Friday, May 25, 2012

Disconnected

Last weekend, I went to Cape May for three days, and the hotel I stayed in had no internet access. None. I didn't even think that was possible. My laptop felt very neglected. And since my smartphone only works on WiFi, that didn't help me either.


What was it like having three days of no internet? Not as bad as I thought it would be. At first I panicked. I love talking to all of you. I worried what I'd miss. I worried my email inbox would explode. But do you know what? Everything was fine when I got back. My inbox was quite scary. I won't deny that. But I was realistic about what needed to be responded to and what could wait. And while I'm sure I missed some cyber-awesomeness, I experienced a new setting, and that is so valuable to me as a person and as a writer.


I admit I hated the thought of being offline. But in the end, I'm glad I was forced to step away for a few days. I lived life, and I missed all of you amazing people. All in all, I'm more appreciative of both.


When was the last time you disconnected from the internet?

62 comments:

  1. Awesome, Kelly! I think it's good to disconnect every once in a while, and it sounds like it was just what you needed to recharge =) I think I'll be doing that soon, myself lol

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    1. Trish, I agree. It's so easy to get caught up in always been connected to the internet. I think we need some separation sometimes--just getting out and living without worrying about who's tweeting, what's going on on FB, etc.

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  2. I love planes for this, I get so much work on my WIP without the distractions!

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    1. I haven't been on a plane in a while, but I can just imagine the peaceful writing time. :)

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  3. I can totally relate to your panic at first, Kelly. I guess we all need to step away and be recharged. I did it for a few days when I was focusing on finishing my next novel, and I must admit, it felt pretty good. Have a good weekend!

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    1. It does feel pretty good after the initial panic. LOL. Enjoy your weekend, Karen.

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  4. The weather here knocks out the power, cable, and internet every few months. It always feels terrible, until I remember how very okay it is :) come to think of it, we're probably due for it! LOL

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    1. LOL. Yeah, that happens to us too, and I usually complain about it because when I'm at home I want to feel connected--on vacation, not so much. ;)

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  5. The morale of this story...you need a better travel agent! :)

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  6. I live in England. Every time so much as a cloud blocks the sun we lose internet access. In most places on this grotty little island, 2 mbit is considered lightning speed. I heard about someone with ten megabit last week but it turned ut to be a hoax.

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  7. I love getting away without internet access. It's the perfect time for me to concentrate on writing without the constant distractions. And there's no better place to write than in a secluded cabin on a gorgeous lake in northern Arkansas!

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  8. I like not having the distraction. At the same time, I constantly research as I write, because I love writing fantasy with symbolism, so I miss being able to look up something really quickly as I write.

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  9. I was disconnected in February when I went to Cape Cod. It was only 3 days, but I felt like I was missing a lot and when I came home my inbox was a bit scary, too. Still- it was so nice to let my brain settle a little and just enjoy my family and surroundings. It amazes me to think that 10 years ago my life was a little quieter. I have grown quite used to the distractions. :)

    ~Jess

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    1. I know, right? What did we do before the internet?

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  10. Next week we start our annual tour of the midwest to visit family. The drive from Texas will take a few days so I'm looking forward to sitting back and writing old school while the hubs drives. :)

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    1. Ooh, good for you. I can't write in the car, though. It makes me car sick.

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  11. I actually go offline pretty much every weekend. Weekends are for family time, and both my husband and I leave our phones alone and we don't sit in front of our computers. So when we go on vacation and we don't have internet access, it's not that big of a deal.

    Of course, it means I can't be as active in the social media world as I'd like, but we can't have everything. :)

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    1. I think that's a great idea, Tabitha. But oddly enough, I hear more from my editors and agent over the weekends, so they keep me working. :)

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  12. I think a couple days of disconnect is healthy. I don't think I'd be able to do an entire week with no internet.

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    1. A week would be tough. I wouldn't want to see my email inbox after that much time away.

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  13. I'm looking forward (she said with some quaver in her voice...) to a week of E-disconnect later this summer. Somehow I think it's a good idea, but then, it's only good if batteries re-charge, not fizzle.

    But I won't be on an island. Kudos to you Kelly, for going the whole way!

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  14. I can't even imagine. If I'm not on my laptop, I'm on my phone. If I'm not working online, I feel like I'm being lazy. Seriously, my browser never closes. But, being disconnected can be good once in a while to give your brain some peace. I'd probably be antsy at first though.

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    1. That's exactly how I was. My phone only works on wi-fi and since there wasn't any, I was cut off completely.

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    2. Well, I do hope your family would've been able to contact or find you if there were an emergency on either your end or theirs, so you might need an emergency phone or communication strategy so you can connect when it matters most.

      Aside from that, good for you, for those of us trapped in their homes like me, for better or worse, we live most of our life via the web, so cutting off our internet access would cut off one of the few outlets of freedom we can use at whim for work and pleasure.

      Despite the obvious limitations, and I agree getting addicted has severe drawbacks, it also doesn't require a car I can't buy, along with the insurance and maintenance i can't pay for, that's why when I can't read or write I feel so inept and lazy.

      My writing's still up in the air, but I resumed reading a bit this week, so hopefully I can finish at least one book before May's through.

      I can't rely on the outside (i.e. Offline) world for much since I don't live in either the heart of a city with decent transit, or a small town that at least gives me walkabout access to certain amenities

      There are days I don't go online, but often that's because I'm doing things like getting a haircut, or yesterday the laundry took up a lot of time, it piled up for two months, and that's just MY laundry!

      Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed yourself, Kelly.

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    3. Don't worry, Taurean. I always have a cell phone on me so my family can get in touch with me. Although most of my family was with me on this trip. :)

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  15. On a vacation in a cabin with no Internet or cell phone service! I really enjoyed myself and didn't die from lack of communication, but like you, if I did that now, I would have hundreds of e-mails waiting when I returned.

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  16. I traveled to Virginia for my niece's wedding a couple of weeks ago, and then did another side trip. I was okay with no Net, but I felt guilty about not posting!

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    1. I feel guilty when I can't comment on the usual blogs I visit.

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  17. Yes, I could live without the internet for a few days. As long as I had my phone so my kids can get a hold of me anytime. :)

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    1. LOL. The first thing I did was text my agent to tell her how to reach me.

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  18. I've disconnected from time to time, if I'm off for a day or two doing something else. Aside from ploughing through a sea of email when you get back, it's not that big a deal.

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    1. William, I wish I had that attitude to start with. I think I had to panic first before I realized it's okay to step away and just live sometimes. :)

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  19. I am actually quite good at staying disconnected. I spend my days talking to clients and I am always connected because of my day job. Because of always being wired it means I dislike talking on the phone at night, I don't do a lot of cyber stalking, write emails or lurk anywhere after hours. My allowable writing time is limited so being disconnected is a treat... I wrote a poem a few months back about being disconnected, I was surprised about the number of people who didn't think they could be (you might have been one of those folks). Oh look, there goes my phone - ARGH!!

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    1. You are so Stella! Love it. Yes, I remember that poem. I didn't think I could do it, but I'm really glad I did.

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  20. I was off the Internet for three days one time when out electricity went off because of the weater. I missed it, but survived and also did more work on my manuscripts and accomplished household tasks. It wasn't easy though.

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    1. Power outages are awful. I can't stand them. Going on vacation makes it so much easier to disconnect. When it's done to me by a power outage, I get a little cranky. ;)

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  21. Same thing just happened to me because of net service interruption. Luckily, I was only off 2 days. I got more work done, but I was lonely w/o my peeps. :(

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  22. I was admitted in hospital two years ago and I wasn't allowed to have phone calls or visits. They also took my mobile phone so I had no Internet. My stay was supposed to be at least two weeks. I couldn't handle being disconnected like that. It made me feel worse while in hospital, so the doctors had to allow me an Internet connection. i can't imagine myself with no connection unless i am with a friend

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    1. I'm glad they let you have your internet connection back, Nikky. I know you have a great group of online friends. :)

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    2. I think that's especially telling for people who may not be as fortunate to have a loving network of people offline, and get much of their support from their online community, and while I've never spent more than a few days in the hospital, I know it's hard to be away that long when the bulk of your support system is off limits to you.

      But it's important we have some of both to live a fuller life. I certainly hope to meet some of the people I've connected with over the net like Kelly (You live in Canada, right? Since I'm in Michigan, if you do an event in Windsor or Ontario, I can find some way of crossing that border), but until then, I need to expand my offline network, so this summer I need to stretch myself.

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    3. Actually, I'm in PA, Taurean. Isn't great that being online lets you meet people from all over?

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  23. When I go on trips I never take my laptop. I'm off the internet for days, but I do use my smartphone. I feel like I'm missing something by not interacting with blogger, Twitter, and FB friends, but at the same time it's liberating to be away from the computer.

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    1. Exactly. My smartphone is the last of its kind though. It only works off wi-fi.

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  24. I love leaving the internet. It's the best way for me to get real work done, haha. I put up some foil in my office outside that makes the connection too weak to use--on purpose!

    I bet you had a blast.

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  25. It feels weird not being online for a day - I hardly remember how things worked before we were all plugged in all the time. That said, I think we all need a break from it now and then.

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    1. I agree. My laptop is always on, and people always tell me that they laugh at how quickly I respond to emails. If I let an email go an hour without answering it, I feel guilty. I'm not sure why. I have to remind myself that it's okay to not always be connected to my computer and the internet.

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  26. oh my, I can't imagine no internet anymore, but I must admit, it does sound like a good time.

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    1. It was scary at first but turned into a good time. :)

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  27. I go through stages. Sometimes I go on a twitter/facebook diet and stay away -- especially when I'm really into writing. But I'm not sure I can cut off the Internet completely. Cape May is a pretty place. Glad you enjoyed your trip.

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    1. I didn't think I could either, but it's really not that bad after a while.

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  28. You are a braver woman than I am!!

    We were considering a trip to The Grand Canyon this year, and when my husband mentioned we'd likely have no internet access wherever we stayed, I nixed the trip. (Okay, I am also not a camper or a hiker, so that played a part in the decision, too.)

    The last time I was *almost* cut off was when we were on Catalina Island off the California coast last spring. And even then, my Droid had some spotty coverage here and there, so it wasn't complete.

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    1. LOL. I'm not a camper either. That's too outdoorsy for me.

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  29. I hate to admit that I'd be agitated if I were to go without the Internet for 3 days. (Prefer to imagine myself not that hooked to it ...) These days I take Sundays off from the Internet. One day at a time. I still don't want to be hooked, which is why I'm probably not switching to a smartphone any time soon. But I understand your point on the wonderful online interactions, all those blogs and articles ... addictive stuff!

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    1. Yes, it is addictive. I took most of yesterday off, and it wasn't stressful, so I guess the time away during my vacation did me some good. :)

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