Lately I’ve been reevaluating my decision to cancel my Internet connection at home. While I made a sensible choice, there are times when I miss it. I always think it’s good to question one’s self, so I’m going to go ahead and make a blog post out of my dilemma. As I’m trying to look at all of the sides of the issue, I’m going to play the “On one hand/On the other hand” game.
On one hand, I can more easily afford it now. With my new position at work came a raise. I may be fooling myself with exactly how much, considering that I’ve been getting overtime the last few weeks. Nevertheless, should any other argument win me over, I don’t have to worry about making monthly payments anymore.
On the other hand, I still have a hard time justifying the cost. The truth is, I could have afforded my Internet connection when I had it disconnected. It was hard but not impossible. But even so, eighty dollars a month didn’t feel worth it to me. Besides, I got a new phone and upgraded my phone’s plan, so if I did sign back up for the Internet through Comcast (and got the same rate as before), I’m paying more altogether. I think I’d rather spend that difference on records, concerts, books, movies… you get the idea.
On one hand, I can use the Internet for research, keeping myself informed and publishing my work online. In other words, I can use the Internet for my more intellectual and artistic endeavors. I thought I’d be able to view the news on my phone, and I can, but the connection is really slow at home. The Town of Kittery still has not put up an adequate tower for cell phone surface in my area. With the Internet on my computer I could get constant updates via RSS and Twitter feeds in a timely fashion. It’s also much easier to publish my e-books through Amazon on my computer (although I’ll admit that I haven’t researched an app for my phone that allows me to do the same thing).
On the other hand, I used the Internet to distract me more than anything else when I was supposed to be working. Whenever I would get stuck with writer’s block, instead of working my way through it I ended up surfing the web. I still distract myself with my phone but to a lesser extent (again, the slow connection comes into play). It’s not so hard now for me to keep working. Sure, I have all sorts of media in my apartment that I could pick up if I’m stuck on a writing project—but that would involve actually getting up and going over to it. The Internet was the right amount of minimal effort to keep me from getting anything done.
On one hand, I miss some of the entertaining aspects of the Internet. I enjoyed staying up late at night when I didn’t have to work the next morning, watching videos and discovering obscure bands online. I loved checking out all of the fan-created websites dedicated to entertainment franchises I dork out about myself. The Internet can be fun.
On the other hand, I can’t say that I was getting that much out of such things as I thought I was. My above arguments about distracting myself would apply here as well. Instead of enriching myself through watching new movies or books, I was hitting “Random Link” on a favorite Transformers wiki site over and over again. Besides, I can still find out about obscure bands and such through more traditional means, such as actually getting out into the world.
Believe me, as I wrote the above debate I still struggled with the problem. In the end, I convinced myself that my decision was correct, especially when it comes to the question of cost. I can still go out to coffee shops with my laptop, or if I really want to cut costs, the library. My old laptop battery limits the time I can spend each time, but that problem can be fixed. I may not be able to lull myself to sleep with videos dedicated to video games, but if I really want to do something online via my computer and a fast connection I can wait until I go out for breakfast some weekend morning.