I should preface this with the fact that we do not have Cable or TV, we only used internet for our viewing pleasure up until the last week or so.
Because our apartment lease is up at the end of May, and also because we hate Centurylink with a burning passion, Dave and I decided to cut off internet mid-May at the end of that month’s internet billing period. We didn’t want to give Centurylink even one additional cent for internet we would not be using.
This means we have been without internet for one week. Sounds simple (and easy) enough. The problem is that I’m already having withdrawals.
If you would have asked me about my streaming history, I would have told you it was minimal. That Dave and I only watched a little bit of Netflix. That we DEFINITELY did not have a problem.
Disclaimer: the experiences I will outline below are only mine. Dave is impervious to a lack of creature comforts. Yes. He is a monster.
Here’s what I found:
Day 1: Go to turn on Netflix while prepping my salad for lunch. Dismayed to find that we do not have internet. Go to eat my salad. Confused as to what to do with my thoughts and eyes and other sensory organs while having to sit and consume a meal.
Lesson: I always eat with a show on or with other people. Eating by myself and not multitasking in any way is extremely uncomfortable. Am I alone in this? I don’t know. Requires more research.
Day 2: Repeat Day 1. I get creative and try to scroll through Instagram on my phone while eating. Realize that my apartment is a dungeon that bars any internet on my phone. Look at the one photo of a friend that did load. Get bored. Learn same lesson.
Day 3: Dave and I talking, probably about Sesame Street or some other trivial nonsense, and cannot think of the name for something or other. Go to look it up on my laptop. No internet. Repeat problem with internet on phone in dungeon. Feeling frustrated.
Day 4-now: Continuously trying to use internet, then realizing it is no more. Feeling like a stupid-head. Anger at my frustration… this should be easier right? Sad because I just want to watch a couple more episodes of The Office for the fiftieth time. Happy that I made the decision. Regretting the decision. Emotional rollercoaster. Actually feeling worn out from not having mindless time every day spent in front of a screen.
Is this withdrawal? Why aren’t books enough to help me relax? Why is this all difficult? Why can’t I just let it go?
Here are some possible answers to my questions, but who knows. I’m in the middle of this and may very well change my mind about it later.
Is this withdrawal? Based on my sugar addiction (which is VERY real, albeit less of an addiction than others could have to other drugs–I’m not saying every addiction weighs the same), I would say this is a minor form of withdrawal.
Why aren’t books enough? As an English major and completely biased party, I’m going to say it’s because books force the mind to think, even if the books are entertaining. TV doesn’t require much, if any, thinking unless the viewer consciously chooses to do so.
Why is this difficult? Why can’t I let it go? I don’t sit with myself very much. There isn’t much time built in to my day where I just do nothing. I think not having internet forces me to have more of that time, and boredom, which often leads to thinking and consideration of uncomfortable thoughts, which feels awful.
I hope I get used to myself a little more over the course of this trip.
Thoughts on my current conundrum from un-involved, unbiased third parties would be greatly appreciated as I try to untangle this mess.