2006/07/29

'Net Fasting

How often do you go an entire day without connecting to the 'net?

The past couple weeks in this office have seen some internet connectivity problems. Not sure if it's due to the heat, because of heavy usage by our 'cable internet neighbors' or just miscellaneous ISP problems. The cable modem has been manually powered down then reconnected ten times today to restore a lost connection. Normally months go by without losing our connection or having to power down the modem due to ISP problems. Having this flaky connection to the 'net has given wings to thoughts about what would happen if the internet totally died for a day, or a week, or even several months.

Because of our two companies, I'm usually online at least a couple hours every day. The only days I go without connecting are those days where I don't have the opportunity to connect for free. I'm not to the point (yet) where it's worth it, or I feel the need, to connect if I have to pay for it, other than my office/home internet service provider. It would be fun to have 24/7 'net availability, but it's not worth any money to me. There are enough free hot spots around that a person can at least download and send emails at no cost whilst on the road or away from home for long periods. If you need a connection away from home or the office, start with the local library or coffee shops.

Ignoring the issue of what you would do if the 'net totally died for an extended period of time, the question remains, "Is it psychologically beneficial to consciously avoid use of the internet periodically?" If a person has a high speed internet connection and tends to log on at least once per day, would it be good to not log on for at least one whole day each month? Or maybe twice a month. Maybe take three days off in a row. Maybe stay off the internet completely for two weeks if you go on a long vacation.

My pda calendar just got an entry for 19 August 2006. The entry reads, "NO INTERNET USE TODAY." I'll let my business partners know that I'll be offline that day. Looking ahead, there is a strong reluctance to make that commitment, because I truly enjoy using the internet. At this point, however, it seems like an internet 'fast' should be scheduled simply because I'm hesitant to do so.

The next step is to decide when a 'no food' fast should be scheduled for the benefit of soul and body.

*****

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