Life without the internet
We've been without broadband in our house and my studio for a couple of weeks now. It's a problem for most of the local area, as the collapse of the Digital Region has left our ISP unable to continue providing the service.
So whilst we wait for a new provider to connect us up, we are using mobile broadband dongles to keep up with work etc. Not ideal but we are rolling with it.
An unintentional consequence of this is that both Mr Lovely and I have considerably cut down on the time we spend on social media. I have to be honest, at first this was insanely difficult for me. I was totally frustrated and constantly wondering what I was missing out on by not being able to check Twitter or Instagram.
After a few days however, I started to realise that this was actually a good thing. So often, Mr lovely and I can be found with our noses buried in our phones unaware of what is happening around us or even what the other person is saying. I became aware of this a while ago and on more than one occasion I expressed my dissatisfaction when Mr L and I would go out for dinner, and the first thing he would do is whip out his phone.
For the last few weeks my social media usage has been reduced to checking Twitter once a day, the occasional glance at Instagram and a quick scan of Facebook. And guess what? The world hasn't fallen apart, I haven't missed out on anything or spontaneously combusted.
In fact, I have been far more productive and have noticed a boost to my creativity - which I think is the result of not being bogged down checking what everyone else is up to. But the best thing for me is how much more present both Mr L and I are. When we are together, cooking dinner, eating or generally hanging out, we are not distracted. We are fully present and connected.
It's such a simple thing but being present rather than checking Twitter really says to the other person "I see you. What you have to say is important to me and I'm listening".
Our internet connection will be restored very soon and I'm grateful for that as it makes my work and life far easier. But I am making it an intention not to fall into the old patterns and instead limit my social media usage, switch off my laptop when I am with Mr L and resist checking my phone when we are talking.
What do you think? Have you ever taken a break (intentional or otherwise) from social media?