20 Things I learned in a week without my computer

A conversation my husband and I had a day into my experiment:

ME: I’m keeping a notebook to write down notes of what I’m learning this week.

HIM: That would make a great blog post!

ME: That’s so funny you mention that, that’s exactly what I was thinking!

HIM: [Gives me a look that makes me immediately realize that it was a JOKE, along the lines of "wouldn't it be ironic/unbelievably nerdy if you were thinking about blog material as you make handwritten notes about being completely unplugged?"]

iStock 000003686040XSmall 20 Things I learned in a week without my computerSo I just spent an entire week without my computer. I did it because 1) I felt overwhelmed with all I have on my plate right now (kids, schooling choices for kids, blogging, book writing, trying to keep the house in basic order, etc.) and felt like I needed to really clear my head in order to figure out how/if I could balance it all, and 2) I was starting to have a hard time detaching from the internet, regularly getting sucked into online stuff when I was supposed to be doing other things.

The week ended up being more fruitful than I could have imagined, and below are 20 things that I learned. Most are related to computer stuff, the internet in particular, though some are general life lessons that became more clear during my week of “silence”:

20 Things I learned in my week without my computer

  1. Your priorities are the things you plan for. This was actually what sparked it all. My husband made this comment week before last, noting that you can tell what people’s actual priorities are by looking at what they plan for. I looked at my life to see that I had intricate plans for when I was going to spend time on my computer, but was always winging it when it came to the more boring/humble tasks related to my primary vocation.

