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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Self-analysis after the meltdown

Yesterday morning my “mother ship” computer, the big boxy one I work on at home, slipped into a coma. My address book refused to open, Internet pages looked like patchwork quilts, and all my files (including my book manuscripts) had been converted to one strange font, because nearly all the other fonts had disappeared.

I’m a compulsive backer-upper (pardon the technical term), so I wasn’t worried about losing too many things. I even have a backup laptop computer, which I quickly settled into place on my desk. But the laptop has only been used for travel, so it’s not connected to my local Internet service.

I couldn’t get on the Internet, not until the provider’s office opened. I was disconnected, cast adrift, out of touch with everyone and all the work I had planned to do, and...

...and free.

Without that Internet connection, my plans for the day--catching up on e-mail (currently piled sky-high), updating my Web site, communicating with various boards and committees--came to a halt. I could have worked on my current writing project, but first I needed to do some research. On the Internet.

It looked like I was going to have to--gulp--take the morning off.

And fifteen minutes later, after I’d alphabetized my spice rack and rearranged the linens in the buffet, as I stared out a window and wondered if I should fertilize the trees in the yard--and whether someone might arrive at my Internet provider’s office early and answer the phone before business hours--it occurred to me that I’ve forgotten how to take time off.

The Internet is a wonderful thing. But it’s also a way to extend the work day ‘round the clock, every day of the week. I can always find another story idea, another promotional opportunity, another article to read if I stay online. My compulsive nature matched with something that large and accessible--it’s a bad combination.


At 5:59 PM, Blogger Diane Perkins said...

spend a morning without Internet access????????????? Oh, the horror!

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Tori Scott said...

I admit it. I'm totally addicted to the internet. The only time I'm happy away from the computer is if I'm totally absorbed in something else--like at work, or off swimming somewhere. I've yet to be able to stay away from it if I'm home for more than an hour or two at a time--and even then I'm thinnking about it, wondering what emails have come in, what new stuff has been posted to groups or blogs.

The internet is the most wonderful, terrible thing there is, I think.

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

I so know the feeling, Terry. When the cable goes out (thus, no TV or Internet), hubby and I at first stare at each other like we don't know what to do, then we'll actually remember there are things like reading books or working in the yard. :)


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