Tuesday, January 06, 2009


We have an internet problem in our household.

Addiction could be a good word. Compulsion. It's gotten to the point that hubby and I can sit side by side on the sofa, both with laptops open on our laps. Or if he didn't bring one home from work, one person will have the laptop open...and the other will be hungrily staring at it.

I just need to check my email really quick.

Let me just take a peek at Google Reader.

I just want to look something up (and also check all my emails, and Twitter, and Facebook, and my message boards.)
These are familiar statements. We know it's a problem, but the compulsion is real.

So when we heard a radio show this weekend where the host announced that as a New Year's Resolution he and his wife vowed to turn the computer off at 7 PM--just OFF--we looked at each other. When the guest claimed he'd done the same thing, and they'd found they already slept better, relaxed better knowing they didn't need to check, couldn't check until the next day (and what was so urgent?), we raised our eyebrows at each other.

Last night, we tried it. Ceremonially at 7 PM we turned the thing off. There were a couple of odd moments, it's true. Something came up that we wanted to look up on imdb. I thought of my email, once. But I absolutely didn't miss it. We spent a lovely evening doing chores together (instead of one doing chores and the other hunched over the machine), reading magazines, watching a movie together. It did feel more relaxed, more us.

So this is our great New Year's Resolution, and I sure hope we'll keep it. I think it's a Very Good Thing.

Sound like something your household would consider? Or could use?


Joanne Levy said...

You are a strong woman. I could never do it. NEVER. I would go mental.

I'm only away from my computer for as long as it takes to dance about 4 songs on DDR, but then I have to take a break, check e-mail and then I can get back to dancing.

(and no, I haven't gotten any better at the dancing)

Josephine Damian said...

Good for you! You're the second person I came across online today who is imposing a No - Internet rule at night.

My own evolution/Internet diet started with not blogging anymore, and I encourage all my online friends to use twitter as opposed to email to keep in touch.

DA said...

Good for you, Suze.

I have a 8:00 PM rule in this house, unless I'm in the throes of writing, and then there are no rules.

As it's closing on 8:00 PM now, I have to go. You, I know, are already gone (aren't you?). *eg*

Take care,

Jenny Graman Meyer said...

Well, since I'm the only adult in the household with a computer fixation, it would be a one-person resolution, but probably a good idea. I'm forever running up to my office "just to check" (of course, office is 2-floors up in this old house, so at least I'm getting exercise! ~g~

Spending more time together is definately a good thing! Enjoy.

pseudosu said...

I'm the one in my house too. I've been cutting down, but haven't been able to totally quit checking in the evening.
This IS addictive-- totally reminds me of quitting smoking. "I'll just cut back".
Maybe I'll say no checking between 7 and 10....

Susan Adrian said...

Joanne: Yes you could! But you don't have to just because I did. So far. :)

Josephine: You know I love my twitter. It's Janet's fault.

Deb: I was gone! We're sticking to it so far!

Jenny: Exercise is good. Of course you could just exercise w/out the checking... {g}

Pseudosu: It is totally addictive. Let me know if you try the break!