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Home » The Homestead Life

Today I did something crazy. I cancelled our internet.

Submitted by on January 3, 2017 – 6:34 am 20 Comments
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It’s the beginning of a new year, and I’m ready for some long overdue changes.

Today, I gathered up my nerve, dialed my internet service provider, and summoned the words I’d been meditating on for months now.

Yes, ma’am. How can we help you today?

“Hi. I want to cancel our internet service.”

I’d said it. It was suddenly so real once the words had escaped my lips.

Alright. I’ve got it all taken care of. Your internet service will be disconnected within the hour.

Before I could change my mind it was done. I stood with the phone in my hand for a moment, soaking in what had just happened.

Have I lost my mind? Is this really a good idea?

I work online. The kids do their homeschooling online. All our favorite shows are online. How will I do our banking?

Is this gonna be manageable??

I reminded myself that worst case scenario I could always call them back and have it re-connected if we decide life is unbearable without the internet.

After all, it’s not like we’ll be completely without the net. We spend a ton of time at my grandpa’s house taking care of him, and he has internet there that we can get on. So I’m pretty sure we’ll survive alright. I can still get my work done online, the kids can do their online school work, life will go on. We’ll just have to be better time managers about it.

I’m thinking it’s a good move.

I could totally be wrong. Like the time I thought I’d minimize our dish washing load by replacing all of our plates and bowls with plate/bowls, and all of our cutlery with sporks. It was a good plan in theory… you know, only one dish and one utensil to wash per person… but eventually we all got tired of our sporks sliding down the side of the plate and submerging in our soup, and the old tableware slowly made its way back into the cabinets. We might find the loss of internet access just as inconvenient. I guess time will tell.

What would make me take such a drastic move in such a tech-dependent society?

I could easily blame it on the kids. Too much time on Netflix. Too many online games. Too many YouTube videos. Too much fighting over the computer.

But in all honesty… I’m the one with the problem.

When I get up in the morning, one of the first things I do is sit down with my coffee to check my emails. Which turns into checking the headlines, reading the news, looking up the weather, searching for a recipe… Why the heck do I look online for recipes when I have like fifty cookbooks?

Before I know it I’ve been sitting there for an hour.

Oh gosh, I gotta get off this computer!

But it always happens again. Throughout the day I find myself needing to look something up. The kids will say something, or ask a question, which prompts a google search. And then something else catches my interest, and then… oooh, I wonder if so-and-so has uploaded a new video to YouTube… and before I know it more time passes by.

Then in the evenings after the kids are tucked in and have finally stopped getting up to use the bathroom ( I don’t remember ever having to go to the bathroom at bedtime so much when I was a kid!), I take advantage of the quiet time by watching a documentary or a video on permaculture to inspire me in our endeavors. Maybe I’ll search for creative ideas on Pinterest.

I always stay up way too late. There’s so much to learn!

And then I wake up tired, overwhelmed by everything that needs to get done around the house, and I start the cycle all over again.

Truth be told. I’m too sucked in.

Even though I’ve been pretty good about not becoming consumed with social media, I’m still way too controlled by the internet. And I don’t like it.

I don’t like feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. I don’t like regretting time not spent with my kids. I don’t like losing my patience with my children because they’re interrupting a message I’m trying to type. I don’t like feeling completely overwhelmed with my home.

I’ve tried organizing. I’ve tried decluttering. I’ve tried scheduling. I’ve tried everything that supposedly helps you get control back when you feel like your plate is way too full. And I’ve come to realize something.

It’s my computer that’s robbing me of what I really want. Life.

Getting outside into the fresh air and walking among the trees, is real. Sitting on the couch and reading books to my little ones, is real. Having people come over for a game night… in person!… is real. What you see on the computer… it’s only partly real, with a whole lot of props and editing behind the scenes.

There’s too much goodness surrounding me to continue to allow my life to pass me by while I fantasize on Pinterest about what I wish my garden looked like, or what my home looked like, or what I looked like.

I just want to be me. Living my life the best I can with nothing to prove.

I want to wake up refreshed and ready for the day. I want to play with my kids. I want to teach them all of the life skills they’ll need much too soon. I want to spend quiet time with my husband without digital distractions.

