For my next act, I will sit down and write. I will write about writing. I will write about the internet. And then, I will post my writing on the internet.
It begins with a physiotherapist named Miffy. Miffy has been twisting me into knots for over two years now, and Alhamdulillah, her multi-disciplinary pretzel-making skills have been keeping my wonky right leg and my wobbly back in working order. It has taken me two years, however, to learn one amazing thing about Miffy: Miffy does not have internets at home. Not a single one.
I learned this two days ago, and if I hadn’t been mashed face-down into the therapy table, I think my jaw would have dropped off and hit the floor. Miffy doesn’t have an internet connection at her house.
She doesn’t use the internet recreationally.
When she wants to get in touch, she calls.
When she is bored, she goes somewhere.
When she wants to read, she picks up a book. A real one, with pages and everything!
Instead of LOLcats and Reddit, she fills her time with tennis, friends, and the obsolete cultural artifact known as a “Life.”
I was awed.
Then, I was embarrassed. Here is a woman who lives without the internet, and here is me beginning every topic www and ending with dot com. I saw an interesting documentary… on youtube. I read an article I wanted to share- on whatever.com. Some cat in a sock made me laugh. Then there was this video and they were all like “Windmill cookies!” This whole time Miffy has been listening and laughing politely, but I now know she has zero intention of going home and looking up Tard the Grumpy Cat. Why? because she has zero internet at home. And she is not going to be getting any anytime soon. Why? Because Miffy is smarter than I am.
Now, we get to writing.
In the past, people have asked me why I haven’t written any new stories since I have been married. I’ve always said that with the kids, I don’t have enough time to write. However, I think the answer may not be the addition of children as much as it was the addition of unlimited internet when I moved in with HF. I have three children and a job, but I have no lack of ideas and no lack of the desire to write. What I lack is the willpower to free myself from living in the internet.
I know this because I seem to have about two hours a day after the kids go to bed during which I find lots of time to do things like Reddit. If I wrote for two hours a day for just a month, I’d be halfway done with the behavior analysis book for Muslim parents that I’ve mentally written a few times already.
Once upon a time, I didn’t live on the internet. I spent my time doing other things- blogging. Writing. Gaming. Stories. Articles. Poems. Reading Qur’an. Exercising. Cooking. Sewing. Friends. You know. Life?
The internet was something I sat down and did with a purpose- I needed a recipe, or I needed to email a friend, or I needed to find a handout to teach plosive consonants, or I wanted to find out more information about a hadith I read somewhere. That was all once upon a time. Now, I don’t even use the internet for personal email. I am in touch with almost no friends. I spend my day working and being Momma, and my nights drowning in youtube and the next funniest thing in the world for five whole minutes. Admittedly, I watch a lot of documentaries, but just because they’re a “smart” waste of time doesn’t make them less of a waste of time.
In the past I have cut back my internet usage. I officially did tawbah from websitewithprofanitylacedbutfascinatingarticles.com. I also swore off that website where people write their secrets on postcards. I’ve restricted what websited I go to by content, but I’ve never tried to make myself stop using the internet recreationally. Or rather, purposelessly. I think I need to try that. I don’t think I’ll be able to live without the internet entirely, but I know I would lead a much richer, realer life if I spent my time with purpose.
On the plus side, I don’t need to worry about Miffy ever reading this. You know, because she doesn’t do internet?
In any case, three cheers for Miffy, who can make my spine snap crackle and pop more than a bowl of rice crispies, and whose mature use of her time has opened my eyes. You guys can thank her for this blog entry too. And thank Allah for every minute we’re alive, and ask for His help in spending it wisely. Ameen.