I have a mobile phone contract with a provider in Greece which gives me 600 MB of data (Internet access) per month. That's definitely not enough for what I want, so a week ago I added 5GB for 5 Euros, good for about two weeks - a special offer. Yesterday, six days later my access was down to just over 1GB, so I decided to update my blog. When I was done, I checked again - 0 GB, 0 MB, 0 kb left. Nada, nothing, tipota.
When there is nothing left, the phone company charges huge amounts for anything above and beyond what you have paid for. Very dangerous. So, I decided to call the 24 hours help line to ask for more. They put me on hold! What will I do! After waiting what seemed like hours, I put the phone down and resolved to call again in the middle of the night when the lines would be less likely so busy. But, no luck, I slept through the night like a baby.
In the morning, I decided that this was a good time to see if I am an Internet addict. Could I live one day, 24 hours without it? Here is what I found.
At first, I longed to check my messages: email, Facebook, WhatsUp, Messenger. What have I been missing since last night? Who has messaged me? And what about the news and the weather report? I know I could look outside and see whether it's raining or sunny but I wanted to see it online! And news... What is Trump up to today?
The other side of the problem was - what will I do all day? With my leg still in a cast I couldn't move much to escape. Not easy if I tried - uneven surface covered with gravel all around - better to stay put than risk re-injuring myself. I had food and water - no excuses. And of course, I still had my mobile for any emergencies.
Next, I meditated and did my brain exercises: Klondike, Spider (two suits), FreeCell, Pyramid, and Trypeaks until I got all of them right. I gave up on Klondike after five tries. These were followed by Sudoku (Hard) and Block Dominoes (Hard Bot). I gave up on hard bot dominoes after four tries and settled on the medium one which I won on the first try. My brain well exercised, I returned to the problem at hand - what to do all day.
I could do some physical exercises, perhaps Yoga, but with a broken leg, now how smart is that - I get enough exercise just hopping on one leg to make coffee. I almost forgot about the Internet, or lack of it while I was busy with my exercises and meditation but an hour later I was done and the ache returned.
I decided to make breakfast and satisfy if not one ache than another. A salami, mushroom omelet did the job adequately and while I was cooking, I thought of an idea for an article I wanted to write. Creativity returning? A writer unblocked perhaps? I returned to Klondike to mull this over as I ate.
Someone should invent an addictive game that actually accomplishes something, such as a book. Must speak to my son, who writes games for a living about this once I have Internet again. Ah, perhaps that's too important an idea to delay until tomorrow? I resisted and returned to Sudoku. I had won the hard version, so next, I successfully completed the extra hard one. Just to exercise my brain a bit more, mind you.
It was 8:30 by the time I finished my brain exercises, an offline email to my son and breakfast - I still had most of the day ahead of me. I looked around and noticed the wool hat I had recently knit. It needed a pom-pom out of the leftover wool. With the scarf, I had another Christmas present completed.
But I was still anxious - most of my friends would be up. What were they doing? What news did they have? What photos did they post? I was getting desperate. And if they didn't see me online, would they begin to worry? Would they call? And what if they didn't notice? I could be dead!
Soon the sun came out and I crawled out of my lair to enjoy its warmth and to eat a bowl of reheated veal stew. I also took the opportunity to do a bit of light sanding and put a coat of varnish on some teak trim and my newly renovated cockpit table. So, I was getting things accomplished. For a brief moment, I considered hobbling on my crutches to the community room where I could access free WiFi, but couldn't think of anything important that awaited. Perhaps I'll go on Sunday if it's not raining. Whoa!! Really?? I'm not keen to see who is online? That was a surprise.
After putting on a second coat of varnish in the afternoon, I did my Greek lesson and made some orange scented tea. I still felt the ache of wanting to go on the Internet and do something, anything even if it meant reading the news. But I knew the ache would pass and in fact started to think about not buying the extra GBs. I would save about 30 Euros a month - a nice sum to add to my boat yard bill. I had overspent during my four week holiday on Ibiza and now regretted it badly.
And so, more than three days have passed and I haven't missed Internet all that much. I've been knitting (finished a scarf and a hat, started another scarf), sanding, varnishing, reading, sorting photos, cooking and writing. One friend even called to check up on me. I decided to catch up on Internet once a week. That should be enough although, I suspect I might start longing for it again. Like an alcoholic who thinks he has his addiction under control and has just one drink. Serious stuff!