I want our home to be a sanctuary from the outside world.

A place free from social pressures, negative media, commercialism and advertisements, temptations and unhealthy habits.

I don’t know about you, but I’m in need of some rest.

I think my days will be more productive. I think the children will be more productive. And I think our relationships will be enhanced by disconnecting from the web and reconnecting with life.

Recently I searched to see if anybody else was as crazy as I was, and found an article that encouraged me and made me feel like I’m on the right path with this decision: Killing Home Internet Is The Most Productive Thing I’ve Ever Done.

I’m looking forward to having more time for what’s truly important in life.

Here’s to the new year.

 

20 Comments »

  • Grandma Suzu says:

    Good job, Little Girl!!! I keep you, your family, and your Grandpa in my prayers.

    I havent had a tv in about 40 years or so, and dont have internet at home. I do use wifi for a tablet that is mostly for news and weather a couple times a week. I have so many interests, that it has never bothered me not having the ‘electronic umbilical cord.’ I’m afraid some of that may need to change, as my interest and hobby of artisan soapmaking is expanding to more sales. I’ve been told that I would be able to sell a lot more if I was online. I suppose that may be true, but I hate to be so plugged in, and especially hate the added expense, so may have to find alternative sales venues.

    I admire you for your gumption, and plugging into REAL life, with all its natural-ness, instead of the artificiality of technology. I, especially, think your kids will be the true beneficiaries of your action.

    Technology may have its place, but it can never REplace rolling in the grass, playing tag with your kids, climbing trees, making snow angels, time with Grandpa, and any other number of activities that are REAL and not virtual. I will continue praying for you all.

  • Melissa says:

    Wow, that is awesome, way to go!

  • Donna says:

    Kendra, I did the same thing back in 2011 and it was wonderful. I fouTund a lot more time to do things I enjoyed and were productive, like making soap, spinning yarn, knitting. Then I went back to work for the hospital and, since I work at home, I have to have internet service. So, here I am, doing the same thing you were doing but I’m trying to be more conscious of the fact that I’m doing it. One thing I want to do this new year is to get in the habit of, instead of turning on the computer the first thing in the morning, is to open my Bible and do my Bible reading for the day and the listen to the audio Daily Devotion that I am doing. Believe me, if I didn’t have to have it for my job I would cut myself off too. I never did turn back on the cable TV part of my cable service. I got a FireStick and watch my documentaries and YouTube videos on there. I think you made a wonderful choice, especially for your kids.

    • Kendra says:

      Donna,
      Today was my first full day home without internet and it was AWESOME. I got SO much done. I cleaned inside the oven for the first time in like five years (seriously), I did so much more with the kids, I got a ton of cleaning done, I even got outside a little (even though it was freezing cold!). I just felt so good about the way I spent my time today. I’m looking forward to getting a lot more done with my days. Thank you for your encouragement. I think starting your day in the Word is a great goal. Best wishes to you! (By the way, I’m at my grandfather’s house now (with internet) so I’m enjoying catching up on the comments here.)

  • james wade says:

    check out Ester Emerys new book , what falls from the sky

  • Lizzie says:

    This is inspiring! We took our first step to stop our TV access three years ago and we enjoyed the nature and home decorating shows SO much I wasn’t sure how that would all work out but it was the VERY BEST thing we’ve ever done and I instantly didn’t miss any of it and replaced it with personal growth and healing type blogs and podcasts on my computer! We still have Internet access and Netflix………guess we have to do everything in baby steps for the best success at it. At some point in the too near future, we may be forced as a civilization to get back to basics and nature totally anyway – a cleansing of sorts…….

    I’ve loved your site and ideas and inspiration for these past few years. I’m over 60 and admire you for all that you’ve accomplished already in your young life.
    May you and your family be richly blessed in 2017!

    Lizzie

    • Kendra says:

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Lizzie. Ditching tv back in 2008 made a HUGE difference in our lives, and really brought about a ton of personal growth and change. I’m thinking ditching the internet will have the same positive impact. Blessings to you in the coming year as well.

