on being offline

Filed under: about me

I’ve been missing from this blog for a while. Actually, I’ve been missing from the entire internet for a while. I’ve been visiting my parents at our family’s camp on Roxbury Pond, Maine, and there isn’t an internet connection there. If I want to check my email, I either have to mug someone who has a phone with 3G, or I have to get in my father’s truck and drive thirteen miles to Rumford. My parents have two formerly feral cats who inhabit their house in Rumford so if I do drive the thirteen miles there to use their wifi, I also have to change the cats’ litterbox. It’s the deal.

So basically, every time I wanted to send a tweet I had to drive twenty-six miles and deal with cat poop. I didn’t do it that often. Somehow, 140 characters didn’t seem quite worth the hassle.

My phone doesn’t work either. Despite O2’s assertions that it will work just hunky-dory, the minute I take my Samsung across the UK border into another country it begins to continually restart itself as if it’s taken amphetamines. I’ve been pretty cut off from technology for the past five weeks.

For the first few internet-free hours, I am usually a little bit jumpy. I keep on thinking about how I’d love to tell my friends this or that I’m missing a REALLY IMPORTANT work email or thinking about how I’d phrase this particular story as a blog post or reaching for my phone to take a photo to share with my followers. I wander around wondering what is going on elsewhere in the world.

But then, surprisingly quickly, it settles down. I stop wondering what’s going on elsewhere and start paying attention to what’s going on here. Instead of tweeting, I talk. Instead of surfing, I swim. Instead of skimming, I read.

I spend a lot of time looking at stuff like this. Just gazing. You know.


I catch grasshoppers and watch caterpillars and go for walks and look for blackberries. I root through the bookshelves and make cakes and play cribbage up at the general store. I have squirt gun fights and I go to bed early and sleep, listening to crickets.

Now, this isn’t to say that my five offline weeks convert me from a ravening internetaholic to a calm, peaceful person who is connected to reality rather than social media. To be brutally honest, I did change that cat box quite a few times (I couldn’t resist tweeting about how I met that Robert Downey Jr lookalike on the beach, on the day I’d forgotten to shave my legs). And my computer hasn’t been off once in the thirty-six hours that I’ve been back home.

But it’s five weeks’ break from ravening internetaholicism. And it’s nice. I’m not sure I’d want to live that way forever…but it’s nice.

For a while.

Leave a Comment


8 Responses | | Comments Feed

  1. Your five weeks sounds like bliss and I could really use. I hope you have refreshed your soul and filled your well.


    • Liz, you will appreciate your break all the more when you finish August Rock. Good luck with it, hon. xx

  2. We missed you, welcome home but glad you had some down time.

  3. Welcome back Julie! that sounds like such a lovely break. We’re doing a relay … I am off to Turkey tomorrow! Can’t promise not to tweet, though.

  4. I’m glad you had a good visit, sorry I missed you. The Port does improve as it ages! Maybe we can connect if you come for Christmas.

    • I’m so sorry I missed you Chris! It is hard to escape from the bosom of my family. I really wanted a taste of that port and to catch up, too.

Top ↑