Life Without The Internet (almost)

If someone drops out of sight for a while in the world of the internet there’s usually a reason. In my case it’s a been a hiatus forced on me by being without broadband and only an intermittent unpredictable and limited mobile connection. This is both horribly frustrating and yet in some ways liberating at the same time, and it’s thrown me into a completely different frame of mind.

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What do you do when your internet connection is so slow you want to scream? Pour a glass of wine, and in between sips, draw it...

Some of it is definitely bad.
Being cut off from news reports I can’t read, waiting for endless minutes for pages to load that finally won’t load at all, and trying to navigate sites that require bandwidth that web designers  assume is reliably supplied like tap-water – all this is just such a huge, debilitating waste of time, and I’d rather do without it.

But on the other hand, some things are good.
I only have a certain amount of energy and time to do the things I want (and need ) to do, and as I’d been wanting to do more sketching I’ve stopped bothering to stare at the unresponsive screen of my phone, and instead I’ve been drawing every day, recording little things that seem inconsequential – rediscovering the pleasure of connecting unexpectedly with something (or someone), focusing simply on that, and getting it down on paper. I’ve given myself time to get back to an older time, before the internet, and just draw.

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The Every Day In May sketching challenge got me drawing some surprising objects

In May, through following Australian sketch artist/architect and prolific urban sketcher Liz Steel, I discovered the Every Day In May drawing challenge and joined in – as much as I could. Knowing other people around the world are drawing a similar thing at the same time or at least on the same day gave it a friendly, connected feeling – even though I couldn’t post drawings on Flikr or look at what other people were drawing.

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Quietly drawing this lipstick was like sitting down with an old friend and getting to know it better

But I had to stay connected…
Several of the blogs I follow get delivered to my email inbox and I’ve lapped these up as if they were cool water in a desert. Thankfully, some of these posts will download complete with pictures even on weak and dodgy internet connections, and some are written in such a way that they still make glorious, rewarding sense even without images. They’ve been a lifeline for me to make connections and still feel part of a wider world.

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The urge to connect: nowadays more often by smartphone - but still sometimes the way we all used to, writing letters - and by hand!

A big thank you to those of you who have unknowingly been my oasis. Special thanks to Susan McCulley
who writes Focus Pocus for unerringly, spookily saying just the things I most need to hear; Cate Franklyn whose photo blog is a visual treat even without the photos – and Nina Mishkin whose Getting Old Blog is just such a very, very good read.

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14 thoughts on “Life Without The Internet (almost)

    1. Thanks – it’s great to be back. I’m fully connected again and looking forward to catching up with everyone. Have enjoyed reading your lovely posts – that really are great reads even without the photos but now I can enjoy them properly 🙂

  1. There is much to be said for slipping off the ‘grid’ once in a while. Now that I live in a more rural area, the internet is always much slower, and I have learned to not sit waiting for things on the internet to happen. I have better things to do, and apparently so have you.

    1. It’s a good lesson, and quite helpful once in a while. I like to control things, and being thrown into situations of unpredictability is a good lesson in letting go. A bit like accepting variable weather – as you know!

  2. Welcome back!
    I’ve missed reading your thoughts, and seeing your photos and wonderful drawings. I know what you mean about Control. It’s such a powerful feeling to decide to take a break from the online world….and an even more powerful (if uncomfortable) feeling to be disconnected when it’s Not by choice. Oh, we all keep learning such big lessons, eh? Glad you’re here online again 🙂

    1. Oh thank you for such warm words, its lovely to be welcomed back like this! I have managed to keep reading many of your poems but it’s wonderful to be able to find you again on a regular basis. I’m still not up to speed blogging-wise (this time not because of internet problems but due to exhaustion) but in due course things will return to normal. Thanks so much for being in touch!

    1. Hello Nina! It’s good to be back – I’ve been really enjoying your short summer posts. And no shame on you – I’m afraid I’m equally guilty of missing things like this. Loved your piece about learning (or re-learning) the piano. Go for it!

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