Today is Tuesday. We’ve not had internet since Friday morning. Five long days.
It’s a little thing. An inconsequential thing. Pretty rough for work, but generally not a huge loss: I can do research offline, tethering my iPhone when I need to, I’ve rescheduled meetings.
I became reacquainted with boredom, with that lack of control over how you spend your time. But I also became a little concerned about how reliant I am on the internet for entertainment, for distraction.
It’s an old conversation now, rife with misinformation and half-baked platitudes. But there is a loss of the moment when you’re swept along by the stream.
We watched a bluray on Saturday night; a movie I grabbed from the bargain bin at JB a few years back. I have a whole bunch of such purchases, still in their plastic wrap and gathering dust on the bookcase.
I read 550 pages of a book on Sunday: I’ve not done that since I was a teenager. I wouldn’t have done this if the old modem was ticking along. With hindsight, it was kind of wonderful: I did it because there was not much else I felt like doing, and I was bored.
I got some Lego for my birthday; another thing I’ve not touched since even before my teenage years. It was perfect: just follow the instructions, put it together. The perfect occupation for a tired and overwhelmed mind.
I’m not 100% sure what I’m getting at here. I’m certainly not singing the praises of the offline experience: Jesus H connect that broadband to my veins I need it, particularly during lockdown. I guess I’m more or less saying that rifling through the bookcase, the DVD collection, these were kind of nice things to do at a weird time.
There is no old media or new media, as Simone Natale writes; rather there are cycles of use, dynamic shifts and re-organisations of our perception of and attitude towards different artefacts, platforms, systems.
Nothing forces you to reevaluate your relationship to what surrounds you than being forced to live in it with no escape for months. And having looked closer, there are some hidden gems, new experiences to be had. (And then, doubtless, one hell of a spring clean once this damnėd lockdown ends.)