Life without internet is relieving. Un alivio grande.
Not perfect. And definitely not easy. I’ll explain.
When you have a constant connection to the internet superhighway, sometimes it can distract you from the little streets and roads that make up your life. That highway is so sleek and fast and has so few potholes, that it’s just more interesting to connect there than to, I don’t know, cook arroz y habichuelas everyday in your boring, provincial life.
Yes, provincial. Because, even though we live in the second largest city in the Dominican Republic, our little apartment is surrounded by little pieces of land used for fincas. I’m not talking about little, urban, community gardens filled with ochre and tomatoes. I’m talking about corn and yucca and banana and platano trees. And those little plots of earth that aren’t filled with the Dominican staple foods are filled with cows. And we’re still woken up every morning with the kee-kee-kiree of the rooster.
Diversion. When you’re life is slow, the internet is appealing. More than appealing. We used to have a broadband in our old house. And we even set forth the paperwork to get internet here when we moved, but one problem after another, al estilo dominicano and we gave up trying for now. And do you know what? I never noticed how much time I (we) wasted on the internet before we didn’t have it.
I check my email almost every day at my students’ house and if I can swing checking the facebook for pictures of all those babies being born in the states right now, I will. But, when I actually make time to sit down and use the internet I find myself, more often than not, doing nada. It’s true, I read my blogs – it’s like the poor man’s celebrity gossip (I’ll be honest, I secretly relish in knowing that other people are having the same (or worse) difficulties – it makes me feel better about not being superwoman). And I try to maintain some semblance of email relationships with my tutoring kids’ school teachers and I really do try to maintain contact with my amigos. But all that can be done in like 10 minutes. Maybe 20.
Everything else is fluff.
Don’t get me wrong. There are days that I need to research something, or need a clipart for a project or would like to just skype with my family – but the amount of time I waste on the internet is incredible. And since we don’t have it anymore, I find I’m more dedicated to coming up with the kids’ “school” activities (and when I do search for their info, I download everything at once and read it at home) instead of stealing things from other people and just wasting ink printing out things that might not suit our little bilingual pre-school homeschool. I go to bed earlier. And this summer I packed away a record ten books in two months! And 1 was even in francais. When was the last time I read in French? And enjoyed it? And when I get the internet, I actually use it for a purpose instead of reading about how so-and-so is potty training her four year old twins and cries everyday that she’s doing a bad job while her husband tells her what a bad mom she is. (because not only should that not be public information on the internet, but nobody should be feeling good about those types of bad situations).
I miss it sometimes, but mostly I’m just enjoying the little side-streets and callejones of life while that super-pista is, and always, will be there waiting for when there’s time for it.