  • Sara K says:

    I plugged the internet plug a year ago.

    One of the best things I ever did! 🙂 My time online still happens, but it’s a bit of a hassle to pack up the small laptop, the cord, and journey to the common spaces in this neighborhood that offer free wifi. And those free wifi spots – well, the internet doesn’t always work there either.

    Last month, I gave up my iPad. That was hard. I recycled it with Apple. I played a few games on it and sometimes watched a few tv programs.

    So now we are without Infinity (Comcast redid their set up so you must be on THEIR provided wifi at home to watch the majority of their shows or on a mobile device to watch a limited number of shows. My friend had given me access to his account because he felt that no one should have to live without cable, even if they couldn’t afford it.).

    So now we are without wifi.

    So now we are without an iPad.

    I still have a smart phone, but I do NOT have very much data on the plan, so the data stays off but for an occasional turn on. I can’t even check email on my phone (it’s not set up to check email).

    I go for walks, I cook, I listen when my son calls to chat, I clean a bit more, I go through my cookbooks for recipes…and life is good. Very good. 🙂

    Congrats on getting rid of the internet!! I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I have.

  • Amy says:

    Yay Kendra!! Way to be accountable for your own life and family! We “unplug” on the Sabbath. It’s something you have to detox from, but it is delightful to be purposeful in your life again too. As you can see, I’m not there yet. We like to listen to the audio Bible while eating breakfast. We use YouTube for
    Praise & Worship We have an online notebooking subscription for Homeschool.
    We also do all of our “business” online. We look up ” Learning things” nearly daily. I got off Facebook a while back ago, and that helped a lot. But, I think that little black rectangle can become an idol easily. Perhaps something we need to pray about. I am motivated to be more disciplined/ intentional in my Internet appetite. Please update in a few months on this exciting new journey of yours. Hugs!

  • Jessica K. says:

    Good luck Kendra!! I think that is wonderful! I kind of now wish I could do the same, lol 🙂 I have always thought life would be better if we didn’t have internet, but unfortunately I don’t think this is in our future anytime soon. My kids also do their schooling online and as of right now we don’t have another way to access the internet. I guess I will just have to be more intentional about not getting online. It is HARD!! I don’t even do anything on social media at all and I STILL find myself sucked into a whole bunch of stuff! It is my own fault but I need to work harder on not getting sucked in. Good for you and God Bless you all and I hope your grandfather is doing well!

    • Kendra says:

      Jessica,
      Honestly, if we didn’t have somewhere else to go that had internet, we couldn’t disconnect at home. As much as it’s a love/hate thing with the web, we still need it to run our businesses, and all of Jada’s middle school curriculum is online. I’m really grateful for the situation we are in right now. My husband helps me take care of my grandpa, so we take turns caring for him around the clock. One of us is always with my grandpa while the other is at home with the kids. In the evenings we get together for dinner as a family, and then we trade places so that we get equal time at home. It feels good to be able to devote myself 100% to the family when I’m home, and I can work and get online when I have downtime hanging with grandpa. 🙂

  • Charlotte Moore says:

    How is your grandfather doing? Do you still have to stay as much as you were with him?

    May you be blessed with a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous 2017.

    • Kendra says:

      Thank you for asking about him, Charlotte. My grandfather is doing well health-wise, but the Alzheimer’s is slowly progressing. My husband and I are caring for him around the clock throughout the week, with breaks on the weekends. It has been a blessing in so many ways to be able to care for him during this time. It’s kinda scary too, ’cause there’s so much uncertainty. He’s starting to have a hard time lifting one of his feet, so he drags it often which causes him to stumble at times. I’m so afraid he’s going to fall, especially coming down the stairs. We have to watch him carefully. Every day I wonder if this will be the day that something sends him to the hospital. I just pray he’s able to stay well and at home for a very long time. He’s happy at home.

  • Ronnica says:

    I have not had internet at home at 2 different periods in recent history. I totally understand…the internet can be such a time suck! I want to live every moment purposefully.

  • Andi says:

    🙂 I can so RELATE! LIFE is only lived once… today’s to do’s are tomorrows memories. LIVE Girl!!!

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