What’s The Opposite of Breaking Amish? Do I Still Have To Be A Millennial Now?

God I love the peace of it. Imagine if the solitude and stillness of that log cabin in the woods was your life. To me, that’s what life without the internet is like. When I tell people that I’ve lived three or four years of my life since adolescence without internet, they sputter and say “Three or four years? I thought you were going to say months! But how can you possibly live? Surely you had a smartphone?”

Actually up until two years ago, I didn’t have a smartphone. When my son was born, I acquiesced to demands and acquired one, ostensibly because the camera was better than my actual camera. And it was, but what I noticed early on, was that I wasn’t spending most of my time taking pictures of my beautiful son. No, mostly, I was surfing the web and trying to find out whether Khloe was the fat or skinny Kardashian (answer – both?).

Around this time last year, my phone began to bug me, with its constant, addictive siren song. So I downloaded apps to record how much I was using it, because the only way to fight addiction is to use more right? My worst fears and suspicions were confirmed- I used my phone far, far, far too often.

I tried to cut down, but that was a little like trying to swear off carbs while living in a bakery. So instead, I just started to track my use of it. And it got real scary, real fast. Because I pride myself on using my time well, on actively creating a life that I desire, whether spending time working towards goals or living my values. On a day when I was working, I used my phone just under two hours a day. That time adds up quickly-fourteen hours a week. Now it would be one thing if I was say writing, or talking to loved ones, but most of the time, I was reading news stories about how to kick sugar habits and updates about the latest Disney Fan Conference. It’s best not to ask how many hours I used my phone on weekends.

To add insult to injury, the tiny electronic box was spying on me! More than once, I’d notice that ads would pop up for items that I had never searched but had thought of often. I brushed off the unseemly notion, that is, until my sister and brother-in-law confirmed my suspicions when they tested out their phones’ listening skills by discussing a product that neither had searched, or had any intention of buying. Immediately they were presented with ads for said product.

That was it, following our au pair’s departure, we had gotten rid of the internet, and after two years of having my leisure time filled with nonsense like reading about Christopher Walken on Wikipedia (Why?!), I was done with my phone. In the two weeks since it’s become an expensive paperweight, I have to say, I’ve loved it. I’ve remembered the space that comes with no technology. I’ve enjoyed reading without the urge to check emails. I’ve felt more reflective and focused. In a nutshell, I remembered why whenever I’ve had the choice- I have lived without any of that internet nonsense. It detracts from the beauty and mental quiet of my life.

Tex and I are bouncing around the province and the country these next couple of months but I promise to give updates on my new Amish-like existence.

And to those who are curious as to how this was posted. The library in our town, like all libraries, has free wifi and exceptionally helpful librarians to distribute passwords.


Internet Search Engines- A How To Guide

My lack of technological prowess is something that is poked fun at by my family and friends, particularly my habit of saying “The Googles”.


Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

One of “The Googles”. According to Roscoe, you’re not supposed to type a message complete with a greeting and your name into the search bar. Image via CrunchBase

The Google search engine I use is vastly different from the one Roscoe uses. When Roscoe uses The Googles, he discovers the exact piece of information he is searching for. By contrast when I use The Googles, I’m lucky if I can find anything actually related to my topic. Thus I’ve reached the conclusion that there is clearly more than one Google, consequently the name must be pluralized.


For example, this past week our knives were getting alarmingly dull, making any task from chopping a carrot to slicing meat difficult and unrewarding. Hence like any self respecting member of my generation, I went to the internet for help. I entered my query into the Google search bar as thus “Dear The Googles, cutting with our knives is becoming super tough, please help me find someone to sharpen them, thanks! Love The Great Unwashed”


Prison Break: The Conspiracy

Although they are ruggedly handsome, somehow I doubt that either of these men can instruct me on the finer point of using a whetstone. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Googles found me a Prison Break Wikiquote link and a knife sharpener from the United Kingdom. Although people in prison likely know how to use knives, quoting a television show about penitentiaries was not going to mince onions. The second link would have had me paying an arm and a leg in shipping and resulted in Roscoe and I eating rice-a-roni for months while we waited for our knives to come back to us.


I explained my Google and knife sharpening woes to Roscoe, at which point he used The Googles to find a local knife sharpener, thus confirming my suspicion that there is more than one Google. Although I imagine I could learn to use Roscoe’s Google*, I feel like having a faster, better Google would require endless updating.   Downloading new versions of software is something that I don’t even bother to do for necessary programs on my computer, let alone a search engine that I really only use to find out what flavor of air Tori Spelling eats. Were it not for Roscoe’s intervention I’d probably still be using MS-DOS, so I think I’m going to be stuck using my Googles for a long time.




*The words “Roscoe’s Google” sound vaguely dirty to me and I’m half expecting one of my aunts to put a comment below “Hey! Do you mind? This is a family blog!”