By Lori-Anne Poirier
I have long been sceptical of cleanses.
I know, they’re all the rage today, and maybe they have some value when it comes to cleaning the metals and pesticides and radioactive waves out of our bodies.
But I like food too much, and the idea of subsisting on some bizarre concoction such as lemon juice and cayenne pepper for an entire week every few months just doesn’t tempt me.
However, I recently committed to a cleanse of a different sort.
It’s called an Internet Cleanse, and it’s supposed to give my brain a break from the life sucking powers of Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and blogs.
The idea is to go off the internet, cold turkey, for one week.
Just one week, and then when you come back, hopefully, you maintain some sense of restraint so that you don’t resume the same old obsessive habits.
Maybe you don’t have obsessive habits when it comes to internet use.
Good for you.
I, on the other hand, can’t walk by my computer (situated conveniently in the middle of the house) without quickly checking Facebook to see if anyone’s updated.
Because, you know, I don’t want to miss out on knowing what my old high school chums, who I have absolutely nothing to do with now, think about the weather.
That will often lead, mysteriously, to me searching furtively for some suddenly important piece of information such as how to say “cheese” in American Sign Language, or the age of Reinhard Heydrich when he became known as the “Butcher of Prague.”
Before I know it, an hour has elapsed and nothing productive has been done.
Lucky for me, I have a four-year-old son that doesn’t mind playing on his own for half an hour or so at a time, as long as I make sure he isn’t testing out the scissors on our new shower curtain or redecorating his bedroom with a felt marker.
My daughter, age two, is generally happy to sit on my lap and randomly poke letters on the keyboard as I read.
Recently it occurred to me that, if I don’t want my two-year-old sitting in front of a computer for even short stretches at a time because it’s probably not good for her or her development, then why am I doing it?
So I decided to get my mind out of the virtual, screen world and into its own space.
I want to pay more attention to my kids, free up some time and increase my productivity. And I’m also anticipating that my Internet Cleanse will enhance my creativity – something I’ve been feeling really deprived of lately.
Funnily enough, this is why I stopped watching TV, some 10 years ago or so.
It was just such a drain on life, living, imagination and interaction.
Of course, now that space has been filled with my computer with exactly the same result.
Going off it, the few days I’ve been doing it so far, has felt really good, surprisingly.
Apparently I have an addictive personality – at least when it comes to the internet.
And so, every time I see my computer – which is every 10 minutes or so throughout the course of the day – the impulse is strong to “just see what’s going on.”
But resisting it is starting to feel liberating.
And so far the Twitterverse seems to be ticking along just fine without news that I’m on my third cup of coffee for the day (I’m @MrsPearTree, by the way, in case you want to follow me).
Okay, if I’m going to be honest, I’m kind of looking forward to getting back on next week – but in a more moderate and restrained way.
I’ve been saving up some interesting status updates for my big return.
Or maybe I’ll jot them in a journal or baby book for my kids, where they’ll actually mean something to someone someday.
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