The Connection Runners + [tickle me elmo]

The Internet Diet: Have You Tried It?

If you follow me on the Twitter, you may have witnessed a minor rage blackout over the weekend.

My fury was fueled by a home Internet outage caused when AT&T, the company with the ironic slogan "Rethink Possible", erroneously cancelled our account on Thursday afternoon. Apparently, they wanted to make it impossible for me to communicate with the outside world, a skill in which I'm already lacking due to my constant obligation to a certain kiddo currently ruling the roost at our house.

Because, you know, one cannot truly communicate with the world when the Internet ceases to (temporarily) exist.

someecards.com - Sorry I didn't have the social skills to communicate with you when the office Internet was down

Therefore, my initial reaction to what would be a 48-hour Internet diet (it's as much fun as the Atkins diet, only you get to drown your sorrows in carbs, namely Birthday Cake Oreos) was to revert to full-fledged post-partum hormonal rage.

Shut the front door. These are so good. Girl Scouts, I think you were just served.

Not being able to blog, Tweet, Facebook, Pin, look up random shit on IMDB and Wikipedia, or search for recipes I'll most likely never attempt to create made me delirious with boredom and feeling as though I'd been cutoff from the world. Although I do have Internet capabilities on my phone, I didn't feel connected enough; mobile versions of social media websites just don't do it for me, much like a mere tablespoon of butter just isn't enough for Paula Deen.

By Thursday evening, Kevin and I had spent a few hours dealing with the maze that is AT&T's "customer service". By Friday evening, he'd developed a serious case of I-Want-Internet-Back-Immediately Elbow from holding the phone to his ear for several more hours. By Saturday, the Holiest of Rest Days at our house, AT&T finally agreed to send out a tech to check our lines.

An Ironic Side Story: Part of our negotiations with AT&T were through Twitter when a rep starting following me after I Tweeted how disappointed I was with the service. The rep actually provided a better and more timely solution than anything we'd gotten over the phone. Behold: that's the power of Social Media. Tweet about crap you dislike, and someone will come to the rescue.

By Saturday, something in me had changed. Perhaps it was that it was Saturday, and I didn't want my weekend upset with the untimely (read: 1-3 p.m.) arrival of some tech who could possibly fix our Interwebs.

But later, when the tech repaired it simply by "flipping a switch" more or less, I realized why my own attitude towards the situation had flipped from Kathy Bates in Misery to Bob Ross painting Happy Little Trees.

I no longer felt obligated to keep up with the fast and furious worlds of social media.

Sure, during the outage, I used my phone to browse my Greader, read and respond to Tweets, and scroll through status updates, but ultimately, not having access to home Internet lifted some kind of digital weight from my shoulders.

Don't get me wrong: I truly enjoy blogging and Tweeting and commenting and reading and Facebooking/stalking. It makes my world go 'round. But for those 48 hours, it almost felt as though I was on social media vacation. I could check out the new photos of such-and-such's baby on Facebook or develop a witty new hashtag for a Tweet.

But I didn't have to. Weird.

I know. There's no Social Media Boss peering over my shoulder making me do any of that. However, in today's world, it's what we do. It's how we function. Class reunions? Nope. Just oogle them on FB. Need a restaurant recommendation at a vacation spot? Throw out a Tweet. Upset about an Internet outage? Rant about it in a blog post.

So while I understand that I'm very much addicted and in need of the Interwebs in my life, the two days I didn't have full access to it made understand that A) I probably couldn't function without it, and B) I can function without it, at least temporarily, and it feels kind of good.

Now I'm going to wrap up this post with a question, one that you'll hopefully weigh in on, and then go on to Tweet about this post and link it to my Facebook account. Maybe someone will Pin something from it (that sweet collage of Bates/Ross, maybe), and the social media world will spin a little bit more.

So What Do You Think:
-Do ever feel obligated to keep up with social media just because it's what we do?
-How do you keep up with social media? Phone, at work, home, etc... ?
-Ever gone on the Internet Diet, voluntarily or involuntarily? How did it go?

P.S. & E.T.A. This blog *may* make a return to running-related posts in the very near future. Boo-yah!