  2. Planning is a critical element of having a peaceful life. I realized that it’s almost impossible for me to make optimal choices once the chaos of the day has begun; if I don’t have a plan, I drift into survival mode where I just do the bare minimum to get by. Preparing for each day in the evening before by getting things ready and visualizing my goals makes a huge difference in my life.
  3. You are much more checked out from the people around you when you’re consuming interactive information (talking on the phone, email, Twitter, commenting on blogs, etc.) than when you’re consuming static, one-way information (reading books, writing with pen and paper, etc.)
  4. You are much more checked out from the people around you when you’re looking at a glowing screen. During my free time this week I watched TV more than usual. While it left me more present to the people around me than when I was on my computer, I was still much more checked out than when I read books or wrote with pen and paper.
  5. It’s easier to interact with people online than in real life. This week I was forced to actually pick up the phone and call people for social interaction. It’s much less efficient to interact offline because you’re forced to engage with people rather than getting directly to the information you need (such as the typical “how are you doing?” pleasantries when you haven’t spoken to someone in a while), but I found it to be a good thing to have to really engage with my friends and family members rather than just dashing off quick emails or direct messages.
  6. I was much more tempted by junk food without the internet. This was the most surprising turn of events this week. The first Monday without the internet I chowed down on junk food like I haven’t since the beginning of the Saint Diet nine months ago. I realized that I use the internet as an escape mechanism when I’m feeling stressed, and without it I was tempted to turn to something else.
  7. The internet tempts me to over-value my own opinions (especially micro-communication tools like Twitter and email). This week I caught myself hanging on to every single opinion I had about anything, a habit I’d formed from constantly emailing and tweeting friends with every little thought I had. When I wrote the ideas down on paper to express later by phone or in person, I realized that most of them were pretty inane, things that I would have forgotten about altogether in the days before I had an internet connection.
  8. The internet brings out my snarky/judgmental side. Similar to the above, I realized this week that I wasn’t in “judging and making snarky comments” mode nearly as much as usual. Something about the interactive nature of the internet makes me feel like I must comment on every single thing I see, and I’m always thinking of witty remarks to email friends with throughout my days. When I thought of picking up the phone and calling people to tell them all the thoughts I’d normally email, it made me feel like a blowhard.
  9. The internet brings out my gossipy side. I realized that part of what draws me into the internet, blog reading in particular, is a desire for drama — who’s disagreeing with whom, who wrote something controversial, etc. Life felt a little more boring — in a good way — without the internet.
  10. Music can completely change the mood of a house. Being offline made me rediscover the joy of adding music to our daily routine, and I was amazed by what a difference it made.
  11. I use the internet to escape challenging convictions. I found it interesting that the only moments that I was overwhelmed with temptation to go get online were when I was thinking/praying about my life and came to a conclusion that I didn’t like. I realized that I’ve unconsciously developed a habit of drifting over to my computer and getting online as a way to distract myself from hard truths.
  12. Email is my biggest source of computer-related stress because it requires constant decision-making, which is difficult for me.
  13. Getting on my computer makes it very easy to forget what my goals for the day are. Especially because I have tendencies toward ADD, I go into “monkey with shiny object” mode with all the great, interconnected information available on the internet; I all too easily get sucked in and completely forget what I was trying to accomplish in the day.
  14. Computer work always leaves me feeling like I wasn’t finished. Similar to the above, there is always one more thing I wanted to do/see/read on my computer, especially if I’m online. Whether or not I accomplished what I sat down to do, I’m left with this chronic, dissatisfied feeling that I didn’t do everything I wanted to do.
  15. A big step towards giving my home a “domestic monastery” feel is limiting internet use. Ever since I read this fantastic article a couple years ago, I’ve yearned to make my house feel like a true “domestic monastery.” Never have I come so close as I did this week. In the silence of an internet-free house, I felt like I was on some kind of spiritual retreat, even when I wasn’t praying.
  16. I have lost the concept of waiting for information. Years of daily internet use has left me with this feeling that I have some kind of right to know whatever I want to know, whenever I want to know it. For example, on Wednesday I was trying to think of the name of an actress who was in a certain movie, and I realized that, without the internet, I either had to connect with another human being to get the information or patiently accept that I couldn’t know it right now. It was surprisingly irritating.
  17. The same force that drives people to slot machines is what drives me to my computer. I realized that when I mindlessly get online, every time I click it’s like pulling the lever on a slot machine and hoping to hit the jackpot. I’m hoping to hit a virtual jackpot — a blog post that changes my life, an email that blows me away, a hilarious video on YouTube, etc. And the truth is that there’s enough stuff online that if I clicked on enough links or spent enough time on email I would get that payoff I’m looking for. But, just like with slot machines, I need to be careful about spending endless amounts of time just sitting around pulling the lever.
  18. The next day starts at sundown. Having a productive day starts with waking up feeling well rested…which starts with making good choices about what time to go to bed. This week I found it really helpful to embrace the ancient Judeo-Christian understanding that sundown prayer ushers in the next day.
  19. If my computer is in front of me, I will get sucked in to wasting time on it. It’s prideful for me to think that I’d have the self-restraint to not get lured into wasting time online if my laptop is right in front of me all the time. I need to remove the temptation by removing it physically when I don’t need it.
  20. I love blogging. This week offline made me realize how much I love having a blog. I missed crafting posts and, especially, I missed hearing from you guys. I need to be careful about not letting myself get attached to traffic numbers, but that other than that my blog and my wonderful commenters are really great parts of my life.

This fast was a great thing for me. It really helped me clarify both the benefits and the pitfalls to being online, as well as just giving me some silence to think about life in general. In a Part II to this post I’ll list some of the practical changes I’m making to my life based on what I learned from the fast.

Anyway, it’s good to be back. I missed you guys!

New here? Take a moment to introduce yourself, or say hi on Twitter at @conversiondiary.



Enter the Conversation...

63 Responses to “20 Things I learned in a week without my computer”
  1. Misty says:

    So happy to read about your little experiment. I can relate more than I would like to admit. Every time I consider shutting down the computer for a fast of my own, I think I could never do it. How would I pay my bills for example? But I've always had a longer length of time in my mind. A week is managable. I think….

    So anyway, I'm inspired by you. Might follow suit.

  2. Sarah says:

    I am so glad you are back! I discovered your blog not too long ago, and it has quickly become my favorite….inspiring, yet very down to earth. I can't wait to buy your book!

