I’m at a Starbucks right now, using their internet connection. My wireless at home? Kaput.
That’s not always bad. I love the weekends where my family and I get away, and leave the computers behind. And for the past several weeks, I’ve deliberately turned off the internet so that I can work work work. I know lots of writers who do this — who have to do this, so that the internet doesn’t become a distraction. Blogs, e-mail, Twitter, Facebook…and of course all of the comments on those blogs, which are often better than the blog post. But even then, I still have the option of checking e-mail, Amazon rankings (one day, I will stop this madness), and looking up a word at Dictionary.com or doing some quick fact-checking, or reading the news headlines. Even when I deliberately turn off the internet, it’s still there when I need it.
And I often need it more than I realize — but not just for research. I love working from home and being alone all day. I’m one of those people who enjoys being by herself ; I’m shy and pretty awkward in social situations. But I still like knowing what other people think and have to say. I still love exchanging e-mails with friends, hearing their news. I love being alone; I don’t love being disconnected.
A couple of weeks ago, Roger Ebert wrote a blog post about how he’s been affected by his oral surgery — he can’t speak or eat. (This post is wonderful; I really recommend it.) He writes about how it’s not the food he misses, but the dinner conversation — and although my situation is nothing like his, I understand that feeling all too well. Every day at my desk, I get to lunch with friends. Today, I had to go to Starbucks to do it.
…and I lost my cell phone again, too. *headdesk*