Sunday, January 15, 2017

Internet-Free Challenge

We noticed very early on in our marriage that TV and the Internet were not good for us. We were newlyweds, which used to mean that you were spending all of your time holding hands and starry-eyed, but instead we were staring at screens and saying in a zombie-like trance, “Let’s do something together in… 20 minutes?” every 20 minutes.

We got rid of TV and Internet—mostly because we are cheap—and it revolutionized our marriage, y’all.
My older readers might be rolling their eyes but those of you who are my age and younger, seriously, take heed. Our parents and grandparents had completely different marriages than we do today.

You know what happens when you can’t turn away and scroll mindlessly through Pinterest or when your husband can’t turn up the sound of a basketball game? You finish the argument, you make up, and then you hang out with each other. You talk. You memorize the pattern in the gold in the green of his eyes, and then recognize that same gold pattern in your son’s bright blue eyes, because you are always looking at faces and never looking at screens. 
You have fewer headaches.
You read more books.
Your house is cleaner (unless you have kids. Then it’s messier, but in a good way).

I am often met with blank stares or rude comments when I explain that I don’t have Internet at my house. When I call the bank or library I am usually asked by someone with an impatient tone, “Have you tried mobile banking?” or “Did you try placing a hold online?” I recently called a dance studio because I wanted to give them my money and watch a performance, and instead of just telling me the date of the show I was met with a huffy, “It’s on the website.” I once attempted to join a moms’ group and was told I probably wouldn’t be able to since it was run primarily through Facebook. A group of moms, who all lived in the same city and attended the same church, met over Facebook instead of in-person.

It was for this reason that I found myself cracking up at some of the not-that-funny parts of Esther Emery’s book, What Falls from the Sky.

Esther Emery was doing her best to mend a broken heart and a broken marriage and decided to try a little experiment, one year without Internet or TV. She found God during this time… and learned to cook, garden, play guitar, and juggle. She read book after book. She traveled to Nicaragua and learned more about the world.
Detoxing from the Internet completely changed her life and she wrote all about it in her book.

I so highly recommend it. I think it’s a really interesting story about her personal life and her marriage, but it’s also a really beautiful depiction of a very hurt, introverted person growing and changing into someone who deeply values human connection over the kind of “connection” found on the Internet.

If you’ve ever thought about your dependence on (or addiction to) the Internet, and what life might be like if you gave it up, I very highly recommend this book.

Also, because so many people in this generation find it very difficult to imagine functioning normally outside of the Internet, I am happy to help with any logistics questions you might have. =]

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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