internet
Life in General

What Happened to My Internet?

It was a normal Sunday morning. I got up, took my pills and settled into my reading chair (with Brutus on my lap, of course) and opened my iPad. No internet. Oh no!!

Tim had already given me a heads-up that he thought we had a problem. He fiddled with the router, turning it off and then back on. Lots of times that fixes our problems. But this wasn’t a WiFi issue. Our WiFi was fine.

CenturyLink is our service provider, so I asked Tim to use his phone to check and see if they were reporting problems. He finally found a map that showed outages all across the country!! What??? How can that be?

In the meantime, I’m feeling lost. My morning routine must include at least a little time on my iPad, which can only access the internet through WiFi. I messed around with my planner for a while but otherwise, I didn’t know what to do. 😲

This shows how dependent on the internet I’ve become. It’s actually a little scary. Sure, there are lots of things I do that don’t involve the internet but there are also lots of things that do.

How much do I need it?

I remember when we moved to this house almost four years ago. We had no internet service provider available. I was shocked. It’s not like we were the first house in this neighborhood.

At that time, I was still working and in order to work at home I needed to have an internet connection.

We ended up getting a “hotspot” from Verizon but had to sign up for a year. It worked fine, but we definitely didn’t get our money’s worth.

We eventually had CenturyLink set us up and things have been fine since, although we have struggled at times with speed. Did you know that if your plan calls for 20 mg download speed, the best you can expect is 16? We were told you only get 80% of what your plan provides. Isn’t that crazy?

A year ago, we finally upgraded to 40 mg, which works pretty well for us. I think the biggest change has been the increase in upload speeds, which is great for my blogging. I’m uploading a lot of pictures and need that extra speed.

Internet addiction?

There’s actually something called Internet Addiction Disorder or IAD. I shouldn’t be surprised given all the things we can do on the internet and how much time people spend on it. Just because you use the internet a lot, however, doesn’t mean you have an addiction. Only when it begins to interfere with other parts of your daily life is it considered a problem.

But what constitutes interference?

On that Sunday, I wanted to check my email, Facebook and Instagram. No can do. I wanted to play my games. Some require the internet to work. Everything I came up with that I wanted to do at that moment required the internet!!! Is that considered interference with my daily life?

How is IAD diagnosed?

A standardized way for diagnosing IAD has not been discovered. But there are some signs that could indicate an addiction.

According to information in this article, there are five criteria to watch for.

  • Is preoccupied with the Internet (constantly thinks about past use or future use)
  • Needs to use the Internet with increased amounts of time to gain satisfaction
  • Has made unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop use of the Internet
  • Is restless, moody, depressed, or irritable when attempting to control Internet use
  • Has stayed online longer than originally intended

Do any of these sound like you? I can find myself guilty of the last one, as it’s easy to start out researching one thing and end up searching deeper and deeper. All of a sudden, a simple 15-minute search turns into an hour!!

Lately, I’ve found myself researching things I see on Instagram, hoping to find a pattern or learn a new technique. Then I end up buying something online too!!

But I think my usage overall is healthy. I actually get tired of using my phone, my iPad or my laptop at a certain point. It’s what leads to my information overload.

Screen Time

Do any of you use Screen Time on your Apple devices? I don’t look at it regularly, but it can be enlightening when I see how much time I spend doing certain things. For the last seven days, I’ve averaged 2 hours and 36 minutes of screen time. My weekly total was 18 hours and 16 minutes.

When you look at it that way, it starts to sound like a lot. No wonder I sometimes feel that I’m not getting anything done!!

Most used were Instagram and Facebook and then three of the games I like – Nibblers, Wordscapes and 7 Little Words. I tell myself that these keep my brain exercised. Hmmm. Do you buy that?

I average 31 pickups and 244 notifications a day. Most of my notifications these days are from Instagram, as my number of followers has greatly increased since I began following stitchers and stitching hashtags. On Instagram, I used to scroll through and reach the point where it tells me “you’re all caught up”. I never see that anymore!!

Nothing to change

I haven’t reached the point where I feel I need to change anything. I think my level of usage is healthy and I don’t spend hours at a time on it, as you can tell by the 31 pickups per day!! I typically grab my iPad when I think of something I want to check out or when I’m taking a break over lunch. I don’t spend much time on the internet at night as I’m usually stitching or knitting.

There are just too many positives about the internet. It allows me to find products I need for my hobbies without much effort. I love paying our bills online. I love writing my blog and reading others’ blogs. I love how it keeps me informed, as long as I rely on trusted sources of information. I love how it allows me to easily interact with my friends.

So what about you? Do any of the five criteria above sound like you? I’m guessing not. How about your kids????

6 Comments

  • Caroline

    It’s amazing how dependent I am at work! There is little I can do with no internet and I have worked this job a very long time before everything was web based! So it didn’t use to be this way! Even some of the phones don’t work when internet is down. Makes for a nice quiet but slow-moving day!

  • AnNyce

    My sister and I turn our phones off when we travel overseas. We have been able to use the computers on the ship to contact our families through email, though. But we are amazed at the people who are on trips and looking at their phones instead of looking at the cities/sites we visit! We literally turn our phones off when we board the plane and dont turn them back on until we pass through customs in the US. That is to contact family that we are back!

    When I came back home from our most recent trip, I did not dive right back in. In fact, I have been home since April 9 and am just now catching up on your blog! I am not currently “using” facebook…I think I just needed a break. I scan it, but make no posts or comments.

    Im sure I will return to my old ways, but for now, it is nice to take a break from all that. Going old school with my calendar works better for me, anyway. But…if you send me a message, Linda, I’ll be sure to answer!!

    • Retired Introvert

      I think we all need a break from time to time. Tim tried it for a while, saying he was tired of all the garbage on Facebook. But he didn’t last long because it’s also a good way to keep up with the kids and grandkids. What do you do? We should look at it this way – if we don’t look, we don’t know what we’re missing and that’s fine. The important stuff will still makes it way to us.

      I would hope you’d answer my messages!! And of course, I’d answer yours. 😉

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