  3. Rebekka says:

    Soooo ironically, I was "in the middle of cleaning" when I read this. In other words, I had put on my apron, and gotten so far as to put 3 pieces of paper in the recycling bin when my laptop loomed large in my sight. Ooh! Can just quickly check Reader and see if any new blog posts are up…

    Ouch.

  4. Trisha Niermeyer Potter says:

    I admire your willingness to listen to the Holy Spirit prompting you to step away from the computer for a week. Funny, how God often challenges us to examine our attachments, and not let them cloud our focus on Him.

  5. Smoochagator says:

    Great post, and I can really relate to it! Especially the "monkey with a shiny object" syndrome and the feeling that even if I accomplished what I sat down to do on the net on a particular day, I'm still "missing" something. In just the past few months, I've been rediscovering the joys of sitting down to watch a movie without any distractions (yes, I actually used to try to multitask while watching TV – and I missed out on a lot of good movies that way) and reading real, honest-to-God BOOKS. Still, I could probably benefit from cutting down my net-time even MORE.

    I'm looking forward to Part II – and I'm glad you're back!

  6. Joe Heschmeyer says:

    Great post! The Onion had a funny parody that struck close to home: http://www.theonion.com/content/news/report_90_of_waking_hours_spent

    "From the moment they wake up in the morning, to the moment they lose consciousness at night, Americans are in near-constant visual contact with bright, pulsating rectangles," said Dr. Richard Menken, lead author of the report, looking up briefly from the gleaming quadrangle that sits on his desk. "In fact, it's hard to find a single minute during which the American public is not completely captivated by these shining…these dazzling…."
    "I'm sorry," Menken continued. "What were we discussing again?"

  7. Smoochagator says:

    Also, this reminds me of something I've been thinking about lately. Why is it that we have so many "time-saving" devices but we always feel pressed for time? I don't wash clothes by hand, heck, I don't even IRON my clothes; I have a dishwasher and a microwave and a Swiffer WetJet mop and Scrubbing Bubbles & etc., yet I still feel overwhelmed with keeping my home clean and orderly.

    I've noticed (through blog-reading, heh) that the one chore countless people hate and avoid is laundry, which is absurd considering how little time one load of laundry takes to put into the washer, switch from washer to dyer, fold and put away. Yet I'm among those who bemoan how much laundry I have to do, and I've been known to put it off for so long my husband has had to go to work in dirty pants. (To be fair, he works in a machine shop, and his pants would be dirty within 30 minutes of starting work ANYWAY, but I can't blame him for wanting to start each day fresh.) Maybe it's our instant-gratification society that makes us think 1) this stupid chore really ought to go a little faster and 2) life owes us something more interesting to do than laundry.

    Same thing with dishes – and I have known people who insist on hand-washing their dishes because it's so much more efficient than pre-washing, filling the dishwasher, waiting for it to run, and then putting everything away hours later. My late grandmother was adamantly opposed to dishwashers; for her, doing the dishes was "down time," during which she watched her favorite TV show (Little House on the Prairie). Now, I'm not suggesting that women should embrace chores as recreational activities (if I did, someone would likely beat me over the head with a copy of The Feminine Mystique) but I am suggesting that it's possible our "time-saving" devices have just made our homes and lives MORE cluttered and busy.

    Just some thoughts… Man, this would make a great blog post ;-)

  8. Roxane B. Salonen says:

    Jennifer who? Kidding! Glad you're back, and you were missed, but honestly, every time I looked at my blog roll to see that you had stayed committed and not updated, I said a prayer for you that you were being richly rewarded. And this was good for me to hear, too. Number 14 really hit home in particular. That chronic, dissatisfied feeling…ugh. Definitely a downside to all of this. A few months ago, I cut back on daily blogging and set a MWF schedule that seems to work much better — for me and my readers. Sometimes, I feel like readers must tire of my rants, even though I try to make them inspirational and positive. I'm trying to really be more focused on what I share and not throw out so much as to overload people. The breaks in between also allow me the chance to just hang with my family, and focus on that very important vocation. As always, I just wish Texas and North Dakota were a little closer. I would love to schedule in an In Real Life coffee with you every couple weeks so we could escape from our computers for a time and just chat. I feel so blessed to have gotten that chance once. Anyway, welcome back!

