I can remember my first time ever using the web. I was in high school and my mother had to drive me to a neighbor’s house so I could use it for a school assignment. Not only did we not have a dial-up connection in our own home, the next closest person we knew who had the Internet lived far enough away that we had to drive to get there.
Those were the days.
Casey practically lives on the Internet and it used to be worse. There were a couple years in our marriage where we didn’t talk to each other because my face was firmly planted in front of the TV and Casey’s face and mind were firmly planted in front of her laptop. Before we got the Internet usage under control, there were times at night where we would be sitting in the same room, but we’d have our conversations through a chat service. After this contributed to nearly destroying our marriage, the amount of time we spend on the Internet has been reduced.
But it’s a difficult balance to strike when one spouse is entirely dependent on the Internet to make a living. And the other spouse has to rely on the Internet here and there in order to be successful in his or her career. That’s our life. Casey has to be on the Internet for her job and I often have to connect to my work server while at home in order to respond to urgent emails or prepare for difficult trials.
However, we’ve tried to reserve a few hours each night where we can spend time with each other without the Internet there to interrupt. There will still be the occasional Twitter check, chat response, and Instagram update, but for the most part that is time reserved for just Casey and me.
There is one spot, however, where I have laid down a firm rule that there is no Internet allowed unless it is absolutely necessary. So far my rule has been met with a bit of reluctance, but I’ve held firm that I am not the family chauffeur.
When we’re in the car, the kids are usually in the back playing their little games. Casey has a smart phone with Internet capability and it is the perfect time and place for her to lose herself in the interweb world. With the kids doing their thing and Casey lost in the interwebs, that leaves me as the chauffer who drives the family from destination to destination with little to interaction with anyone else in the car. Might as well put up a glass window and call me James. (Aren’t chauffers usually named James?)
I refuse to be the only one unable to interact with another human while we’re all in the car together. Plus, the car seems to be such a good place to have good conversations with my wife and it would be a waste of that time if one of us had our mind buried in the Internet.
And that’s why I’ve created a no internet zone in our car. And I’m sticking to it.
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