With, Without

I am no Luddite, but I’m not a tech slut, either. Having just moved, I have been doing without something I used to hold very dear: my own internet connection. It is a financial sacrifice. It is a strange inconvenience.

So many writers make a big deal about experiments in doing without. This trend vaguely annoys me. Every day, all of us make choices, sacrifices, clean-living pacts. Change like this is ordinary. So what’s the big deal?

Well, you notice things. Like how much harder it is to be social and arrange things when I have to hop online only at the library and coffee shops. Like how much more care and timing I have to put into my submissions. Like how much less I dick around online, and how many little projects I am more likely to complete, whether they be repairs, artistic little things, or making utilitarian items (like the origami crane catnip toys; a friend had recently told me about it, so I set out to make my own… hey were loved and shredded).

The root of it, I think, is that we marvel at how one break from our routines can change so much. It changes everything. We make a spectacle of our transformations, write about them, film them, document them not so much because we’re peacocks preening in the public eye (though I won’t deny that may be a part of it), but because it astounds us what a simple change can do, and we are wont to share tales of strange journeys… even small journeys through our everyday.

I am getting used to this internet-less state. I am building new routines around it. I like how I’ve had to adapt. I think I might just keep it this way a bit longer.

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