My week of tweet nothings

By Cari Rosen, July 24, 2012
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I wouldn't like to say that I'm totally addicted to the internet but, thinking back, I really should admit that there have been occasional times when I've been sitting right next to my husband in front of the telly and I've emailed him to ask whether he will be in for dinner the following night.

And actually, yes, whenever my husband does or says anything, he immediately follows it with the entreaty: "And don't tweet that".

Ach, while we're on a roll, yes, yes, I will admit to the fact that most nights I start going to bed at least two hours before I turn off the light, distracted time and again by people's status updates on Twitter or trending topics - and that I often dream in hashtags.

Or that when I'm not writing blogs, I'm reading them. And that I spend more time conversing online in a day than I do chatting on the telephone in a week. Or possibly a month. Or two.

How would I cope with going cold turkey?

So, I wondered, how would I cope with going cold turkey and spending an entire week without wi-fi, seven whole days without a dongle? The odds weren't great.

Day one. Arrive at airport. Furtively check emails then tweet a few people for support before switching off data roaming. Have smart phone surgically removed from hand. Spend flight tapping at the table with my typing fingers.

Drive to middle of nowhere. No phone signal unless lying on the chest of drawers. No internet access unless standing very, very still in a tiny corner of a flower bed. Resist urge to check emails. Uncork a bottle of red that tastes more like a vintage Palwin than the fancy label suggests and open a book.

Finish book. Finish wine. No longer care about checking Facebook.

Day two. See sunshine for first time in several miserable, rain-soaked months. Far too busy basking to worry about email.

Day three. Fall head over heels with newborn lamb. Resist urge to tweet: "I am in love with a sheep" - which, in retrospect, is probably a good thing.

Day four. Another good book. Surface occasionally to smile at husband or hug small child (on the rare occasions we can persuade her to leave the swimming pool). But otherwise far too engrossed to care that smartphone is idling in a drawer.

Day five. But what if… decide may be prudent to do brief check in case of important messages.

Stand on one leg in lavender bush leaning slightly towards the east and find a signal. Inbox quickly fills up. Realise can't face reading any of it and go back to book.

Day six. Revelling in life of sun, sheep and sandals and have no desire to go online, ever again.

Day seven. Land at Stansted in pouring, freezing rain. Catch sight of forecast for week ahead. Put on winter clothes, buy umbrella - and reconnect.

This really is no weather for cold turkey. Although a nice steaming bowl of chicken soup would probably go down a treat with a tweet or two.

    Last updated: 3:45pm, July 24 2012