DH and I were talking about the internet the other day. These days, it’s hard to “run out of internet.” There is so much of it to begin with, in addition to the social aspect, the interactive pieces, and the dangerous Bermuda triangle that is Wikipedia that it’s easy enough to waste away an afternoon just click-click-clicking.
When we first met, you could still quite easily “run out of internet.” If you ran out of questions you needed answered or topics to read up on, you were done. That, and there just wasn’t the sheer volume of content on the internet then that there is now, never mind any social media rabbit holes to fall down.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the internet. I work on it all day. I use it on my phone exponentially more often than I use my phone to actually call people. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been out with friends, someone has forgotten the name of a movie or street of a restaurant recommendation and the comment has been made: “You know, you have a phone for that. Look it up.”
I just wonder how much of our lives might be spent doing time-wasting things that don’t do anything or help us be anything. When I’m sixty, I won’t remember that funny meme I just saw. Or maybe I will. But I hope I have more memories of people and moments and adventures than I do of content I witnessed through a screen. (I’m rambling. Through a screen.)
However, I love gardening for how it roots me back down to what I do love about the internet. The blanket flowers bloom nearly year-round in my garden. They attract the honey and bumble bees, the birds and the butterflies. Recently, they attracted a new bee in a shiny black coat that I didn’t know. I pulled out my phone, searched, and learned right there in my garden – a carpenter’s bee.
Then, if I so desired, I could dig more deeply and possibly discover which of the 500 possible species of carpenter’s bee had paid a visit to my flower bed. Or not. (I chose not.)
The other sort of learning I love best about gardening, is the learning of discovery. Experiential knowledge has always stayed in my brain much more concretely than other sorts. I’d known about onions. I’d known about their blossoms. I’d known about their seeds. What I hadn’t known was how their blossoms transformed into seeds. Did the seeds come with parachutes like dandelions and lettuce? Did they come in shells akin to sunflowers? Nope. They grow in pods more like larkspur and flax. Now just to learn how to get onions from young sprout to sturdy start…
I could have written this post myself! The kids and I even took a picture of a carpenter bee that was in our garden a few weeks ago! I’m also trying to garden to escape the internet. I want to learn how to do things on my own…what if the internet was suddenly gone? How would we all survive? We’d actually have to go to the library to get books I guess 😉 I did the nasty deed of shutting down my Facebook account exactly 8 days ago. I was much easier than I thought it would be and I am wishing I did it long ago.
Wow! Hi 🙂 Did you actually delete your Facebook? I took the month of August off from Facebook and a few other things. I mostly miss seeing pictures of my niece and friends’ adventures and kids.
I slowly stocked the bookshelf with “if the internet died I could still grow and preserve food naturally” books. There’s also a library a quarter mile up the street.
Glad to’ve bumped into you on this thing we’re both trying to use less! 😉
Great post. I applaud you for ditching the face book. I too have ditched it and it is very liberating. I never noticed how much other people’s problems were weighing on me until I turned from that site and thus removed them from my constant view. We have also taken the step of ditching cable tv. That for sure is one mental toxin that I will not miss at all.
Nice! We had cable for three weeks a few years back. We watched one bad USA movie in that entire time and cancelled. Not to say we don’t watch too much TV. Between the antenna, Netflix, and the internet we still manage to watch more TV than I’d ideally like…changing habits is hard sometimes, no?
Oh very hard. We have Netflix as well. And often times I can fell it taking a bite out of productivity.
Did you notice how your bee gave you the same butt side my bee gave me in my last post?
If you have Netflix, you should queue up NatureDisney: Wings of Life. If you love bees, you will want to marry them after you watch that show. And hummingbirds. And bats. And butterflies…
I gave up Facebook. And cable. But I do love me some Wikipedia for quick answers to nagging questions (which I only take at face value, until I search some more). As for looking things up on my phone? Only when I’m riding in a car for 10 straight hours. ‘Cause it’s just fun.
PS — I enjoy WP because it hooks me up with goofy gardening sorts who love to build garden beds out of trash. Do you happen to know any? 🙂
I’m attached to my phone for work accessibility anyway, so looking things up on it is much more common than my laptop (because I don’t (generally) take the laptop into the garden.
It’s been interesting to watch Wikipedia “grow up.” It was entirely unreliable 15 years ago. These days I find it is usually spot on for the things I use it for.
And no, no goofy gardeners here…nope, none at all… 😉
Bahaha! Touch screens are the best thing to happen to the dirty dirty world I live in. Loving my Otterbox cover.
I’ll do that, thanks for the recommendation.
And yes, I did! Maybe they think it’s their “good side.”
The internet is a valuable tool for learning but learning by doing can be more fun.
Absolutely! It also seems that I retain it better if I learned it by doing it.
“never mind any social media rabbit holes to fall down”
I have been feeling that way lately….lol…I hope you stay the way you are since I am a bit older than you, and I remember the days when people would “talk” and not be glued to their phones. You are right, going to the garden is where I find peace and “disconnect” from all the social media of present day. I also ride my bike on the river every morning before I start my day and it slows my life down…seeing all the people and actually making conversation, not pushing buttons is so nice—nice post! robbie
That sounds like a refreshing bike ride! It’s odd how much of our lives we spend viewing and interacting with the world through a screen instead of directly looking at the world or spending time with others. I do wonder, if I hold my own against the tide as much as possible, how many people will there be that are also off-screen to hang out with? Time will tell.
We are constantly trying to differentiate between the useful or need to knows and the general clutter that is the internet aren’t we – constantly absorbing, rejecting, analysing and moving on.
And like you gardening anchors me to the now.
Your blanket flowers look like what I know as Helenium, but I could be marvellously wrong 🙂
Oooh, those are pretty! These are…gaillardia aristata according to my local ag website. It’s amazing how endless the “kind of a daisy” flower varieties can be.