I first discovered the Internet in the early 90s. My mother works at a school and she told me all about it. It was before AOL, Internet Explorer, and we were on a 14.4 modem. Using Netscape Navigator we waited ten minutes for a photo of Jerry Rice from the San Francisco 49ers to download and I printed it out.
From that moment I was addicted.
I’m the type of person who needs to know things. When there’s a big group of people arguing over some random fact, I’m the one who looks it up later and sends it to the group long after they’ve forgotten or care.
In the mid-90s I drove up sizeable internet bills, talking to people in Australia and Belgium on IRC. Downloading recipes and marveling at how magazines were suddenly putting information online.
It’s likely been well over a decade since I went ten days without my bestie. This was a test.
The first few days were easy. I was distracted with the newness of the Eco Trulys and spent lazy afternoons napping. On my third day we went into town but instead of going online like the others I walked around the market, amused with things like these Nazi mangos.
But on a few slow afternoons people would decide they wanted to head into town to check Internet again. I always had to decline, explain I was on a detox and then explain why I needed a detox.
It was starting to eat at me. I wondered if people had emailed me, what if my site went down, what if something happened at home, what if I was missing out on something.
But as much as it was killing me I’m stubborn. And I knew if I didn’t do this I couldn’t write this post. I couldn’t share what I had learned. So what did I miss:
- 546 email
- 541 items in Google reader
- 184 sites on my Stumble Upon toolbar that SU somehow started to dump into my email
- 4 Facebook friend requests, 3 messages, 15 notiifcations
- 27 blog comments to approve, 77 spam
- 3 LinkedIn requests
And what did I learn: Just because I can be online 24/7 doesn’t mean I should be. I don’t need to answer tweets within hours, tweets can wait. I’m not going to rush to catch up, I know the Internet will wait.