I really enjoy telling people that I don’t have Internet access at home. I think the only thing I enjoy sharing more than that is the absence of a television in my house. I don’t have a home phone, either. In fact, there are no communication lines coming into my house.
You’d think I had just delivered my first born or hit a hole-in-one or something, to hear the pride in my voice when I make these claims.
“I can always go to the coffeehouse down the street if I need to check my email or do some research,” I say. “I don’t need the Internet. Not me. Life is too short to spend online. I’d rather go for a walk, read a book, work in the yard, and besides, I have NPR for news.”
It must be nauseating to my friends.
Often, I detect my self-righteousness and try to temper it with, “Of course, the real reason I don’t have Internet or television is because I know I can’t trust myself to stay off either of them…”
Ooh, that’s a good one…and mostly true!
What I sometimes fail to mention are the eight wireless signals I can get from my from porch—three of them lacking password protection and two strong enough to pick up from my dining room table most of the time.
So, while I don’t pay for Internet at home, I do get Internet at home. Even without the internet at my fingertips, when I’m trying to work at home, I get distracted by everything from the piano to the dishes, from watching the birds at the feeder to doing the laundry, from carving a spoon to playing a solo game of Scrabble.
This morning, thanks to the free signal, it’s Face Book that has my attention. Yesterday, I created my first Face Book Event. I invited a hundred people. Almost immediately someone confirmed plans to attend. Then four people declined. Seven more said “Maybe.” One more promised to come. It’s amazing how, suddenly, I needed to know who’s coming, who isn’t, how many haven’t responded or said “maybe.” I checked, rechecked, checked again. Oh yeah, I thought, this is why I shouldn’t have television or Internet. Recognizing the masturbatory folly of my attention, I tried to refocus on my work. Then I heard that familiar tone—I got an email.
I have to check it. It’s from my Face Book page. While I’m here, I should check that event again. Someone might have responded to my invitation. Oh, while I’m here, I’d better check online for those canoe parts. I need to get them ordered this month so I can get them on the March delivery. I wonder if it’s my turn on that online Scrabble game… Oh look, there’s a gold finch at the feeder. What was that game Ginnie posted on Face Book… Ah yes, “Ginnie needs…” That’s a good one. I have to try that. Let’s see…I just type into Google “jim needs…”
1. Jim needs to Google “Jim needs”
2. Jim needs a kidney.
3. Jim needs a Laundry Delivery.
4. Jim needs a new Grinder.
5. Jim needs Tommy Guns.
6. Jim needs help with a little fact checking.
7. Jim needs his profile on Classmates.com.
8. Jim needs Salvation.
9. Jim needs a Mac.
10. Jim needs your help!
Yep, I was right, there’s no mention in the top ten for Internet access or television. There’s that tone again. Better check it… Hmm… Helen in Ireland can’t make it to the event. That’s too bad, but I understand… I need to re-fill the feeder. Those pesky house sparrows are voracious! I wonder if I could net them and re-locate them somewhere in Georgia… What was I writing about? Oh, another email. Is it time for lunch yet? Good thing I don’t have Internet access at home. Otherwise, I’d never get anything done. Is it time for lunch yet? I need another cup of coffee. I wonder if the new episode of House is on Hulu yet…