Why I still don’t have Internet access at home four months later
It’s been four months since I moved back to Toronto for work after a four-month stint living at my dad’s after graduating university and breaking up with a boyfriend.
Until four months ago, I’d had Internet access wherever I was living nearly continuously for over 10 years, maybe more. I feel like I’ve had the Internet for my entire life (or at least the half that I actually remember) and it’s been an important tool throughout my life.
If I hadn’t been so involved online over the last 10 years, I highly doubt I would be capable enough to do my current job.
But over the last year, I noticed the Internet becoming an addiction and a crutch.
I love consuming information and I could probably spend every waking hour of my life reading blogs, watching videos, listening to podcasts, checking out photos, etc. I know this is a good thing, but it’s also a dangerous thing if anyone actually does it because then you stop participating in all the other really great things about life.
And as my last year of university came to a close, and simultaneously so did my last relationship, I found comfort in focusing my attention on the computer because it meant I didn’t have to think about all the crappy stuff going on in my life at the time. It was a distraction and it became an instant wall between my ex-boyfriend and I when we lived together.
I didn’t want to talk, fight, clean up after him, open the mail, cook or do anything else that was an extension of our relationship. I wanted to ignore it all, so I did.
When I arrived at my dad’s last April, I didn’t really like anything about my life there either – I had grown distant from my family after four years away from school, my dad’s girlfriend had moved in, there was nothing to do in that town and none of my friends were there anymore – so, once again, I ignored all that in favour of the Internet. I sometimes worked all day and night. I read dozens of blog articles every day. I watched hours of TV online. Sure, I got out now and then, but not enough.
So, I finally realized that I had left one unhealthy situation for another and I needed to get out. Financially, I probably wasn’t ready, but I knew I could get by, so I moved to Toronto Sept. 1.
Four months later, I still don’t have Internet access at my apartment. I’ve found many reasons to justify it – Canadian telecom providers suck, I’m on the Internet at work anyway, I don’t want to be stuck on a computer all night after I’ve been sitting at one all day, etc. – but it’s starting to creep up on me. Sure, I have email and Internet access on my BlackBerry, but it’s not the same.
Sometimes I don’t leave work until 7 or 8 p.m. because there are things I still want to do. I’ve marked as read countless undoubtedly interesting blog articles in my Google Reader because I can’t spend my workdays catching up. I mostly forget about Twitter and Facebook in the evenings and on weekends. Until recently when I finally got a TV again, I’d mostly replaced TV shows and movies with podcasts I download at work and listen to at home.
The truth is, this extreme hasn’t felt right either, so now I’m itching to connect again, but I’m kind of scared at the same time. What if there is only one extreme or the other for me? Only being connected all the time or not being connected?
How do you balance staying involved online with staying involved in the rest of life?
P.S. Any testimonials for an excellent Internet service provider in Toronto that isn’t Bell or Rogers?