When I moved into my apartment a year ago (really? a year? yep.), I decided not to get internet at home, as I was both poor and in need of as much serenity as I could find. To be honest, I've loved not having internet at home. I'm still poor, of course, but I'm now back in the land of wireless at home, for a variety of reasons.
Oddly, the things I missed most without it did not include the ability to look anything up at a moment's notice, or watching things via the internet. It became an easy routine to write things down, and look them up during a free moment at work, or during the next trip to the library, and with the Netflix DVD plan and an excellent public library system, I didn't miss out on movies or TV shows. Mostly, I missed listening to things. I have lots of good music on my computer, and the ability to listen to the radio via my iPod, but in the last few months I've really found myself yearning for the ability to stream back-to-back episodes of my favorite radio programs, and missing my Pandora stations with a passion. I could take my laptop to the library and download the most recent This American Life episode or one story at a time from The Moth, but I was getting a little greedier than that. (I'm still smart phone-free, so no ability to download things that way either).
I've also really missed being able to spend spare minutes on blogging and actually commenting on other peoples' blogs, rather than passively reading. I think this change will enable me to be a bit more active in that realm, although I'm pretty sure I've said things like that before, so we'll see. I have sorely missed the ability to take pictures, upload them, and put them straight into a post, without having to wait a day or five until the next library run.
Besides the desire to mix up my listening habits and reinvigorate my blog, the ability to job search from home will make a big difference these days (that job search...yeah. Slow and frustrating are the two adjectives that come to mind.). Lastly, and most self-indulgently, I will be having surgery this Friday (nothing too major, don't worry), and the idea of being laid up at home for a week or two with limited options for entertainment does not really appeal to me. Hence, internet.
Last, but certainly not least, I once again have the ability to Skype and Facetime with far-off friends, something I have very much missed.
I'm hopeful that the habits I've developed while living without internet at home will stick with me after this transition. Or, more accurately: I hope I will have the willpower to maintain my minimal internet habits from now on. I used to waste hours getting sucked into YouTube and Wikipedia when I could be active and productive, and I will be moving forward with the intention of using internet predominantly for listening, not watching (I can achieve so much while listening, but nothing while watching), and hopefully my main activities apart from email will be job searching, recipe and knitting pattern discovery, and blogging. I'm not setting up Netflix streaming, but just keeping the DVD plan. And while I usually watch movies in bed (I don't have a couch), the rule I'm setting for myself is that I can't use the internet while in bed, unless I am sick/laid up for some reason.
So, I found a basic wireless plan for $30 a month, received my router and set it up with minimal cursing but a week's delay as the company had to fix an outside cable, and I'm actually posting this from home.
It's been a good journey, this one. I much prefer my low-internet habits and outlook, and I feel so much better about life when time spent on the internet is for practical and intentional reasons, rather than the time suck of 'I'll just watch this one video' which then turns into another hour burned. We'll see how it goes this time around.