I live a wired life. When I am working, I have tabs open to communicate via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; I am Googling something, looking up online resources, searching websites and checking and rechecking email. When I am not working, I am binge-watching TV shows online, listening to podcasts or audiobooks; all of which requires an internet connection.
When you travel to rural India, sometimes you lose internet access. Then the question is; what do I do with all this “free time?” It takes some adjusting, but it forces me to process life in different ways. Instead of checking and rechecking email and Facebook statuses, I sit and think about how others are doing - I wonder about their health and pray for them; I remember good times without having to look at the photos; I recount the memories without the push notification. When I feel like expressing a thought or an opinion, I write in my journal, or type up a blog entry to post later. (Like I am doing now) Being a part of an online community is wonderful and it makes a single life less lonely, but it also hides the reality of being in the moment. Without internet, I can listen to the birds, watch the bees reform their hive, watch the children as they prepare for the day. I had a wonderful conversation with friends, one I probably wouldn’t have engaged in had I been connected.
So much of our connected life helps us to process what is happening in the world: when something happens in the news, we check Twitter to see what is trending, we write our opinions for others to see, we like or don’t like statements or positions. This helps us define who we are in a complex world.
This week I am trying something different.