Doing Nothing on Purpose

For the last couple of days I have been more or less “offline” - or at least, disconnected more often than not. I will neither confirm or deny that I have eaten my own body weight in chocolate during that time. Christmas Eve (three days ago now) was the last time I made any serious effort to keep up with online friends, check email, visit social networks, and so on. It’s the first time I’ve been “out of the loop” to such an extent in months, and it made me realise that our interaction with the online world is entirely driven by our own choice.

I’ve removed Facebook and Google+ from my Mobile.

I will freely admit to using the internet as an escape from the treadmill my normal life resembles. While all manner of commitment and expectation rules most waking hours, the internet provides a window through which I can escape - Rupert Book style - for adventures with friends the world over.

(for international readers, Rupert is the title character of a series of beloved children’s books in the UK that must be heading towards 100 years old some time soon. The stories invariably involve Rupert getting involved in all manner of adventures, but always returning home in time for bed.).

It occurred to me while talking to an online friend recently that I’m incredibly lucky. My better half reads very little of my contribution to the online world - and she doesn’t question the friendships I forge either. I read horror stories related by others where family and/or friends have stalked, harassed, and spent inordinate amounts of time and effort making life a misery - just because they wanted similar freedom to be themselves online, and use the internet as an escape.

I have had brushes with the lurking crazies in the past - I’m not going to get into it here, but I will relate my eventual conclusion on it all; what’s more important - making one person happy by moderating yourself to satisfy their fragile ego, or being true to yourself and embracing the hundreds of people who you float along the internet river with?

I’m rambling. I started this post talking about not spending time online, and now look where we are - talking about the trials and tribulations of integrating the real and online worlds.

Isn’t it funny how we get so reflective as a year draws to a close.