Friday, October 16, 2015

My "Disconnected" Life

Guys.  I have a confession to make.  Well, more like a statement to make.  Or maybe it's just like a memo that you didn't get yet, which totally hasn't mattered, because you're sitting there all living your life and not really knowing that I've been over here going through all kinds of epiphanies and stuff.  And since I may or may not have lots of words to say about all of it, I also compiled a bunch of fun photos to make this more like a photographic memo, which should make it more fun for me for you.  

So here goes-

I don't remember what the date was, but it was maybe two weeks ago now, when I turned on the internet news and saw that there had been a(nother) college campus shooting by a(nother) demented...I don't even know the word.  For the sake of clarity, we'll just call him a terrorist.  He doesn't deserve any attention.  Anyway, of course I read the story, because the whole entire world drops everything and reads these stories.  And something in me just snapped.

This happened in Oregon, where I have lived before.  I adore Oregon.  Roseburg is one of the towns we always drove through and said "Hey, we should totally MOVE here, because it's gorgeous and quiet".  So, for this to happen there, really just got me.  Plus, he targeted Christians.  Blatantly.  Executed.  Christians.  Which is what I am.  Which means, if we'd moved to Roseburg and sent our oldest to that college (could happen), our family could have been living through this nightmare right now, with all those other families who are living through it.  

I won't try to wax eloquent on that, but I read the first day's worth of news on that story, and I just...cracked.  I'm done.  I don't want to know what's going on out there any more.  I don't want to hear how evil people can be.  I don't want to see the endless debates about whether this was or was not a terrorist attack or how it revolves around gun control or not.  I don't want to see a constant stream of photos of loved ones grieving the sudden loss of a child/husband/fiance/friend.  I'm just...done.

I turned off the internet and walked away from my desk.  I spent a solid week avoiding my desk, except to work.  I had to use the internet connection to run customer credit card transactions and answer emails, but other than that, when I opened the Google main page with that search bar and all my saved page tabs at the top of the screen, I just stared at it for a minute, then clicked it *off* and walked away.

Actually, it gave me kind of a satisfyingly wicked sense of control to decline the invitation of that blinking mouse cursor, waiting for me to click my way back into the harsh reality that is the world today.  Kind of like that feeling you get when you really want a piece of cake but you're on a diet so you grab a carrot stick instead, and you feel all strong and grown up and girl power-ish.

So, I read more books.  I worked on a crochet Christmas gift.  I played with the dog.  I got re-obsessed with nail polish because why not?  I adore nail polish.  I continued with our South Beach diet, which is working and is a story for another post because yay, weight loss!

We went camping, even further from the world of internet and terrorists and in-your-face angst and online trolls (what is with the comments online? Are they even people?).  No cell service for 3 days was heaven.  I sat by the lake with the dog.  We sat around campfires with our large extended family of in-laws, cousins, nephews, nieces, and parents and just enjoyed each other and the mountains.  I read some more.  On the way up, I had to call a sister-in-law to ask her why all the flags were at half-mast, because I hadn't heard any news for over a week, and God forbid...what's happened now?  She wasn't sure, so I took that as a good sign that hopefully nothing earth-shattering had happened.  (I think it was for the funerals from the above event).

When we got home, I did get back online to keep my French lessons current, because that's just a goal I want to accomplish.  I  have enjoyed my Instagram account just for nail art and nail polish because, again, why not?  I haven't checked Twitter.  I haven't checked Facebook.  No, wait--I did log on accidentally and see my feed once, and the first thing I saw was a comment by a loved one that just made me want to scream "REALLY??!? You're saying that? ONLINE?"  I composed a message to elaborate my point, then deleted it and logged out. Walked away shaking my head.  I went back outside with my coffee and shook it off by listening to the waterfall and the birds, watched the yellow leaves rain down from our birch tree, and enjoyed that only-in-the-fall juxtaposition of sun on my face and cool nip in the breeze.

Ahh, much better.

OK, in all fairness to the internet and the goodness thereof, I do have a few blogs that I still read, because they show up in my email in box, and this morning I *did* have to Google "how to get the smell of dirty socks out of clean dried laundry" (which is probably self-explanatory, and also gives you a peek into my laundry life that is possibly TMI).

Other than that, I haven't been back online.  I just don't even care any more.  If any good news comes along, I'd be happy to hear about it.  Other than that, I'm just done.  Not hiding from reality, just...blocking it out of our house, which is our haven from the world, and I'm going to keep it that way.

Wow, that was a lot of words.  But then, if you're reading this, you're probably not surprised.

In case you skimmed this just to look at the pictures, here's a pictorial essay that says the same thing, but with less words.

So I turned off my internet...


Yo.     Stop.
My friends, when I tell them I haven't been online for 10 DAYS..."Whaaat?"
Them:  "Doesn't that feel like you're living in a CAVE? How can you TURN OFF THE INTERNET?"
Me:  I already explained this.  WITH PICTURES.

It feels kind of like this...

...And THIS.  But with more laundry and dishes.  And less  beach

Still.  No internet = Very little negative crap in my life.


Still need more?

Hold my calls.  I'll be outside painting my nails.


  1. Go Stef! So glad you're still blogging though. Was relieved to read a sentence that hinted at future posts because up to then, I thought this was an announcement that you are quitting. Absolutely agree with your disconnected world. We did that a few years back ( as I think you may have too?) with TV news and newspapers. We got sick of the 'keep you running scared, keep you feeling bad' propaganda. Miserable, frightened people are more compliant - so lets just give the peasants a steady stream of total misery. It totally changed our day to day outlook. Family and friends kept trying to tell us stuff because they didn't quite get that we DIDN'T WANT TO KNOW!!!!!! But eventually people figured it out when we shut them down as soon as they said 'you'll never guess what happened' or 'OMG did your hear about that plane crash/murder/mugging' etc. They reminded me of a song I heard when. First got to Canada and watched a programme called Hee Haw ( maybe from the US). The words were 'gloom, despair and misery on me' (I think). Don't want it.
    But then I got Facebook and the world came crashing in again. Since then, I have been depressed, fearful and anxious. So I think I will take a leaf out of your book and totally minimise my use of it. I love your picture sequence! The humor is still there! And regarding the event in Roseburg - your story proves that the ripples touch everyone in profound ways. People die and families are left with the bulk of the pain but the ripples cause very real emotional suffering for everyone else because we are all connected. I may change my commenting name to it's-a-long-comment! So glad you're back with a post to comment on!

    1. Yeah, I'm still blogging a bit, and yes, exactly...that is why I've decided to use the internet only for what *I* want, not for a constant stream of negative news. And the Kardashians. Because I can't even tell you how much I don't care what they're doing. :D

      PS I'm glad there's someone else out there whose comments are as long as mine, lol.

  2. Good for you. It's a weird thing how wired up we are, and we do need to manage it in our lives.

    1. Yep, sometimes I just have to start unplugging stuff... :)