Blog // Connect Ohio
This week, Connect Ohio is excited to have guest blogger, Sam Stemler, detailing her experiences with our Day of Disconnect!
I decided to dedicate myself to Connect Ohio’s Day of Disconnect challenge, turning off my phone and unplugging my Wi-Fi router for complete compliance. I got ready for what I hoped would be a productive day, away from Facebook time sucks and YouTube distractions.
Writing for a living, most of my work is online; a Day of Disconnect meant a day off from work, except for my fiction novel. So I planned a day of focused fiction writing, forgoing the activities (just for a day) that kept me in the black.
Normally starting my day with a weather and e-mail check, I got only a blank screen instead. Brushing my teeth, habits took over again and I looked for the news, finding the same blank screen. I got ready for an increasingly mysterious day; unknown weather, unknown world, and unknown inbox.
I settled in to write, only to run into another wall. Going back and replacing weak words in my manuscript, I typed “synonym: leap” into Google. Of course, an error message looked back at me. The weak words would have to stay; I don't own a thesaurus and it wasn't worth the time to look up each word anyway, not when Google can spit them back in an instant. Straightening out punctuation yielded the same problem. Though I did have fewer distractions, my writing was no better without the tools I needed.
I looked for Internet that didn't exist six more times, without thinking, throughout the day. No Facebook to check in with friends, no Google Calendar to check my schedule for the week, no Spotify music to run to, and no AllRecipes for cooking dinner. When it was time to relax and watch a movie, Netflix made me groan again. I looked for a book instead, except the library was closed and my e-books were lost in cyberspace.
What astounded me was not even how much I relied on broadband for work, communication, and entertainment, but how I looked for it without a second thought. I simply knew it was there—until it wasn't.
With no work, no one to talk to, no books, and no movies, I couldn't even stick it out the full day. I plugged the router back in that night to talk to my best friend on Skype. I was just finishing a disconnected day in America while she was starting her day teaching in South Korea, using the world's best internet to (thankfully) stay in touch with me. I was glad just to talk to someone and I definitely wasn't taking my connection for granted anymore.