Monday morning, our tax returns came in. It’s amazing what a difference it can make to *pay* taxes as a single man, and then to file your return as a married couple. The amount returned to us was almost to the dime the amount we needed to get a laptop for Valerie, which she’s been pining for ever since she realized she had a 4 hour commute every day to and from school. We immediately went to Best Buy and bought the thing.
But the great news for me is not what we’ve so suddenly acquired, but what we now have the opportunity to *get rid of*: The Internet. I anticipate this very week making the great transition to The Quiet Home. Halelujah.
What is The Quiet Home? It’s my new term for a household that has made the decision to nix the internet. That would be *our* household.
Valerie and I both are net addicts, and left to our own devices, we’d spend nearly every waking hour of every day staring at a small glowing screen. With internet constantly available, it’s always a temptation to read a few more weblogs rather than engage in whatever meaningful activity we ought to be pursuing. Short of an immense dosage of self-control, (an easy thing for Valerie, I think, but a Herculean feat for myself), Internet access in a house this small becomes a great distraction.
But the internet can be a force for great good, you say. Aye, it can. If used conscientiously, not constantly. Which is why we haven’t gotten rid of it yet. But Valerie and I both have internet access at school, and libraries now are starting to set themselves up as free wifi hotspots. The key to getting rid of the internet at home, we decided, was to be able to access it nearly anywhere else.
Our new laptop is the key. With a portable computer, we can access what we need while away from the home – I can read my blogs and tweak the website to my heart’s content, Valerie can upload pictures and download school reading material – and when we go home, the computer is available only for the most mundane purposes. The net result should be more control.
I anticipate canceling our internet access at home within the next few days—as soon as Valerie finishes uploading all her pictures from last year. Then we’ll see if we have a practical solution. With God’s grace, perhaps you’ll see more meaningful content from me because of it.