Friday, April 20, 2007

One Writer's Field Guide To Surviving
An Entire Month Without the Internet

Could you go a full month without using the Internet? The writer Stephen Elliott gives it a try, and lives to tell the tale in the current Poets & Writers Magazine. Upon learning what he had done, people treated him as an oddity. "'I wish I could do that,' others mused wistfully, as if it were simply not possible for them," he reports. By the fourth week, he had begun breaking the habits he'd learned on the Internet: "that addiction to continual bursts of small information." Eventually, he writes, "I could feel my attention span lengthening."


At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Lou said...

If I didn't have the addiction, I could have read a longer post. A month without mapquest, google and anywho (and WWW)? I have heard of hell but have not experienced it...yet.

At 12:03 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Me, either, Lou. And I don't expect to, ever.

At 11:56 PM, Anonymous Buster said...

I'm one of the world's worst Internet addicts. But when I go on a cruise, I don't even take the available opportunities to use it. I also read several books, an achievemnt I find increasingly difficult at home.

At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what's the big deal? Roldo survived ions of years without a PC let alone the internet. I will stop my comments right here....mfh

At 3:34 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

A cruise? I have readers that take cruises? Good for you, I say.

At 8:34 PM, Anonymous Lou said...

Let's see, had the laptop on honeymoon (only used it when wife was sleeping); had laptop in hospital when daughter was born (only used it when wife and daughter were sleeping), had a fax of our A/P ledger sent to recovery room at Fairview (old tech, paper trail, not good). As for Roldo, it would be like going away with the IBM Selectric, or the one with the real bell and manual return (or the Gutenberg press - just kidding).

At 3:17 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Lou, we have to be productive as we get the chance. No use feeling guilty about it, especially when there are hungry mouths to feed. And work-life balance is an individual thing. There's no one-size-fits all in that area.

At 3:45 PM, Blogger Jeff Hess said...

Shalom John,

I periodically go on electronic fasts. I avoid using as much electronic technology as possible and I find the low-tech life style refreshing.

The technique is an expansion of the three-day news fast (no broadcast/print news) that I first began practicing in the early '90s after reading Andrew Weil's 8 Weeks to Optimum Health.

When we remove something from our lives, returning it with purpose heightens the experience.



At 10:46 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Wow, Jeff. Wonderful stuff. And how brilliantly you put it: "returning it with purpose heightens the experience." You've got quite a way with the language, my friend.


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