Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Big Turn-Off

I type this from Old Town Coffee, an establishment peopled by attractive, cool-looking people wearing fashionable, outdoorsy clothing.  Seriously, every person in this place, including the baristas, looks as if they just finished a race or a wilderness adventure.  Except they're clean.  I don't quite fit in, being a bit non-clean (having just finished a trail run) and decidedly non-fashionable.  But it is happily noisy and busy and it's a good place to reflect and type a few thoughts about real life.

This is my first time online in over a week, and a rich and eventful week it has been:  an explosive- and friend-filled Independence Day, huge PRs for Sarah and me in the 4th of July 5k and a 2nd place finish for me (I've never earned prize money in a race before; I have to say I rather like the feeling), an utterly fascinating all-day guided tour of the Red Desert, a birthday party involving an insane number of sugar-buzzed small children and their exasperated-but-amused parents, and the usual work outs, hikes, garden misadventures, Sarah love and Katie laughs.

All of this has been lived, experienced, digested, and remembered with nary a peep on Facebook.  This is a big deal for me.  I am, at my baseline, a lazy and undisciplined person, and it is far too easy for technology to subtly shift from servant to master.  I found myself, at moments of high adventure and rich living, thinking about how I was going to describe it on Facebook, rather than simply immersing myself in the moment.  I found myself putting off requests for hide-and-seek games because I was busy typing emails or (cringe) playing video games.  I can hardly tell you how foolish I feel putting that into words, and I don't suppose I have to.

The urge to simplify coincided with some shifting financial priorities, and thus the Internet is no longer part of the household Wilson experience.  Where self-control fails, one can always flee from temptation.  Email and Facebook have become a once-a-week special occasion for me.  I like it.  Things feel more streamlined, cleaner somehow.  Going off line isn't easy and perhaps isn't for everyone.

Whatever.  I'm off to the library to meet my wife and daughter for story time.  As soon as I finish checking my email.