Sunday, September 4, 2011

Getting Away from the City

As we prepared for our beach trip this weekend, I made a decision. My laptop was not invited. Thanks to the lightweight portability of my iPad, I decided to leave my laptop behind.

You may be wondering what makes this so momentous. I can still check e-mail and my calendar, still access the Internet and even Facebook.

The answer is games. I've enjoyed playing a variety of games on Facebook, but have developed what could be considered an addiction to Cityville. I successfully gave up Farmville for Lent last spring, lending credibility to my claim that I can quit any time I want.

But I hung on to my city, cherishing every zoning permit that enabled me to expand my realm, entering into quests for bridges and dams with a zeal that filled my wall with announcements and requests. Pithy posts vanished into the laundry list of updates for this pastime that beckoned every time I sat down at the computer, or sometimes when I was simply in the neighborhood.

And then I went back to work. My sessions decreased, but still, my city beckoned. It was time for an intervention.

And so I set out for the beach, leaving my laptop behind. If I really needed to, I could access my city, but the progress I'd made spurred me onward. I had promises to myself to keep, miles to travel and a new place to sleep, for the weekend, anyway.

And now, on a screened-in porch at the beach, Cityville is not calling me. If I'm to be honest, little else is either. It has been a relaxing, low-stress weekend. This exercise in self-control has been just one star twinkling in a seashore sky, but also one of the reasons I've read half a book, several magazines and several chapters of another book in which I'd fallen behind. I've penned a blog and am polishing this one, the first version scrawled hastily over lunch at Subway the day we were beach-bound. And oddly enough, I haven't turned on the TV either.

I have no delusions of an electronics-free life - I'm typing this on my iPad, after all, having used both my iPod and my Kindle on the beach earlier today. Still, it's nice to know that I can step back and be intentional about the technology that is ubiquitous in my life, at least for a little while. And until I can write my novel on my iPad, my laptop is on no danger of obsolescence.

But if you see my laptop, please don't mention the iPad. It's likely to get ugly.

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