Oh, internet, how I have missed you.
We just got back from two weeks of family vacation, which was enjoyable in just about every way. We spent a week down at Cape May NJ with extended family, trekking to the beach and generally having a wonderful time. Then we had a few days in Philadelphia to recover from all that relaxing. Sights were seen, times were had, and you just know that there will be a full report here in the next few days.
But there was no web access, not really.
As someone who grew up before the Digital Age and whose relationship with technology is at best ambivalent, it always astounds me how thoroughly the web has infiltrated my life. I have a blog. I have a Facebook account. I still insist on the occasional “old-fashioned email,” as I was once astounded to hear someone refer to it. Whenever I need to know a particular bit of information, I tend to look it up online before I seek out a physical reference book – and I am old and cagey enough to be careful of my sources there.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only one who uses Amazon as a reference source (who wrote that, again?).
But on this vacation I made the conscious choice that I wasn’t going to seek out access to the web. The blog could wait. Facebook could wait (although this, in the end, might have been a mistake, as it likely led to a missed connection with an old friend who clearly does not understand the concept of “off line” even though he works in IT). Emails could wait.
And you know what? It wasn’t as pleasant as the “Simplify Your Life” crowd would have you believe.
We are storytelling animals, we humans. Communication is hard-wired into our brains, our spirits and our lives. I missed the connectivity, the stories that I could tell and the stories that other people could tell me. Yes, there were real people around me to share those things with, and yes we did – that, to me, was the main purpose of the trip, to see family and friends I haven’t seen in too long and share stories. But apparently I am now a citizen of the Digital Age as well.
Jittery. Very jittery, this notion.