The deafening silence from my sleeping keyboard has been calling me for weeks. My notable absence from blogging has grieved my writer’s urge but equally allowed space for emotions to flow and practicalities to be overcome.

Life has been exceptionally busy and sometimes hard, but God has made a way for me to rest. Last week our internet provider turned off our connection 8 days early, before our new provider was due to connect us up. As our telephone also uses the internet and mobile signal is limited out here in the sticks, we have been out of communication with the world for over a week. We asked the provider to sort out their mistake, but they had no protocols in place for such an event. So that was it, nothing could be done and so we decided to make the best of it. I mean it’s not been that many years since we all lived very happily without the internet, surely we wouldn’t miss it that much, would we?

I’m fairly technophobic and so I delighted in the concept of being disconnected, but how was in reality? How did it impact the family, Phil’s work and the teenagers? What did we miss? What did we gain?

Phil’s work was the greatest priority and he quickly found a solution. He set up office at his parents’ house, who live 10 minutes away. This worked very well in general. He missed his big screens and he wasn’t able to step back into the office at 10pm for a weekly meeting with the States, but largely his work felt little impact. Here at home we missed Daddy’s input. Questions from the builders, currently renovating some of our property, were unanswerable by me; with shaky mobile signal I sometimes had to stand on the drive scrabbling for a couple of bars of connection just to ask a simple question. An issue with the chicken feeders and the cow’s water trough showed up another of Phil’s tasks he quietly gets on with, which the children and I had to fumble our way through to find solutions.

The teenage girls discovered that they could get some connection if they climbed the scaffolding and sat on the roof of the barn! Desperation drove these young ladies to these drastic measures as they spent several happy nights chatting to friends in the twilight. I’d hoped it would disconnect all of us, but sadly where there’s a will there’s a way and their technical know how found a way.

The younger children missed out on some online lessons, some reading and apps, but largely they didn’t notice the lack of connection. We still had DVDs for afternoon rest time and so life for them just went back a decade. I personally felt much more at home as a parent. Technology is moving so fast and I often feel that the children keep up but I’m still scrabbling around, feeling like a time traveller from the year 2000.

I did miss some things. I missed by word quizzes, downloading podcasts and searching for recipes. I didn’t miss google doctor. We’ve had a couple of health incidences this week and I’m sure I would have wasted hours googling how to deal with these situations the answers I would have found would have undoubtedly plagued me with anxiety. Google often reminds me of the health encyclopaedias we had pre internet; whatever symptom you had, by the time you’d followed the pathway the book sent you on, you had to see a doctor immediately, as your condition could be life threatening. It was a classic situation of a simple headache being a brain tumour! I always swore I would never get one of those books but now we have the internet; health anxiety in the general population has skyrocketed, I suspect there’s a correlation.

Perhaps the greatest thing I’ve learned is how I can waste time or use it wisely. I can read an edifying book or I can read the drivel in the newspaper. I can scroll through Instagram or I can paint or draw. I can browse through YouTube or I can listen to a pre-downloaded podcast, already selected for its soul nourishing content. I can read someone’s opinions or I can read the Word of God.

Time is a gift and God gave me more of it this week. The gift continues to give as I have come to see my time in a new way. It’s so easy to get lost on a device scrolling and searching and yet the answers will often elude us. Sometimes we need empty head space to hear God’s voice.

The irony isn’t lost on me, that the silence of my sleeping keyboard could only be awakened when the noise of the world, via the web went silent.

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6 thoughts on “Time Travelling

  1. Oh I would love one week offline for our family of 8! Even though my husband needs it for his work, too. And I (too) often feel I need it and find it hard to put the phone down…
    Sometimes I wish we’d live in a rural place (jungle?) with no Internet etc. at all, for many reasons.
    The biggest real issue for me right now would be missing texts making dates.
    Since our oldest just turned 12 I don’t think they’d figure out how to get a connection on their own.
    When we’re on holidays in nature with lots of space outside kids are much happier and less fights. Would like to take that to our everyday life but don’t know how, living in a city apartment and not able to take kids to the park as often as I’d like to…plus park / playground in the city still hasn’t that effect as ‘real” nature.
    Maybe I should pray more and worry less about it.
    God keep on blessing you & yours!
    Angela from Germany

  2. I had a similar experience when my internet provider decided they would start charging for the landline, their employee that was making sure the landline could make international calls for the now added cost of $30 managed to disconnect the internet service for 5 days, so no internet or phone. Which left me traumatised as my other half died just before, on May 1st 2024 of COVID & Dementia.

    What with the death & no contact with the outside world I had no alternative but to rush out after a couple of days & buy a mobile phone. In my traumatic bereaved state I allowed the sales staff to over sell me a top of the range mobile phone that does a heap of things I am not interested in & now left with costly subscription fees for 2 years.

    Matthew 5:4 KJV
    Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

    Psalm 147:3 KJV
    Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

      • Thank you for your prayers

        It’s not easy, I won’t go into it in detail on a public forum.

        Living life is hard

  3. Hannah Forte-Passey says:

    This was timely for us. As although we have Internet, myself and the little ones are going screen free as much as possible for the month of July. For them (easy or not to their mind) it’s very simple to do. I realise that I can skip TV easily, but everything I need to do for work is on my phone & it pings all day long. So I need to put it away & allocate set times to check & respond to clients etc. More time for God needs to be made. More time for family too.

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