  9. Lady Caitie in the Pretty City says:

    Wow! Your sacrifice provided some incredible, concrete lessons that I will definitely be thinking about! :) Thanks for such a great post!

  10. Kelly says:

    Just wanted to say that this was an unbelievably fantastic post! I did something similar last Lent and have been tempted to do it again.

    I agree with all 20 things you listed. So. Very. True.

    Thank you for sharing and God bless.

  11. brian says:

    Smoochgator,
    My pastor often comments on the failure of the time saving devices. I kind of long for a simpler time when neighbors dropped in, homemade pies, etc…

    Lynne

  12. SimpleDad says:

    I think your fast was a great idea! I have contemplated making one to clean up my body. I haven't taken very good care of myself physically over the years, and it's time to get a grip on myself if I plan on being around a long time for my wife and kids. I was thinking of a short fast to teach myself discipline and use the prayer time to ask God to take over my life and help me reorganize my priorities so that taking care of myself moves up from last (non-existent really) to its proper roll in a well balanced life. I am glad you learned so much from your fast, I hope to do the same with mine.

  13. Kristen Laurence says:

    It sounds like the week was eye-opening for you. I love being away from the computer for a stretch of time. I find it refreshing, like I'm "alive" again!

  14. Maiki says:

    http://xkcd.com/77/

    Email was my greatest stressor while in college… at times I was barely checking it once a month, because I couldn't deal.. that just made things worse, but at the same time, it re-prioritized that form of contact in my life.

    Now, I can check it every day, without being overwhelmed — but I ditched my college account, too.

  15. Headless Mom says:

    #17 is SPOT ON.

    I will be anxiously awaiting your next post because I've been thinking a lot about all of this the last few weeks.

    (attempting to step away from the laptop right now….)

  16. Kate Wicker @ Momopoly says:

    Excellent post. I could really relate to several of your lessons. For example, I've recently started having music on around the house. I've always loved music, but somehow I'd forgotten how it can help lift a heavy spirit.

    I've also been cutting back on screen time and in doing so, I realized I was starting to treat God like Google. I have a question. I expect to plug it into some spiritual search engine and have my answers. Seek and ye shall find instantly! Not being plugged in all of the time is helping me to cultivate more patience in all of my life.

    I so agree with what Sarah said: Your blog is inspiring and down to earth. Keep on writing when your life allows you to and the readers will come. No doubt about that.

    God bless.

  17. Nicole says:

    You were missed! I can see by your post it was a wonderful thing to take a break.

    I will share, earlier this week I stopped by to see if you had posted (forgetting you were on a break) and thought, "Wow I really miss her." :) I think women really use connecting with blogs like going to the community well.

    All in moderation :)

  18. Tienne says:

    Ah, Jen, what a great post and so full of wonderful truths! I can totally relate to so many of these things, particularly the feeling of leaving the computer unsatisfied even though I've spent an hour clicking and clicking, and of how it brings out my judgmental, snarky side.

    I'm eager to read about the adjustments you're planning to make after this fruitful fast!

  19. Prairie Princess says:

    Regarding #17, I recently saw the internet described as a giant Skinner box, randomly dispensing little emotional charges. The randomness of it is a big part of why it's so addicting.

    Thanks for this post.

  20. Cita Online says:

    I'm inspired. But I can't imagine the frustration of not getting immediate answers to any questions – that takes some real patience!

    Might not be a bad idea to fast a bit myself…

  21. Smoochagator says:

    @ Prairie Princess –

    Holy cannoli! A giant Skinner box… so true. And creepy.

  22. Kim says:

    Great post – I've been thinking I need to do something similar (except including TV into the mix). Although I'd be too tempted to ask my husband "dear, can you please check my email for me?". I tried a full internet fast for Lent once and that's how it ended up. :X

  23. Suburban Correspondent says:

    Well! I'm glad you found out all that for me. That way, I don't have to give up Internet for a week.

    Seriously, though, I think most of your points are true for me, too. Thanks.

