After storms moved through Monday night, I arrived home to find my phone and internet both out. Now I wasn’t terribly worried, mostly because a huge storm had just blown through, and it was clear that my electricity had gone out at some point. With the heat we’ve been having this summer, I was just glad the lights and the air conditioner were back on. My phone and internet didn’t seem so important. After all, I have a cell if I really need to get in touch with someone.
It wasn’t on the next morning, nor the next evening. Nor the next. Nor this morning. At first what seemed a minor annoyance became major. My staff usually emails questions in the mornings, so they don’t have to wait for me to come in to get their answers. I had a book review that couldn’t be sent until I got to work. And I became dreadfully behind with my friends on Facebook.
But here is something amazing. The first morning, I got up, ate breakfast, read the paper, and got ready for the gym. When I arrived, I glanced at the clock on the wall. I was at the gym a whole hour earlier than usual. It happened the second and this morning as well.
I realize that I have gotten into the habit of hanging out on the web over breakfast: checking my work emails, seeing what’s going on with my Facebook friends, perusing possible books to buy on Amazon.com, and seeing if there’s a new song I want to download from iTunes. Lord. It’s a wonder I ever got to the gym or work at all.
There is a certain irony to this realization. After all, I hear folks make comments about the amount of time students waste on the web. I’ve made them myself, especially when I’m trying to close the library only to have a student refuse to budge because he’s just go to see the end of some silly YouTube video. But I learned I’m not immune to the time-wasting charms of the web.
So while I’ll be grateful when my Internet returns, I’m making a vow to be a more thoughtful user of it.