Being Connected Forever
I have been connecting to the Internet since the mid to late 1980s. First with a dial-up modem. Using Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) and around 1990 a CompuServe account. The latter introduced me to email.
In 2006 a fixed wireless account (WISP) ended my dependency on dial-up and provided me the ability to always be connected online.
Back in those days only one computer was being used in the house. In that respect life was “simpler.” These days I have several online forum accounts. My primary online tether is email.
I am not immune to the challenges of being connected to the world 24/7. I have read many articles online about related mental health dangers. I am aware of the addictive traits of being connected 24/7. I take steps to reduce that influence.
An important step is not pretending the world stops spinning if I am not in continual contact with everybody.
The phone ringer is disabled between 9 PM and 9 AM.
I shut down computers at night.
I do not use online chat or instant messaging tools. I never liked them and find them intrusive and annoying. During past work contracts I closed any company chat tools. A telephone, email, and face-to-face contact is sufficient.
I never bought the illusions of social media and never have had any related accounts.
I never developed the perception that just because emails travel around the world in seconds that I must reply immediately or expect a reply within minutes.
At work I manage Linux systems. Most of my work is remote and at home I receive related email alerts throughout the day. To reduce the challenges of being connected 24/7, I segregate personal and work emails with two different Thunderbird profiles. At the end of the work day I close the work profile.
I am fairly good at ignoring distractions such as email, but sometimes when I need to focus on my office desktop I close the Thunderbird work profile.
Often I think about not needing the work profile. About terminating some of the online accounts. Without the daily noise life would be extraordinarily peaceful and quiet. I like the idea and look forward to that day.