We have no wifi at home. In fact, I am sitting outside a restaurant to post this quickly before heading home because I have been on the ocean all day. (I am not complaining.)
We disconnected unintentionally. Chris and I didn’t deliberately plan to live offline for over a year and a half. We planned on getting internet as soon as we had electricity.
We are rethinking it now that the solar power system will be installed soon.
Intentional and unintentional connections and disconnections.
After doing some reading on the brain development, especially in teens, it’s amazing how synaptic connections work. From about twelve years old to twenty-four years old, there is a ton of pruning. The connection is reinforced wherever you place your attention. The rest gets hacked away. It’s a complete renovation happening in the brain at the time which explains the emotional fluctuations.
For adults, we can still re-wire. We can’t do the massive renovation that happens in adolescence but we can loosen some hardwired connections. When we focus on something, we reinforce the connection. Where the attention flows, the connection grows.
As Mary Oliver says:
”Attention is the beginning of devotion.”
In one of my favourite books, Upstream, Mary Oliver says on the first page:
In the beginning I was so young and such a stranger to myself I hardly existed. I had to go out into the world and see it and hear it and react to it, before I knew at all who I was, what I was, what I wanted to be. Wordsworth studied himself and found the subject astonishing. Actually what he studied was his relationship to the harmonies and also the discords of the natural world. That’s what created excitement.
When we are strangers to ourselves, we expand and venture out – to connect with who we really are through interacting with the world and through what we pay attention to.
I choose to be careful with how I focus my time on the Internet especially not having it at home.
For me, connection on the Internet means a FaceTime call with my daughter or reaching out to friends on social media, or showing up here. Unintentional connection to the Internet leads to unintended focus that leaves an imprint.
What is it that we want to connect to and disconnect from? What are you paying attention to?
Pick one or some…
- Can you remember the days when you didn’t have 24/7 online access? What were they like?
- What do you want to connect to and disconnect from?
- Copy the quote above.
- Track your online usage today vs being outside.