a girl and her boy

. daily life : wool obsession : bibliomania : living on purpose .

This post is brought to you by…

…my home internet connection! I’m back online!

After being mostly off-line for a month, it’s nice being back, but I can see myself missing the distraction-less existence I had been living in until today. It’s odd how accustomed we can get to an alternate state of being in such a short time, especially one so alien to a digital-native like me.

I was thinking about my technology experience last night as Allan and I were talking about the generations and their traits. For instance, Generation X is generally those born between 1965 and 1979 and have experienced (as a generation) the Challenger explosion, the Iran-Contra conflict, social malaise, Reaganomics, AIDS, the safe sex movement, and single-parent families as the baby boomers began to experience family strife. And Generation Y is generally those born between 1980 and 2001 and have experienced the rise of the internet, September 11, cultural diverstiy, and two Iraq wars. I’m definitely a Generation Y’er. My students are … something else. They are not only digital natives, they are pretty close to cyborgs.

In relation to this, Allan and I were talking about our first home computers, our introduction to the online world, and how different it is for the new generation that is currently unnamed. When I was in fifth grade, my family purchased our first home computer, a Tandy, and this began my migration to the internet. I was young enough that I consider myself a digital native, whereas some people a few years ahead of me are digital immigrants. Even some of my peers were digital immigrants. I was one of the first among my peers to have my own email address (not a family address or using my parents). I remember what it was, too: ozma20@juno.com. And eventually it became ozma20@hotmail.com and various other addresses through the years as my personality, interests, and contacts changed. I remember when listservs were actually informative and a link to the world outside my doorstep.

And now, nearly 15 years later, my digital acumen increased with the technology and tools. I’m a hip blogger, Googler, social networking user, and instant messenger. It’s like I’m plugged in to the internet.

All of a sudden, I was cut off from that world for a month.

I went through withdrawal for a week, whining about not having access to my email, my social networking sites, my book lovers’ sites, and instant messenger. And then, a strange thing happened. I suddenly didn’t miss it so much anymore. I focused in on my curriculum planning and churned out document after informative document, read five books, and spent more time outside running, picking berries, and taking long leisurely walks. I spent more time in the kitchen trying out recipes. I spent time drawing, something I hadn’t done in three years.

And now that I have the internet back, I’m going through withdrawal again. I’ve spent the last four hours today, nearly five, getting reacquainted with the digital world. And you know what, I didn’t miss it as much as I thought. Sure, I certainly appreciate having access to my email, being able to post on my blog, being able to check for updates to blogs I read, and being able to do instant research; I don’t miss the time being online absorbs from my life and how I often have no idea what I’ve actually accomplished in a day. I think I’m ready, after all these years, to strike a healthy balance between digital and real life.

2 responses to “This post is brought to you by…

  1. Cupcake July 29, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    The internet is so crazy! After a few weeks away, I get back online and I wonder how I used to spend all my time online. Then, I realize several hours have gone by and I didn’t get any knitting done. It’s like a black hole!

  2. LittleWit July 29, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    It’s a sweet thing really. That delicate balance. I will once again this weekend traverse to the land of no internet and I intend to swim, ride in a boat going really fast and knit. The best thing of all though is that I will sleep so very soundly.

%d bloggers like this: