We decided a week ago to cut off the internet in our house.
That’s right. Despite the fact that I run an online ministry from home, we cut off the internet.
There were a number of reasons. After only a week, I can already tell a huge difference in how I feel and I have noticed a difference in my children.
A few weeks ago, I was on facebook and noticed a “status” on a friend’s page that went something like this:
Family time: Mom’s on iphone, daughter’s on iphone, son’s on ipad, Dad’s on laptop.
That one little quip really bothered me. It sounded funny. But not really. It’s the sign of a disconnected family. Everyone off in their own little cyber space world. It’s what’s wrong with America today. It bothers me. I don’t want to be that family.
Now, honestly, we aren’t that bad. I’ve never considered computer time, family time. I monitor the kids usage daily, their devices are passworded and only I know the password. They have to have permission to get on. I’ve never believed it was healthy to have your head in “the box” for hours on end on a daily basis. But at the same time, I felt like we were missing something as a family. In our house, as busy as we are, we have a basic routine to our days. The kids do their school work then get their chores done so they can have “free time.” More often than not, as soon as their chores were done the request would come in, “Mom, can I get on my computer (or kindle, ipod, etc.)?” I realized that free time was no longer about discovering new interests, working on a hobby, learning a new skill, having quiet down time, or taking a walk. It was more and more about being wired to facebook or Messenger.
For myself, I realized that my desire to write a new article or share a new recipe often came before my desire to get other important things done. I also realized that being “wired in” 24/7 meant that I felt an obligation to provide daily material for my readers to enjoy so that my google rank stayed high. But then, it was also very easy to become distracted by a favorite blog, Pintrest, or a search for new recipes to try.
I have felt, for a long time, robbed of my time. But who was really stealing it? ME. The internet, with all of its fabulous ideas and inspiring articles draw us in, telling us that we need it. When the idea of disconnecting the internet first came up, I battled with it. I said things like, “I don’t know, I use it for homeschooling all the time. I use it for recipes, and so many things! I have a ministry and a blog! How can I give that up?”
But then, I felt the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart, whispering to me and I knew I needed to let it go. For our family. And then I felt peace. More peace than I have felt in a really, really long time.
I’ve noticed several things since disconnecting:
- I have more time. My days feel longer. I use to complain all the time that I just didn’t have enough time. I felt stressed an awful lot. I have my life back.
- When I do go to the library to get on and post to A Virtuous Woman, I have a list of things that need to get done and I do them. No distractions. No wasted time. And as a bonus, we get our library things done for school while we are there. And on nice days, we walk – fresh mountain air and healthy exercise.
- I have re-discovered my cookbooks. I love it.
- I’ve been able to get some projects done that have been on the back burner for, sadly, years.
- My teens, who were bored out of their minds the first couple of days, are discovering a world outside the internet. Thank you, Lord. A true blessing indeed.
- I just feel happier. Who knew?
I can’t count the times I would read someone’s blog, thinking their life sounded so perfect, wishing mine was, and then telling myself – “Instead of dreaming about the perfect life, get up and live it.” I have always had a pretty good life. No, a really good life. A wonderful life. But now… it seems all the more so.
The simple life… is the good life.