  24. Sarah says:

    This post was perfect for me to read. And I believe I have every single one of these 20 things too. I can't wait till Part 2 comes so I can help myself and my family. You are awesome.

  25. glamazini says:

    I absolutely love this post! In years past I've gone with out TV but lately all the screens have taken over. I've been toying with the idea of having a once-a-month screen free stretch of days … maybe I'll start with the last 2 days of the month and work my way up to the last week? We'll see, great post!

  26. Kat L says:

    I missed you! I was thinking of you right before I read this post because my internet went out just as the kids went down for a nap. I felt so lost. "I want to hear how Jen's week without internet went!" I thought. Next I pulled a piece of pie out of the fridge and wolfed it down, then put on some music. Both things did cheer me up, but I guess the music was healthier.

  27. Potamiaena says:

    I've noticed I stop living/focusing/prioritizing my life while I am involved in every other stranger's life on the internet! (Jen, do love you and learn lots from you, but you are a stranger. . )

  28. kathryn says:

    I'm thrilled for you in your experiment and the things that you have learned, and I'm thrilled for ME (and everyone else) that you are back! I love your blog and have found it incredibly helpful in my faith journey. Also, knowing that you were doing this helped me to really look at how I approach my computer life – very helpful.

  29. Fencing Bear says:

    I like no. 17 best. You are totally right about going for that "hit"!

  30. cindy kay says:

    I can't believe how often you nail issues right on the head–on MY head!

  31. steadymom says:

    So glad you are back online and looking forward to reading all you learned during your week.

    Jamie

  32. Laura says:

    I did this same thing recently for 1 1/2 months and it was incredible. I definitely agreed with you on #s 7, 11,13 and 17. I feel, at least for now, that I have a much better handle on what an addiction is like and how to recognize it "sneaking" up on us again.

    I really think this is a problem for A LOT of women/mothers and is satan's way of distracting us from our daily duty. You have such a wide readership, it's exciting to think of the positive impact you can will have on many people.

    Can't wait to read part II.

    God Bless.

  33. Loretta S. says:

    Jen – I greatly appreciated all your honesty. Your transparency humbles me in a way because it seems like you say the things that I may not have the courage to say yet. Thanks!

  34. Alisa says:

    Thank you for sharing this! Great thoughts and reminders.

    I've discovered many of them myself in various fasts; I'm currently on a 3 month fast from Facebook, which served to fill many of the voids you mentioned.

    Glad to see you back. ;-)

  35. Melissa says:

    We did a simmilar thing for the 40hr famine this year. I got friends and extended family to sponsor our whole family to be tech free for 48 hours, no TV, iPod, mobile phone, computer. It ended up stretching over our whole weekend and it was wonderful. My husband and I decided we would try to disconnect 1 day per month in the future but we've been away and I'd forgotten about it until now. Thanks for the reminder.

  36. Babs says:

    Loved the post – it was worth waiting for. Couldn't help laughing at this,

    "When I thought of picking up the phone and calling people to tell them all the thoughts I'd normally email, it made me feel like a blowhard."
    –How true — Twitter:the refuge of blowhards!

    WV Mapit- I can't mapit without Google!

  37. Sarah Reinhard says:

    And it's good to HAVE you back, Jen. Fasting from you while you were fasting from the computer was a good lesson in how much a part you play in my life. Ahem, that sounds pathetic, I suppose. But what you do here is great, and I thank you for it. I'm glad it won't be going away… :)

  38. Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience says:

    You were missed too, Jen — very much so!

    I appreciate learning from your journey…

    All's grace,
    Ann

  39. Margie says:

    Jennifer, I don't comment often b/c you have so many commenters, but you indicated that was important, so here goes: A week and a half ago, I discovered that an answer to prayer is that I need to let go of the idea that I'm an unorganized and frazzled mother of small children, and pull it together.

    Since then, I've stumbled across two random blogs (can't tell ya how I got there) about orderliness and prioritizing, and now this. The internet and blog are my biggest downfalls.

    Though you stated the obvious about connecting with those around you, and comparing the computer buzz to the lure of slot machines, I needed to hear it again. And somehow, I need to act.

