I find it very interesting that many of us really start our days online now (or is this just me?) It’s how I end my day, too & I’ve developed a very specific/oddball routine. I would like to say “Well, I check all the major news sites, my email, and then I’m done!”–but yeah right. It goes a little something like this:
7am (while eating my yogurt/granola & drinking iced coffee & sometimes blow drying my hair…lots of multi-tasking happening): my e-mail, Facebook, CNN.com (in case I missed major disaster overnight), EW.com (Entertainment Weekly) for the funny TV recaps (I even read recaps for shows I no longer watch).
I am glad my job isn’t in front of a computer most of the day because my list would be much much longer & I would probably never get any work done. I’m very easily distracted for long periods of time (but that’s probably all of us). It means that I usually am on my computer at home before bed, though–since I haven’t had a chance at work. The evening routine is a little more fun:
email, Facebook, CNN, and then I try not to–but I’m always in the mood for something “light”–aka celebrity gossip. I start with something classy like E! Online–but quickly I get right to the trashy gossip at TMZ (which I refuse to bookmark, but I swear I visit at least once a day). Then I go to read personal blogs–my friend Kendra’s & then 2 people I don’t even know. It’s hard for me to consistently visit someone’s blog because usually they either RARELY update…or–nope, really people just don’t update enough for my tastes. I need DAILY updates people! And usually these people are professional writers, so their blogs are extremely well-written. One blog is called: Running to Slow Things Down & I don’t even know how I found it, but I love it. This girl takes pictures of all the food she eats (along with recipes) & she’s a nutritionist–so it’s all wholesome & healthy & would be the way I ate if I actually took the time to eat well consistently. You would think I would read her blogs & copy some of her ideas or be inspired to eat healthier. But so far–no, I just read the blog & think “oooh, that sounds good.” But then it gets all weird because I follow her life, too “oh, sweet, she just graduated today from college!” and “oh good! her running injury isn’t bothering her as much anymore!” The other one is even stranger–I guess I was led there by a friend of a friend’s link on his page…I can’t really remember. But I enjoyed his writing style & for whatever reason–have followed him on and off for a few years. The funny part is–he’s this writer/dj/bartender–and he would blog about working with this singer/dancer friend…who less than a year later–turns out to be Lady Gaga! Hilarious. So now he’s all writing about being a DJ for Lady Gaga and the good old days & he’s a total hipster writing articles for Esquire…but even when I think “this guy and his ego!”–I totally still read it.
I also have “weekend sites” that I visit when I have more time on my hands. This always starts off with my job searching sites (I’ve always searched for jobs, regardless if I’m currently employed or not–it’s just habit…I used to constantly look at places to rent, too…even if I wasn’t planning on moving–but thankfully have moved on from that). I spend some time on whatever interests me with triathlon-ing (the L.A. tri club site, triathlon stores, googling questions, etc). I do any necessary business transactions (contacts, Sephora, Victoria’s Secret, amazon, Nike, travelocity, priceline). I write really really long emails to anyone willing to read them. I spend more time reading actual news articles instead of just the headlines. I get caught up reading hundreds of strange, mostly idiotic comments on articles & then wonder “why did I just read all of those?”
It makes me think back to when the internet first clicked for me. I remember being 17 maybe–and getting on AOL for the first time…you know, the whole dial up “you’ve got mail” thing. I can’t remember anything I did online then–except wait for a piece of mail to come in (who was even emailing me? The other 2 people on AOL?) & visit chat rooms (what was I chatting about? Sadly, I think it was something involving musical theatre). When I got to college, we were using a program I can’t recall–what now seems ridiculously archaic…it didn’t seem to be a sophisticated browser like Mosaic…but something free that allowed us to email & search the library–we really just emailed each other. My friend Eric was the real computer genius at the time–actually creating a website for our band in code. I had no idea what he was doing or how he did it (and still don’t).
I wonder now about time. How did I used to spend my mornings before this whole thing happened? I wonder about information. How did I find a job? How did I find anything? How did I write a paper for school? How did I tell everyone my status on a daily basis?
There are people I know that can go a couple of days without checking email, but I’m not one of them. There are people that still get the newspaper–and while I love spending hours pouring over a Sunday paper…it’s just so much easier online (not to mention free). There are people who refuse to be on social networking sites–and while I really wish to be that person, I really enjoy that I get to connect with cousins in Texas, friends in New York, etc on a more regular basis.
But when I’m on vacation, it’s a different story. I enjoy the few days away from my “daily fixes”–how the focus is much more about where I am now, in the moment, and what I plan to do out in the world. My phone comes in handy–yes, it’s a smart phone–so I can still check my email, facebook, etc–but it allows me to catch up in 2 minutes rather than 2 hours.
I think about how long I’ve been writing & posting online–since 2002! Before that, I would still email funny stories around to family & friends…and I’m no writer, but I enjoy the process of it. I enjoy putting it out there because I would never say so much out loud to you (or anyone, unless I have a major coffee buzz).
But I would love to create some limits. I would love to go old-school sometimes. I’m already like that in some ways. I actually love when my phone dies. It makes life so much easier for me. I love that I’m not one of those people who will answer a ringing phone when I’m in the middle of a conversation with someone (though no worries, I don’t blame you for doing so…). I like to avoid using GPS in the car because it eliminates the fun–I feel it’s kind of like a calculator–yes, you get the answer…but you have no idea how it happened. But I must admit it has come in handy when my own mapping skills have failed & left me in some random South Central neighborhood with no clue which direction I’m headed. I just find it funny when you go away for awhile, return & find that you haven’t really missed that much from being away from the internet…maybe you have 100 emails, but only a few or so that are actually important. Maybe you’ve missed 100 twitter updates, but you can breeze through them all in a matter of minutes.
So, in honor of my summer goals–I always love summer goals–because they are much more fun & frivolous compared to New Year’s goals…I’m doing away with evening internet. I’ve also read the computer light can mess with your sleeping, & I’m also attempting to create the most decadent, sleep friendly room ever (thanks to a good 10 years without consistent sleep–it’s about time). I will certainly miss the routine & I’m sure will miss googling all the random questions I MUST have answered every night (recent searches include “Bill Maher quotes about immigration” and “best Texas brisket recipe”)…but maybe I won’t complain so much about having no time in the evening. Maybe I will get to bed a little earlier…or maybe I will just watch loads of Real Housewives marathons on Bravo. Let’s see what happens!