It has come to my attention lately that I’m more plugged into my virtual life than I am my real life.

At first I hated hearing this. I was mad and none too impressed with this assumption. I didn’t like it at all. But then I started thinking about it and realized how very true it is.

I won’t even admit how much time I spend online everyday. I read blogs, I comment on them, I spend time answering and writing emails, I spend time on MySpace and MySpace groups, I check Etsy compulsively. This takes up time… a lot of it.

The person who told me that I spent too much time online proposed that I spend time online – in my virtual life – because I’m scared to live my own. In truth, I think she is right. I was thinking today of what I might do in lieu of spending all this time online and I really do not know. I really cannot think of things to do outside of the Internet.

Not good.

Now, I’m not about to re-nig on my NaBloPoMo commitment. I do plan to blog – thoughtfully – here everyday for the month of November. That is what I committed to do and I will uphold it. I also plan to keep reading all of the blogs that I love (seriously de-cluttered those some time ago) and commenting too. I know that I have friends in this community and want to keep those. Besides, I DO enjoy reading about what is going on your lives.

But all the other stuff, like mindless groups and friend collection pages… I don’t think so.

It is time I started learning – yes, LEARNING – how to live my life in real life. I have no idea how to live my life in real life as online is how I’ve done things for so long. I see and read about people who craft, craft, craft yet they post SO much on their blogs and email a ton too. I just wonder how they have time for it all or if they just manage their time better. I don’t know.

What I DO know is that I – me, myself, I – only have 24 hours in each day and I need to use them better. If anyone has advice on where to begin on this Internet-downsizing journey, please let me know. I’m not going to NO Internet but I at least need to go down 50%.

Please send me good vibes and any advice that you might have.

Don’t worry… you’ll hear from me again tomorrow. Or… maybe you should worry!



18 thoughts on “Unplugged.

  1. I struggle with balance myself. With two small children I admit that it is easier to make phone or online my social outlet rather than to actually get us out of the house. Sometimes I don’t even really feel like going outside of the house.

    One thing I have done is I have a standing date to scrapbook twice a month with two friends. Even when I don’t feel like doing it, I make myself go. I always end up having a great time!

    We go to a Mommy and Me class and playgroup once a week so that forces me to be more social. I love people, but I am not good at making new friends or being the planner, even with my friends.

    While I do enjoy going out and about, I’m just not that great at people. Online it is so much easier for some reason.

    Anyway, I have just blabbed on and on about nothing really. Just wanted to say I am proud of you for trying!


  2. I’m glad you’ve made this decision! I don’t know how you say that you can’t think of anything to do that’s not on the internet tho, b/c I usually run out of things to do way fast! There are so many other things out there, I’m sure you won’t have to look too hard to fill your time. Reading, crafting, helping out at home, etc. You’ll be 50% internet free before you know it!

  3. I have such a problem with the computer. Mine is located in our kitchen and some days I have to turn on the kitchen timer and make myself walk away when it goes off. This is sad, but true. I’m home all day with 2 little ones so sometimes blogging is such a nice outlet, but then I have to remind myself why I wanted to stay at home with them in the first place. To spend time with them, not the computer.

    I try to organize my day- I read while they are napping, I scrapbook while watching tv at night. I do play/craft/read time with the kids in the morning and run errands and play outside each afternoon. A schedule is the only way I can get anything done.

  4. I hear ya (and everyone else who has commented). I have two little ones too and use the computer as a quick escape from them (as terrible as it sounds to need an escape), but so often what is meant to be a quick email check ends up spiraling into a two hour event. Plus the computer never runs out of potential activities so that can be both fun and horribly addictive. I’m sure you can cut back and that with time, it will feel normal to be off of the computer.

    Maybe sit with a pen and paper and give yourself five minutes to list your favorite online activities. Cut out anything that doesn’t make the list and give yourself a set amount of time to be online each day (tackling your favorite activities first). Timers are good (annoying, but they work).

    Best of luck, Catherine

  5. Forgot to mention another thing I do to limit time online:

    Make a list of things you’d like to accomplish.
    Beside each item, put a ballpark estimate of how much time it would take you.
    Track your regular online activities each day and keep track of how much time you spend on each activity.

    Trade one online activity for an offline accomplishment that you’d like to make.