    I'm taking small steps in that direction. This post, too, was a push.

    Thanks.

  40. Mary says:

    We missed you too. I am so glad your time away was fruitful. Welcome back!

  41. Monnie says:

    Welcome back!! I sure missed having you "around" this past week. I really enjoy your blog and it is one of the few solidly Catholic (as opposed to various "Christian sects") blogs that I know of and read on a regular basis.

    Loved reading your 'lessons learned' – I could certainly relate to a good number of them!

  42. Nicole {tired, need sleep} says:

    I so relate to all you've said here. I have been thinking about this all week – wondering what you'd come back and have to say about it – and wondering if I should do the same thing. I'm pretty sure I should… thanks for this post, Jennifer!

  43. Julie says:

    A number of your points had me nodding. I'm glad you took the week, though I'm also glad you're back. Did you realize your week coincided with the International Week of Prayer and Fasting? (http://www.iwopf.org/)

  44. Cam says:

    I'm really appreciative that your first 2 comments were about planning. Being obsessed about planning has its pitfalls, brings rigidity, which brings sins into your life, but I've been trying to hash out a lot of "noise" about planning itself being unnecessary.
    I'm a natural planner and gosh, if you plan, it means you care, right?!
    I'm just really thankful that you addressed planning upfront.
    Tackling hyper-connectedness is very inspiring. I'm going to guard against any internet time while my daughter is awake.
    Thanks!

  45. 'Becca says:

    Welcome back! I'm glad your fast was successful!

    When I thought of picking up the phone and calling people to tell them all the thoughts I'd normally email, it made me feel like a blowhard. … I was trying to think of the name of an actress who was in a certain movie, and I realized that, without the internet, I either had to connect with another human being to get the information or patiently accept that I couldn't know it right now.

    I have a friend who lives alone and does not use computers. He calls us, up to several times a day, to relay his latest witty thought or ask a trivial question. It can be amusing or EXTREMELY IRRITATING, depending on how busy we are when he calls!

    I found it interesting that the only moments that I was overwhelmed with temptation to go get online were when I was thinking/praying about my life and came to a conclusion that I didn't like. I realized that I've unconsciously developed a habit of drifting over to my computer and getting online as a way to distract myself from hard truths.

    Funny, after reading that first sentence, I thought the second one was going to be about how normally when you reach such a conclusion, you immediately write a blog post about your great insight and how you are going to change your life! I don't mean to be snarky–your insights usually *are* profound, and your humbleness and transformative efforts *are* inspiring, and I know how writing about something can help you work through it–but it sometimes seems that these conclusions that you "didn't like" are actually pleasing you because now you've got a problem to solve and a neat solution to report.

    However, I appreciate your mentioning your setbacks in the Saint Diet–not that I'm glad you've had setbacks, but that you're honest about not being able to stick to this solution even now that you know it's the right thing for you.

    I was kind of hoping that what you'd learn from this fast, or at least 1/20 of it, would be that your children are fascinating people you can interact with, not just items on your to-do list. I know you don't like to write about your kids, so maybe that's why they're not among your 20 items…but it seems so odd that, when fasting to focus on your primary vocation, you didn't learn anything new about said vocation.

    Smoochagator, interesting points about time-saving devices. I sometimes think that having them at all makes us automatically wish they did more!

  46. Karyn says:

    I was so curious to read your post when I read you would be offline for the week. We don't have tv but I feel like I've replaced the tv with a computer. I work part time via the computer so I have to be on five days a week (but surfing time far exceeds my work time). However, I have found it to be useful to keep the computer off on my non-working days – especially since one of those days in Sunday.

  47. Anonymous says:

    When the tail wags the dog, it is often the dog who is the last to know. Those first few wags are slow, calm and relaxing. Soon though, everything becomes a blur.

  48. Agnes Regina says:

    Thanks for another awesome post! I especially agree with you on number ten… (of course, I'm prejudiced, I'm a musician; but life without music almost never existed for me, even before I decided I wanted to be a concert pianist.)

