Off The Grid

NBC: Parks and Recreation
Within the past year, every time I would tear open the bill for my internet and cable provider, I would notice that the price would continuously increase. After numerous calls to complain, my mother and I had enough and decided to cancel the service only to be left without cable and internet for a week.

The idea of not having either of these luxuries – while I searched for a different provider –  seemed manageable to me. “It won’t be hard. I would be at work most of the time,” I would tell myself. Unfortunately, the idea of not having cable or internet seemed a lot more simple than the act itself. As I got closer to my scheduled cancellation date, I made sure to inform all of my friends of my situation and make it clear that I am in no way ignoring them if I do not reply to every message they send to me. I appreciated every moment that a page would still load and would silently pray that the internet would not shut off while I was in the middle of watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Flashdance.

The morning after my service had been canceled, I woke up feeling incomplete. My morning ritual of checking my E-mail, reading through Buzzfeed, and checking multiple social media platforms had become obsolete. Since my phone runs on 1GB of data, I refused to use it unless if I was around free wifi. This goal led me to keeping my phone either off or on airplane mode creating a distance between myself, my friends, and my online presence.

no_wifi

I do not know why I believed my job would create a perfect distraction to the dullness within my home since I was out of work at 2 and 5p. The first night without internet and cable was dreadful. I laid on the sofa staring at the black screen that accompanied the television set not exactly knowing how to spend the rest of my evening. That was when it clicked, I finally had the time to do the things that I would previously convince myself I had absolutely no time for. I would be able to get rid of items in my home that I was meaning to sell and donate, clean, and most importantly read and write. The next couple of days were consumed by the repetitive music that played on KIIS fm, ordering a new internet service (I had opted to not getting cable), reading and finishing the incredible book I Am Malala, installing a basic television box in the living room, raiding my closet and trying on everything to see which items I would donate/sell, picking miscellaneous items up off the floor, and re-watching 10 Things I Hate About You and Bridesmaids since they were the only two films that I had saved on my laptop. Unfortunately, I had begun to run out of things to do. After the second day, the days seemed rather long which led me to not spending much time at home. Instead I would spend more time out with friends, shopping, and most of all eating out. While at home, I opted to watch Family Guy whenever it was on, write, and listen to my saved music on ITunes.

no-cable

Being somewhat off the grid seemed to have its positive attributes since I no longer had an excuse to not do something. I had become more social with my mother and do the things that I would have probably never gotten around to because “I needed to watch another episode since it is getting good” or because “it could wait until tomorrow.” My “free time” was spent admiring the ITunes visualizer while I appreciated the music that used to be seen as something that “took up storage but did not want to delete” because I would usually use apps such as Spotify. The first couple of days seemed to have been filled with endless hours of possibilities where anything could be achieved. Without the distractions, the mental checklist of things to do seemed to be crossed off quicker than usual. The only bad outcome was that I was spending more money than usual in order to keep myself occupied. Although being without internet and cable had its benefits, I can honestly say that I was excited to see the box containing the internet modem sitting on my front porch waiting to be installed.

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