    I used to complain to my husband that I never had the time to pick up my son’s tornado of toys at the end of the day. Then, I realized that if I skipped the twenty minutes I was spending in the chat room it was really simple to get things cleaned up.


  6. I totally understand where you’re coming from. I tend to try and have computer free days, especially on the weekends. And I find being a part of groups and forums seems to suck up time, so yeah, you could definitely cut those back. I also try to stay off Etsy and Ebay as they suck up my money, unless I’m looking for a person’s work or something specific. And I definitely read less blogs than I used to! Yep, more reading, learn a craft, start a garden, I’m devoting more time to cupcake making to give myself a break from the computer. šŸ˜›
    Good luck xx

  7. Your friend must really care about you to say that. I must admit that it is easy to spend a lot of time online. I would spend a lot longer if I have a faster connection. But my snail speed connection keeps me away from it for long periods of time. That will change over the Christmas period when I house sit a friends house who has REALLY FAST internet! But that will be for only two weeks. Back to you though. You never know, you may enjoy the change.

  8. Congrats to you! I think its a wise decision and you will have so much to do. There is always so much you talk about wanting to do, learn to sew, yoga, the school thing. You can work on some badges as well. So so much.

    I find I do a lot during the day, hell I am at work most of it. I don’t spend an awful amount of time online but whenever I can phone over email, it actually saves a lot of time. I would love to have all my online friends numbers. Sometimes just to say a few things can take 5 minutes but ginormous amounts of time to type.

  9. Oh girl, I know what you are talking about. I can waste hours on here. But I’m not to worried about it for me right now. I’m just gradually trying to add friends and activities. I was thinking about starting a group on Meetup.com. I would love to start a weekly game night. šŸ™‚ But I need to have a few people that I actually know before I post it as a site.

    Wanna come over once a week to play games? It’s just a few hundred mile commute!!! Think about it and get back to me. šŸ˜‰

  10. You go! You’ve hit on something I think we all can relate to.

    Similar to what Catherine suggested, I make a list of things I need/have to do online (pay bills, update blog – what? that counts!), then a list of things I want to do (read blogs, visit food porn sites and drool, look for lyrics to 1985 Purple Rain soundtrack song). Then I set a limit, say one hour or whatever and start with the need to/have to list.

    That works pretty well. I try to be aware of my time. It’s so easy – and so much fun – getting lost on blogs or whatever.

    The online world is seductive. It’s so easy to while away large swaths of time without realizing it. I do that sometimes but try to let it be a treat – hey, better than ice cream, right?

    I admire you. The first is admitting there is a problem, right? šŸ˜‰

  11. I relate too, KB. I kind of go in ‘spurts’ where I’m online way too much and then I swing over to being hardly online at all. I think it’s wise to be mindful of time since it is a valuable resource.

    I have no doubt you’ll find a good balance in this. It’s just another area to declutter, right? šŸ™‚

    Very thought-provoking to say the least!

  12. I gave up myspace. It drains me. And now that I don’t check it fanatically, and even sometimes go days without it, I have so much more time to do the things that matter.

    Like homework. šŸ˜›

  13. Making a list of “soon to be accomplished” things definitely steers you in the right direction šŸ™‚ SARK talk about micromovements to get herself jumpstarted on projects, so start small. Reducing your minutes in intervals may be helpful, for example, shave five minutes of your time on the computer this week, and ten minutes next…etc. On the flipside, I have finally mustered the time to create my very own blog (yay!). I would hate to say take a peek because you are reducing your time on the internet, however, if you would like to read and comment it’s http://whichwaytothegreenergrass.blogspot.com/

    Be well!

  14. Hey there, I saw your post on the Friends Living Naturally group about spending less time there. I would miss your great comments (and beautiful personailty there!) but if you decide you can’t moderate anymore I would be happy to take over for you. If you want to contact me please feel free to do so (erika (at) middesummer (dot) com). Take care!

  15. I just give myself time slots. For x amount of time I will be online, reading blogs and commenting and perusing, ect. . . and then, it is done. For the day. Or week.
    Somethings, like blogging and connecting with others, really do feed me.
    Other things are empty and leave me feeling empty.
    I am learning, to STOP, in the moment, to see which is which.

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