suspicions were correct.

You’ve got to tell someone, sure, but who? Who would believe the evil plot is to topple all healthy eating resolutions in one mass swoop? Who would believe those cute girls with their pig tails in green ribbons, skipping along with enough mouth candy to end a starving country’s fast was really behind it all? And not just to make money either, but to spit on our resolutions, and grind them under their little patent shoe feet. They are still laughing aren’t they?

The fact that the sales are starting earlier? It’s just a slap in the face. Little egos getting the best of our addictions. Girl Scout Cookies. Once a year. AFTER NEW YEARS.

The agony!!!

Hey, where did the cookies go? The Peanut Butter Patties?


They are gone. You ate them. Every one. Every crumb. All four rows. Listen to me. Drive away. Drive away now. Drive away as fast as you can. Don’t let them see you this way. Please!! I’m begging.

Don’t get out of the car. Save your dignity. You still have a chance. They can smell weakness. They can smell desperation. Don’t do it!

Get your goods right here. Cookies, cookies, cookies!