Yikes, No Internet!

About this time last Spring I was gearing up for another fun filled summer at New River. We have a camper that we leave there year round, but the winters are so cold in the mountains of The Blue Ridge that mid to late October we have to winterize our little home on wheels, wave good-bye, and close it up until the spring thaw.

Other things were going on at this same time last year too. I was working with my computer guru, Neil Brown at Brown Advertising. We were busy setting up my Go Daddy account, posting reviews, and installing spam filters. Plus all the other stuff that goes into the design of a new website. My first novel was going to be published in the fall so in preparation for it?s debut there was much to do. Website, Facebook, Twitter, and hours and hours Skypeing with Lucky Press marketing lady, Shelby Isaacson, whose company is called NuChapter Marketing. She was my slave driver for three or so months last Spring. Every week she?d give me a new list of things to do. ?Social marketing? is what it?s called. So to succeed in this new endeavor you have to ?be social.? You spend hours on Facebook checking out profiles, finding old friends and trying to make new ones. Accomplishing this without the Internet is impossible!

Last year this was a major concern for me. Would I be able to use the Wifi at the campground? Was my camper too far away from the router? It was a pretty interesting time trying to connect. First I sat down at the kitchen table in the camper, no service. Then I moved to the deck outside, again no luck. But I found out that if I?d sort of hung over the deck and pointed my laptop toward the campground store where the router is, then waa-laa? connection! Once I?d linked to the network I could then move inside or to one of the rocking chairs on the porch. Many times the connection dropped and I?d have to go through the entire hanging over the rail process again, but you just have to do? what you have to do in this old world to get your Internet connection.

Last summer I spent many hours on that porch. Doing all the homework that Shelby gave me. I missed a lot of socializing with my old friends and neighbors at the campground, the ones I could see, feel and touch. I didn?t catch as many bass or red eyes either while fishing for Internet friends. I lost touch with some things that really meant a lot to me like the peacefulness of doing nothing, the endless quietness, moments when I could shut down my brain and think of nothing but the present, the here and now.

I?ve learned much this past year. One realization is this: Writing a novel is easy peazy; it?s all the stuff afterward promoting it that?s hard. This past Saturday when I tried to connect to the wide world web at the campground, no luck. I tried inside the camper and hanging over the deck rail. Then I went straight up to the porch of the store, plopped down at one of the picnic tables and mashed the start button. My little searching bars spun up and down, up and down, but again no luck. After several tries I realized that the storeowner probably wouldn?t have the router up and running until the campground officially opens on April 1st.

Last year I would have panicked. I probably would have packed up and went home to my very own high-speed hook-up. But this year no, I am learning that life goes on if I don?t get on Facebook for a day? or two. I don?t have to respond to each and every comment someone makes about my post, even though my personality would like to. I have realized that the world will not stop turning if I don?t have an Internet connection for the weekend, now I have a different opinion about my cell phone, but that?s another story.

The point of this blog is: We should not let all this technology stuff blind us to the real world. Yes, I?ve made over 1800 friends this past year. We?ve shared our successes and failures. We?ve laughed and cried together, prayed for each other and shared our dreams. I cherish my new friends and especially some old buddies I have re-connected with. But we must take the blinders from our eyes and see the whole world. The brightness of the sun, the moon as it spins around the earth, and the stars as they twinkle, forever guiding us on our way. If that Internet had been up and running this past weekend I might have missed the new sprouts of the Hostas as it peeked out from under the pine needles out back of the camper. Or felt the sun on my face as I took time to explore the shoreline of New River looking for Suckers on their spring run up river. The sounds and smells of the earth as it comes to life can completely disappear from our sight if we are too busy to look around.

While spending time with our newly found friends on Facebook, we must not forget our friends and neighbors who are only a stones throw from our door. When I say Yikes, no Internet! I should be saying? Yippee, no Internet! But only for a few days at a time, please.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Glynis Smy March 22, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Never a truer word spoken!

It is so easy to get caught up in the ‘I must’ of the Internet.

Taking a step back every now and then, renews our vision of what is happening around us. And when we plug back in-our friends are still there. :)

Enjoy your fishing.

Shauna Kelley March 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Yippee, no Internet?
You know, when it goes down, it does give me time to read… but otherwise the concept terrifies me!!

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