internet experiment

November 16, 2009

In my house, we are currently undertaking an semi-voluntary experiment in internet use. Or to put it more simply, our internet was cut off.

Unfortunately the neighbour who we were piggy-backing our connection off has decided to move house. That wasn’t part of the sharing agreement, and leaves us without connection. Fortunately we live on campus and the library is about 100m away, complete with wireless network for which we have password.

So – the experiment begins… We decide to spend a month with no internet in the house. A brave move, you say but I remind you that no one much had internet at home 12 years ago. We all went about our lives, somehow got information and somehow kept in touch with people, all without internet. It does sound incredible I will admit.

I can probably go and check emails a couple of times a day, as long as someone is with the kids. I can use it at work which is 3 times a week. I can go first thing in the morning before kids wake and last thing after they sleep. I guess that really is plenty, after all what do I really need it for? My regular haunts are facebook, wordpress, gmail, and yes a bit of Settlers of Catan…

This is likely to be good for the kids, having parents who are “present” in the room rather than “virtually” absent in e-land. This is likely to be good for the house, with more organisational stuff or housework getting done. It may also be good for my writing skills, perhaps even my marriage? I might lose the immediacy of writing and have time to consider something before sending it off.

Will I lose the convenience of looking things up? Will I get lost, miss emails or be unaware of things happening in the world?  Probably. WIll it matter? Unlikely. Don’t get me wrong, I looove the internet. Adore it, can’t get enough of it. That’s part of the problem I suppose.

Internet enables us to be connected to a wide variety of people at all times. Thanks to Facebook we now have a broader definition of what a “friend” is, and more of them. But internet also takes us away from the people we are physically co-located with, our nearest and dearest. Maybe the reason my kids love TV so much is they see me escaping into a screen regularly. I can live next to neighbours for months without much real life contact and only get to know them online. I can go to work and receive emails from someone in the next room. Convenient? Certainly. Benefical? I don’t know.

So we’ll do the experiment and see what happens.


3 Responses to “internet experiment”

  1. gbroughto Says:

    I guess this is good… in a “having-a-housemate-who-has-started-dieting-and-doing-regular-exercise” kinda way…

    • sonael Says:

      Actually this is more of a “doing observational study of myself” kind of thing. I am observing that internet keeps me at home, or the converse is true anyway.

      • gbroughto Says:

        Yes, okay. But still. As a “virtual housemate” is it harder to sit here pigging out on blogs and fb, while you are off being healthy and ‘exercising’ in the non-virtual world… I think that was the gist of my comment…

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