Hello! I hope you liked Nicole’s post yesterday :). Matt and I are thrilled to have her as part of the Thread Theory team!
It was great to know Nicole was working away on a blog post this week as I didn’t have the ability to…I had no internet this week!
Last Friday, once we had finished staining our new stand up desk, Matt began to perform some cable management magic by installing all of the mysterious (to me) boxes associated with having internet to the underside of the desk. It was all going swimmingly until he accidentally broke our fibre-optic cable! Little did we realize, this would mean going for a week without internet until the internet company could schedule us in for an appointment!
At many points in my life, a week without internet would have seemed perfectly normal to me – my whole childhood was for the most part internet-less, I’ve gone months without much internet on summer vacations, and even in university, I used to come home from school and not head back on to the computer until the next day of classes! This last week has made me realize how VERY different the last few years of my life have been in comparison to my past fairly internet-free existence.
For the first two days internet free, Matt and I were habitually opening our Thread Theory email program and pressing the ever-so-addictive “Send and Receive Mail” button to refresh the screen before even beginning to catch ourselves.
We were constantly stopping mid-conversation to say, “Let me Google that!” We would then look towards the sad little unused computer and sigh…
I was, without thinking, pausing mid work day when I needed a break from focusing to do a quick scroll through Pinterest…only to stop myself as my mouse hovered over the internet icon.
BUT, before you send Matt and I to rehab for internet addiction, I am proud to say that things drastically improved after the first two days. All of sudden I found my mind feeling freer and the cadence of my thoughts completely changed.
I’ve now come to realize that my ‘internet dependent’ thinking is characterized by short, abrupt thoughts which I tend to equate with the pace of asking a question, Googling it, and having the question resolved within 30 seconds. My internet influenced thoughts seem to flit from one subject to the next after something on a screen has encouraged my thoughts into a new direction. For instance, if I am thinking about the next pattern we are developing while working on the instructions on my computer, my thoughts can be quickly and completely diverted when I hear the chime that a new email has come into our inbox.
My thinking changed drastically by the end of the week – my thoughts became longer and more organic. They flowed, unhampered from one subject to the next related subject. My internet free thoughts allowed me to focus on the pattern instructions for as long as my own mind and body allowed – there were no outside influences to artificially shorten my attention span.
Without internet, I felt that my own opinion and problem solving skills gained strength. If I was unsure on how to proceed with something (for instance, if I couldn’t think of a word to include in a sentence that I wrote), I had to rely on my own mind to come up with a solution rather than expecting the internet to provide the answer for me.
Without internet, I also felt that I had more time. Matt and I were travelling to my parent’s house each day to use their internet to answer pressing Thread Theory emails (so we weren’t completely internet free!). Having this separation from the internet forced me to answer emails efficiently clear the inbox all at one time rather than biting off chunks of it throughout the day. That way we could return home to proceed with the non-internet based portion of the work day. Working like this for a week made me realize how skewed my work day had become. When we had internet in our home, the internet based portion of the work day had been constantly increasing until my time in the sewing room had shrunken to the bare minimum. This last week, with only a couple hours to provide online customer support, I suddenly had the majority of the work day to step away from maintaining our company and instead focus on expanding it!
Obviously, this last week was a bit of an anomaly – ideally I would prefer more time to devote to connecting with our customers and the online sewing community through social media and email as I feel quite distant from it all after my week “away”. But, I certainly learned that I prefer the way I think and feel without being so internet dependent. I also am thrilled with how much I can get done when I am not allowing the internet to dictate the length of my attention span!
Hopefully, having Nicole active on the blog as our resident Thread Theory extrovert, will help maintain a better balance so that I can feel connected with you guys but still have enough time to focus on non-internet based Thread Theory work. I’m excited for this change in routine!
Have you ever analyzed how internet has changed your life? Have I just revealed to you that I am creepily dependent on internet or is this dependency just the reality of modern daily life?