Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Internet Torture

By Nichole Giles

It’s amazing how dependent we become on technology as it comes available to us. We rely on cell phones, digital cameras, our computers, and the Internet in our daily lives. Why is this? I don’t have the answer to that question. I will admit, though, to a technological addiction of my own.

Case in point. The other day I went on an overnight campout with my daughter’s fifth-grade class. I’ve had two other fifth graders go on this campout before, but for one reason or another was unable to go with them. This time, I had no excuse. Believe me, I looked for one. But my daughter was going, and she needed me to go with her. She wanted so badly to go and be independent. To run off with her friends and be herself without a parent looking over her shoulder. But the trip was overnight—and that’s where it gets tricky.

To be honest, it was tricky with a lot of people’s kids. They all get homesick, and bloody noses from the altitude, and headaches, and stomachaches (from icky school food—which is the only thing available, and not much at that) the list is endless. And then there are the squeaky beds, and insomnia caused by being in a strange place, and…well, you get the idea. I was so, so glad I was there for my daughter this time. Especially because one of the other mothers in her cabin was a grouchy, ornery woman who yelled at the girls if they breathed too loudly.

At any rate, I went and was glad. Except for one thing. When you spend as much time on the Internet as I do, you sort of become dependent on it. There was no cell phone service on this mountain, so, obviously, no Internet service either. Do you know what it’s like being forced to go twenty-four hours without reading blogs or emails? It’s one thing if you’re out of the country or in international waters. Then you’re way too distracted to worry about trivial things like chain letters and blog entries. But otherwise, being without the Internet is a certain kind of torture, let me assure you.

Okay, I admit I brought my computer. And my Alphasmart. Hey, there are certain things you just don’t ask a writer to leave behind. Just because the kids aren’t allowed to bring electronics doesn’t mean the adults can’t. Like I said, we grown-ups need certain things, like keyboards and programs, in order to make us feel at home. It’s a sign of the times. Although, there was one mother who looked at me with scorn as I sat under a tree in my lounge chair, working on my book in the shade while the kids had free time. I laughed. That woman obviously needs to get a life. An Internet one. Maybe she should start a blog or something.

Really, though, she was probably bored, and completely jealous that she hadn’t brought her own laptop. I suppose she might rather run through the trees hunting snipes with the kids, and if so, more power to her I guess. If that’s true, at least she doesn’t have to deal with the torture that comes from lack of Internet access.

Hi. My name is Nichole. I’m an electronics addict…


Cindy Beck said...

Oh, I laughed over this! Writers can NOT go without writing. It's good that you took your laptop and AlphaSmart, or you would have been consigned to carving stories and blog entries on aspen trunks, with a "pen knife". :)

Nichole Giles said...

See, the problem with that is that technically, we weren't supposed to bring pen knives either. It would probably have ended up being lipstick or...charcoal from the fire.

Luckily, since I'm a parent, I decided they couldn't exactly give me detention, and brought my tools anyway. I'm such a rebel!