  49. Linda says:

    SO TRUE!!

  50. Laurie says:

    I laughed out loud at 8 and the relization of sounding like a blowhard if you were to actually make phone calls the way you(we) write emails.

    I give tremendous thanks. Your week-long fast and reflections have already paid off in lessons reinforced in my own heart and have inspired me to make some changes – today.

  51. Tracey says:

    This is my first time visiting your blog – and what a great post to read! I can identify with so many of the items on your list and can't wait to read your follow-up post!

  52. Moms In Need Of Mercy says:

    Thanks for the great post! You said a lot of the things that I have been thinking about too. I wrote a similar post awhile back. A few thoughts I had: "we are becoming a nation of fragmented people, addicted to writing about every aspect of our lives as if writing about it validates its worth…We profane the sacred when we must constantly be chattering about the previously-private intimacies that happen within the walls of our homes on a day-to-day basis. We become disjointed people, there but never fully present."
    It's here if you want to read it sometime (but then you'd be spending more time online) ;)
    http://momsinneedofmercy.blogspot.com/2009/09/texting-twittering-and-status-updating.html
    I enjoy checking in on your blog!
    It's fun to find "friends" online who you just know you'd have great conversations with in real life! Blessings!

  53. SF Kid says:

    You have written my list for me (most of it overlaps my exact thoughts). I don't come here often, but when I do I always learn something and enjoy your writing. And I am not even religious!

  54. Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller says:

    Great post! I decided to "fast" from the computer from 12-2 during 40 Days for Life and found myself so tempted just because I had put that restriction on myself. It has been really good for me though, and I have been trying to keep off the computer at night as well so I can spend more quality time with my husband.

  55. monica_divineoffice.org says:

    Very, very glad you are back with us! :)
    Divine Office Podcast

  56. Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) says:

    Sigh. Do you have to be so convicting? This is something I'm sure I should act on but I do NOT want to.

  57. Crazy Homeschool Mama says:

    first time here and um thanks NOT LOL at least I know if I try this I will survie because you did :)

  58. Amy@My Front Porch says:

    This is the first time I've ever been to your site — I clicked here from a link on Rocks in my Dryer — and I have to say your thoughts on going without the computer could be mine exactly! I took a break for a week too — and then our computer broke down and I was forced to take a second week off and even though I hated it, it was really, really GOOD for me. Hope you don't mind, I linked to this post today!

  59. Anonymous says:

    I have only read to number 11 and already I am humbled. The list you give is head on for me so far. It kind of feels like getting punched in the face. I appreciate it though.

  60. Fr. Christian Mathis says:

    Thanks for this Jennifer.

    I must admit that blogging takes way too much of my time as well, but I do love the interaction. I have recently had some weeks where I was able to also get away from the computer….on our Central America trip and at our recent priest retreat. It really did allow me to simply focus on folks in the flesh and on my own reading in ways that I need to develop again in my regular life.

    And….my blog didn't disappear from lack of posts. In fact I feel it helped me to write some better things there. Probably won't be giving up blogging anytime soon, but planning for how much time is spent there is a good thing!

    Fr C

  61. Amy Blogs @ River Rock Cottage says:

    Mmmm… seems like the Holy Spirit was telling me some of the same things this week. However, I didn't fast; perhaps I should have. This list is great and I'll be printing it out to re-read often as a good checks and balance.

  62. betty says:

    Am I too late to reply to this post?
    Just wanted to say I came across it after googling “the internet is killing me” – sounds dramatic but I think it’s making me a bit depression for all the reasons you’ve given. I also feel I have a tendency towards ADD and your “monkey with a shiny object” comment rang so true for me.
    Thank you so, so much for articulating the way I feel in your post. I am going to bookmark it for future reference.
    I am also going to pull the plug on the web for a week. I have a week’s holiday coming up and want to spend it at home OFF the internet :)
    Best wishes,
    Betty
    x

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  1. […] I’m thinking about doing an internet fast for a week. Jennifer at Conversion Diary did one and I think it would just be a good experiment in disciple and to see […]