Saturday, December 8, 2012

The reason why I post in bits and pieces...Musings on Technology

Aaron and I do not have the Internet at our studio. That’s right, we live in the 12th century. Seriously. No Internet.

We originally chose not to have the Internet because we are very cheap people. We didn't feel like paying thirty dollars a month when we are already paying much more than that on student loans. It wasn't really a conscious decision at first. I would receive mailings from Cox all the time, informing us of their super cheap deals, and I would keep them around for a while and never really do anything with them.

Eventually I realized that I really enjoyed not having the Internet in my living space. When we got home from work in the evening, Aaron and I would enjoy dinner together and then pull out our books, paint, or play games. I felt like our time was time we spent together, not time plugged in to the Internet. It was a freeing experience. And so we decided, even though we probably really could afford it, that we would stick to living in the 12th century.

Admittedly, I still have the Internet at my fingertips every day, and can usually check my Facebook at work daily. Obviously I am posting on a blog right now, on the Internet. I carve out times to use the Internet at coffee shops or the library. I don’t live an Internet-less existence by any means. Yet I enjoy the purposefulness that comes with not having the Internet, and appreciate the fact that I do not have the Internet in my home space. We have created a space relatively free from the world, where we can relax and be ourselves, without the sway of so many outside influences.

I often feel like my time on the Internet often makes me feel fragmented. It is hard to pay attention to another human being when an instantly gratifying, entertaining world is controlled by one’s fingertips. Human beings are so messy, usually can’t be controlled, and one has to be very patient with them. With this in mind, it has been wonderful to focus on learning to love in our first year of marriage with fewer distractions in our home than if we did have the Internet. No one is really free from technology these days, and it has been nice to have one less piece of technology to avoid. I am a bit of a hippie when it comes to technology. I know it has increased our well being as humans in general, but I try to use it minimally. I have a cell phone, but those who know me would tell you it usually takes me a while to respond to my text messages (unless it happens to be out of my purse for some reason). We don’t own a TV. We do own computers and a tablet, but are limited by not having the Internet. I think we do a good job considering we don’t live in an isolated, remote mountain in New Zealand.

Of course there are times when we wish we had the Internet. The other night I was wrapping a birthday present for my dad and I thought it would be really cool to write “Happy Birthday” in many different languages on the package. Unfortunately, the only language that I have some knowledge of is Spanish, and Aaron could not think of “Happy Birthday” in French, so I had to settle for one foreign language, and then think of as many cheesy birthday phrases in English as I could (my personal favorite: “Birthday Happy to you! – Yoda”). It would have been great to have the Internet and look up as many languages as I could write to scribble “Happy Birthday” all over the package. Another time when we wish we had the Internet is when we need to look up directions! We have to consciously plan to look up directions at work.

I know this way of life is not for everyone. I don’t mean to seem preachy here, and I know that everyone is different when it comes to how much technology they choose to use. I don’t think I will always be able to live this kind of life, either. If either of us goes back to grad school, we will undoubtedly need the Internet for assignments and research. I am just writing to present one way of doing things. I can see that this time has benefited Aaron and me in our relationship and in my personal growth. I am grateful for this time in my life when I can easily choose not to have the Internet, and build on the foundation of patience in my life.

1 comment:

  1. The bday package was awesome! The lack of internet resulted in genius creativity on the wrapping! I loved it!