So I just got back, last Tuesday, from a ten day voyage to a fairly remote and undeveloped Asian country. Partly business, partly vacation, overall it was a fabulous trip.
For the duration, I was almost completely disconnected from the online world. My mobile phone didn't work in this country. Searching out the rare cyber-cafe, I was able to pick up my business email twice (in ten days!) but for privacy reasons I didn't dare access my Lisabet Sarai accounts. (The country in question also happens to be quite conservative.) As for my blogs, well, forget it. There wasn't a chance. Even if I hadn't been concerned about confidentiality, the Internet was slow enough that Blogger would have been totally unusable.
The funny thing was - I barely missed the 'Net. I'd expected difficulties in getting online, and had prepared myself ahead of time for the fact that I'd be mostly out of touch. I'd pre-scheduled all my blog posts. I'd gone no-mail on my Yahoo groups. I'd warned everyone, in both my "real" life and my Lisabet world, that I'd be mostly inaccessible.
And then, I let go. I sailed through the days, enjoying the journey - immersed in new sensations, gathering new knowledge, freed from the burden of maintaining my digital persona. Of course, there might have been various emergencies exploding (I did get a new cover, and several frantic messages from blog tour hosts), but there was nothing I could have done about the fact in any case.
I learned a bit from this experience. I don't absolutely have to check my email every few hours. I don't have to read and comment on all my colleagues' posts. I don't have to suffer from cyber-slavery. The Internet will chug along perfectly well without me, and vice versa.
All right, I admit that the first thing I did upon returning was check my email.
Perhaps I need a longer disconnection next time!