Digital dependence

I am in India now, and have had intermittent access to the Internet for various reasons. That’s  not the point of this post. I had no idea how much of a digital addict I was till I found myself in the situation of having no access. No access meant no e-mail, no Facebook, no blogs, no discussion boards, no msn and Skype chats… the list goes on. None of this is life-threatening of course, but that makes no difference to an addict. The only thing that has really suffered is my work. No access also means no Google scholar and Google books, both of which I rely on heavily when writing up reviews of literature.

But it’s not just me. My kids are languishing without their computers. They aren’t heavy gamers or anything, but one son wants to write his stories and the other wants to get a headstart on his schoolwork. Having to share one laptop between the three of us is driving us nuts. I regret not letting them bring their computers to India. What did I think they were going to do with all their time?

This is the problem really. That no one can think of what to do sans-computer/access. What did I use to do when I was a kid and time hung heavy during holidays in India? I can’t remember, but there was a lot of sitting around and waiting. Also we used to go to the village and it was fun walking in the rice fields. Just a note- haystacks are not the stuff that romantic rural landscapes are made of. They are prickly and full of creepy crawlies that BITE! But sitting on one was an experience nonetheless. There were also bathrooms with no roofs, where you had to crouch in a corner if you didn’t want to be seen by the voyeur in the two-story building next door, but that’s another story for another time. If you ask nicely I’ll tell it!

Anyway in the meantime there are three of us sharing one computer, and my kids are reading more in this one month than they have read the whole year. That’s something anyway.


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