Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Unplugged

As hard as I tried, the Mac just wouldn’t fit in the tiny overnight bag needed for the Top Secret Mother’s Day Mission on Saturday.

Stuffing it in there would have rendered Mom’s ‘I hope you got me something good’ present into something somewhat less than good and that was simply not acceptable.

So the laptop – like a well worn woobie except I rarely wipe my nose on it – was left behind with Much Anxiety and Stomping of the Feet.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
One of my stories – and we all have ‘em – is that I don’t have any addictions.

“I don’t drink too much, I don’t do drugs, I don’t smoke, blah blah,” I’d claim proudly whilst irritating the piss outta anyone within earshot.

Guess what? It’s not true.

I’m addicted to on-line. I need need NEED to be connected.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
How many hours would you say you spend on-line each day?

This is painful.

Between instant messenger, e-mail and the Internet I am plugged in all day at work – eight hours. Plus two or three hours at home in the evenings sitting in front of the TV.

Plugged in 12 hours a day? Jesus. No wonder my ass is getting so big.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
They say admitting your problem is the first step to recovery. They also say that you need to hit Rock Bottom before you can begin to get better.

They are usually right. But sometimes I wish They would just shut the fuck up, ya know?

Anyhoo.

That brief and ill-fated foray into Second Life was probably rock bottom for me. How sad, pathetic and obsessed do you have to be to create a fake on-line persona so you can ‘live’ on-line?

It was twisted for sure. And it made me realize I’m missing out on too much by being tied to this goddamn Mac all the time.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Well, look at you!” said Jim, sitting next to me on the couch last night. “You’re actually reading the paper! What’s going on?”

“I have an addiction,” I reply, giving him Very Serious Hedy Face. “I’m not sure if it’s genetic, but your support would be appreciated during my recovery from this disease.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It turns out I didn’t miss the Mac over the weekend. And I didn’t miss it too much last night.

It turns out being unplugged is easier than I thought.

So I can go back to irritating everyone with my addiction-free lifestyle.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Israel K
I am reading: Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson & David O. Relin
And I am: Skipping step two for sure

4 comments:

CRUSTYBEEF said...

STEP 1: ADMIT YOU HAVE A PROBLEM:
Mark Ellwood, author of Cut the Glut of E-Mail, calculates that white-collar workers waste an average of three hours a week just on sorting through junk mail.

STEP 2: RECOGNIZE THE SYMPTOMS:
Dry eyes, back aches, wrist cramping and numb fingers are signs that you are spending too much time at the keyboard.

STEP 3: TAKE RESPONSIBILITY:
If you didn't send so much e-mail, maybe you wouldn't get so much.

STEP 4: PRACTICE THE RULE OF THREE:
If an e-mail thread has gone back and forth three times, it is time to pick up the phone.

STEP 5: DON'T COPY THE WORLD:
Think twice about the people you put on your cc: list. If they all respond, then where will you be?

STEP 6: TURN OFF THE CHIME:
Nothing triggers a Pavlovian response faster than a ringing bell, but a flashing icon in the task bar comes close. Turn both off and your urge to check will diminish over time. (not to mention it may scare the living daylights out of your husband if he's sitting alone watching his favorite tv show, late one evening.)DRRRRRRRRRIIIIIINGGGGGG!!! Don't want to give him a heart attack, now do you?

STEP 7: SLOW DOWN:
Answering messages the moment you get them creates an expectation that you will always respond as quickly. Let it be known that you won't. Train people to call if it's really urgent.

STEP 8: TOUCH EACH MESSAGE ONLY ONCE:
If it isn't relevant, hit the delete key. If it is, set it aside, and plan to spend some time at the end of the day to reply.

STEP 9: LET YOUR SOFTWARE DO THE WORK:
The more you filter out spam and divert e-mail lists to their own folders, the more manageable your in box becomes.

STEP 10: GET HELP FROM HUMANS:
( I don't mean your therapist.) Senior managers: let your assistant wade through your In box for you. Ordinary mortals: ask friends to stop by or phone in from time to time to interrupt your e-mail reveries. Or arrange to have an evening out with your loved one-palm pilots, crackberries should remain closed and on vibrate.

STEP 11: DON'T CHECK YOUR E-MAIL AT HOME:
This may seem extreme, but forcing yourself to go to a library or Internet cafe will at least allow the possibility of some face-to-face human interaction in your life. (I'd recommend the library, the cafe will end up costing you some coin...)

STEP 12: TAKE TIME OFF:
Designate one day a week that is utterly e-mail free. That goes double for cruise-ship vacations, family roadtrips, or any type of vacation away from home.

I understand your pain, Hedy..don't worry, you'll get there! :)
Sounds like you're close to step 2 anyways :)
Always,
Crusty~

Dave said...

I think you have to resign yourself to the "Higher Power."

As far as I know, you get to choose. Is Gromit willing?

Hedy said...

Gromit is dyslexic. When I call him dog, he thinks I'm calling him God. He's glad I'm finally giving up the laptop -- it means there's more room for him on my lap now.

Dave said...

See, it's working already.

Totally off point: the squiggly word I have to type to prove that its a human typing this comment is uauadupa. Coolest one in a long time. Has a beat you can dance to.