Since about 2001, I’ve had pretty consistent access to the internet. Remember waiting for the modem to dial-up? I’d wait patiently, hogging the family home phone line while I checked my firstname.lastname@example.org email address, each page taking nearly a minute to load.
I only vaguely remember a time before our home had a computer (shout out to our boxy, grey Power Macintosh circa 1994 – you were the gateway drug to my technology addiction). In fact, I honestly can’t remember a time longer than maybe a day when I haven’t had access to the internet.
Before we left for vacation, I thought that being cut off from the internet for a week might be nice. My active, constant use of the internet sometimes makes it hard for me to give anything my full attention. A whole evening can go by and I’ll realize that I’ve paid zero attention to N because I was “doing blog stuff” (which somehow involves 30% writing and 70% making graphics and trying to fix stupid formatting stuff).
Before we left, I scheduled two blog posts for this blog and two for Blog Brighter. I was proud of myself for not completely dropping the ball but I knew that it would be a challenge for me to just send posts out in to the world and not be able to read the comments or get a feel for how the posts were being received (I’m always scared I’ll start some big commotion and suddenly everyone will hate me. Isn’t blogging fun?).
So it came as a surprise to me when I realized that not only was I a little antsy about not being able to access my blogs (or Twitter and Instagram), but somehow my brain has become completely dependent on Google for everything from basic information to actual survival.
Like for instance, what should you do when you sunburn your butt cheeks? Is Tylenol the better option? Or ibuprofen? Should I just go with aloe or should I steal some green tea bags and find a way to soak in them?
Stuff like this kept happening all week. At one point I actually wondered if the cruise ship had a set of encyclopedias, just so I could look something up.
Like, am I seasick or just hungover? What is it like to work on a cruise ship? What beach is the best beach in St. Lucia? What to do if you are supposed to take your medicine at night but you weren’t thinking and took it in the morning? Without the internet, you literally cannot know.
I was honestly astounded by the number of things that I just don’t know and cannot figure out on my own without the help of Google. It made me feel super dependent and every time I couldn’t get an instant answer, a little ragey.
And it was such an innate reaction – don’t know something? Google it. My mind instantly believes that if I don’t know the answer to something, I can find it easily, in a matter of minutes, on my phone.
I guess what I’m saying is, if the apocalypse happens, I’ll be the first to go. Probably because without Google, I accidentally took the wrong medicines together and it killed me, got food poisoning from cooking something at the wrong temperature, or generally did not possess enough survival skills due to my complete dependency on technology.
p.s. As much as I missed the internet, I missed Archie even more.
p.s.s. I promise I’ll stop talking about our vacation now.