November 23, 2009

That’s it – No More Blog Posting Month

Basically I have failed it.  Went away for the weekend, up the coast, no internet or mobile coverage. Went to work today, sick patients, sick kid, went home, still no internet.

No blog posts for 3 days.

I guess there are worse problems in life. I may try to catch up by posting a total of 30 blog posts in November. Or I may not. Strictly speaking according to the rules of the NaBloPoMo site – posting has to be done daily and if not, does not count.

The great thing about at least attempting a BloPoMo is that it gets the writing juices flowing. Getting the ideas in basic written form actually keeps them coming and gets other people involved in the ideas. This is undoubtedly, good stuff.

In addition to this I have also failed my own personal No Internet Month. I decided today to get the blooming thing reconnected again because my life was becoming far too much hassle. And I started to wonder “why” am I causing all this extra hassle for myself? Is there any real purpose?

You are probably thinking, why attempt blog posting month and then disconnect your own internet?? You are absolutely right, it actually makes no sense at all. Even more, why do such ridiculous things and discuss with the whole world? For the answer see future post on “Privacy, exhibitionism and blogs”

I“m embracing the internet. If I need to spend more time with kids, I will spend more time with them. But have the internet at home for goodness sake. For the convenience factor. Who wants to be lurking around libraries, dashing around shopping malls, looking up street directories, or making endless numbers of phone calls, for goodness sake?

The world has moved on. Expediency resides online.

And yes, your friends (and the whole world) do live inside a tiny metal box on your sideboard. Scary.


experiment not going well

November 20, 2009

Hm, we are in about day 5 of this ridiculous no-internet caper and I am about to cave in. Surely I never said a month? How about a week??

The non-virtual world is overrated. Obviously I was just harking back to some nostalgic fantasy about being more authentic and interacting face to face. The reality of life with no internet is just inconvenience.

So here I am wandering around a University campus at the age of much-too-old-to-be-here, at 6am holding a coffee cup and a lap top computer. I haven’t been able to organise our family trip for the summer or paid any bills, or find out what’s on at the movies. I am completely starved of any news or information, I don’t know what’s happened on FB this week, and I am having to find other ways to occupy myself while eating.

I also missed my blog post yesterday because it was 35 degree heat and I just did not have the energy to take myself to the library at night. Which means that I have officially failed BloPoMo. Or perhaps I will just post twice today and cheat (extenuating circumstances).

Having no internet has also changed my relationship with my computer. It used to be my best friend, but now I am no longer feeling such fondness for it any more. It just sits in the corner at home, lifeless. No longer animated by the presence of the whole world inside it.

It’s a funny world when you can keep all your friends and the whole world inside your computer on the shelf… Who would have dreamt about this even 20 years ago?

Having said all that, this experiment may possibly be good for the kids. They seem to appreciate having a person who is actually in the room with them rather than off in cyberspace while keeping an “eye” on them. Sitting around with other adults and chatting while kids play is possibly not much different for the adult but maybe is a different experience for the kid, rather than having a parent type into a screen.

I read a novel.


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.

reading or not

November 15, 2009

Oops – missed yesterday’s post because the internet was down. I am having to walk and sit outside the library to get wifi! But this is probably a good thing.

Books on my bedside table:

Advance Australia Where – Hugh Mackay

Cyburbia – James Harkin

The Irresistible Revolution – Shane Claiborne

The Varieties of Religious Experience – William James

The Book of Rapture – Nikki Gemmell

What a nice list of books. If only I were anywhere near reading any of them. Mostly what happens is I buy delicious tantalising books in large quantities and put them optimistically on my bedside table, where they sit for a few weeks or months. The pile grows higher and higher and once it becomes an impossible tower I take some of them away and put them in the “book room”. Meanwhile a lot of internet surfing gets done.

Yes we do have a dedicated room in the house just for books. Most of the people in this family do not have their own room, and yet the books do. Unfortunately it’s a tiny closet and does not allow any room for actual reading. The next step, in a bigger house, would be to create a proper library with an armchair and nice lighting. Computers would be forbidden there.

I’m not sure that’s actually going to happen, given the IT revolution and the impending end of print media. But maybe we will preserve the books as a kind of relic or museum piece.