A Day with No Wi-Fi

Updated: Feb 24

Have you ever had a day without Wi-Fi? I mean, since we starting living with it, that is. When I was away at college in western Pennsylvania, no one had cell phones or computers of their own yet. Yes, I recognize that is foreign to many of you moms and that I am showing my age, but hey it is what it is. 🤷🏻‍♀️

I remember using my University’s computer lab to send emails during my senior year. We all used landline phones - which were just called phones back then and having one without a cord was a really big deal. Actually, having a cordless phone/answering machine combo was an even bigger deal! I can clearly remember standing in my parents bedroom (because that’s where the answering machine was), smoking a cigarette 🤦🏻‍♀️, and listening to the message from Clark County School District offering me a job in the summer of 1996! But, I digress….back in college, we wrote letters with actual paper and pen, envelopes and stamps to our boyfriends and BFFs and moms and grandmothers and waited with eager anticipation for the mailman to arrive to receive their replies.

Once I moved to Las Vegas, emailing and searching (Can you HEAR the buzz, ding, click, buzz, buzz, ding of the connection back then?) and having cell phones started to be a thing. And THEN, wonder of wonders, we got SMART PHONES! OMg, I remember the excitement of having that “mini-computer” in my purse! Being able to look up anything in which you were interested at the drop of a hat, having all that information immediately (ok, maybe with a couple seconds delay) in the beginning was nothing short of amazing.

Now it’s totally EXPECTED to be able to connect as frequently as we desire and I end up having a day like I’m having right now: I took my boys to a ski/snowboard day with our Homeschool group on the mountain. I was thinking, “OK, it’s a 45 minute drive, but while they spend the day on the slopes, I’ll sit in a cozy lodge, maybe close to a fireplace, with my feet up and connect with other moms (via text, email, facebook, or instagram), write articles, look up stuff I need to know…” Um, WRONG! Well, the boys are going to spend the day on the slopes, but there is NO WI-FI. I mean ZERO connectivity up here. What?!?!? I want to look up the latest….everything! I want to text my husband and my BFF and post pictures of my sweet sons in their ski/snowboard gear and their friends. In the words of Homer Simpson, “DOH!”

What a lesson in being STILL! I mean, I have my laptop with me - but it's just functioning as an expensive word processor right now - and I am thinking about the importance of SLOWING down. Savoring the moment I am in. And soaking in the knowledge of the several child development books brought with me, since I can’t stop every couple pages and check my phone or look up some more information about what I just read.

I remember when we had to go to a place (the Library) to look things up! Which meant you had to drive there. Park. Go inside. Use whatever catalog system they had to find out where the resources were even located within the building. And then go find it, bring it back to your table, open it up…only to realize it didn’t have the information you needed. But we didn’t feel frustrated! No, this was just part of the process! So, we’d look up another resource or two, physically locate it on the library shelves, bring it back to your table and, if it WAS what you were looking for, you would open up your notebook and write with pen or pencil on paper the information you needed - with the reference of course. THAT was the “highlight, copy and paste” feature we do with a click or two today. And THEN, you returned said reference materials to its proper place, because that was the considerate thing to do!

It’s NO WONDER we have terrible memories these days! And it’s not just us “older” folks - It’s our kids, too. Because they don’t have to WORK to find information, they just look it up, use it for whatever they need in the moment, and then forget it. Oh, you need to know that thing again? Just look it up again, the site is probably saved in your history. It may take another 30 seconds so why bother remembering it?

Reward without work is neurologically damaging.

So, here I am. Reading. And writing. Enjoying seeing boys have fun with their friends and learn to ski...and snowboard...and try not to worry that one of them is going to break something! And, because I am not preoccupied with the gazillion things I can do on my phone, connecting in real time with the other people in this little cafe. It’s actually pretty freaking cool.

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