What I have learned from a forced absence from the Net

by Donna Fontenot September 29th, 2006 

Being forced to be offline for so long, with only the occasional dialup access, I've learned a few things.

1. No matter how much things change, not much really changes. Sure, over the past few weeks, there have been a ton of announcements about new products, etc. from the search engines, but for those of us in the SEO world, what has really changed? Nothing, really. Why then is it necessary to follow every single little thing that happens on a minute by minute basis? Answer: It is not necessary at all.

2. Most people still don't get it. The average Joe has no clue what we do.

Most of my family and friends still think I've just been playing on the Net all these years, and don't have a "real" job. So, being offline is no big deal. After all, I wasn't really working when I was online (they believe), so being offline makes no difference.

Then, there's those few people who got that I was actually making a living online, and now think that I need to apply for unemployment since I'm offline. They don't get that my sites continue to make money with or without me. Sure, I'd like to be able to be more in control of how much they make, by being on top of it all, but being offline doesn't cut off the flow completely. They don't get that.

3. I need to find a nice balance in my life. For the past few weeks, I've been mostly retired, spending lots of time watching the grass grow and the donkeys graze. I've missed my time on the Net, but I've also enjoyed having some real free time. When I get access again (supposedly on October 12th), I need to spend less time on the Net than I used to, and more time in semi-retirement. That is, after all, part of my goal in moving out here to the boonies. I think this time that I've been forced to live without the Net has helped to ease me into that transition.

Have you ever been forced to be offline for an extended period of time? What lessons did you learn from it?

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7 Responses to “What I have learned from a forced absence from the Net”

  1. Joe Dolson says:

    In the last 6 months, I've had a couple of periods of being forced offline. One of the interesting things I learned was that my ability to research and communicate without being online had been seriously compromised! I no longer a) owned a phone book, b) had a library card, or c) had any envelopes, stamps, or other devices for sending letters…

    I'd just gotten out of the habit of doing things the "old-fashioned" way…

    Now, that's all rectified. I've got a phone book, a library card, and – wait – I'm not sure I have any stamps… ;)

  2. holidays..

    My hol = no net.. or else it not a hol..

    I remeber you answering a post or 2 of mine when I've just got back DD.. I often ask in forums.. "so whats happened in the last 2 weeks"

    At present I see no net as "retirement" ;)

    I really learn
    net = income
    income = hols + food + house + car
    no net = a different life (which I try for a few weeks a year only)
    :D

  3. earlpearl says:

    I was offline for a week recently. Read a lot. Son of gun…..there are some good books out there.

  4. robert paulson says:

    I've had a couple times where I just kinda snapped and couldn't even look at my computer for a couple weeks. Felt like it was sucking the life out of me.

    I'm finding that I don't keep up with almost any blogs anymore (but I do keep up w/ yours. ;) ) – same old blah-blah at most of 'em, anyway. Gotta just get down to the work part of the work.

    Glad to hear things are pretty relaxing out there.

    Enjoy.

  5. seorock says:

    I was on a vacation a month back for about 15 days, and I should say I really needed a break from work, spending about 12 to 16 hours a day on the internet is way too much distressful.

  6. Ben Wilks says:

    Totally agree with your there Donna.

    Often a good break can help you get a perspective on things and where your time is best spent.

    The most time I have been offline this year was less than a few days so I really can't talk. But a lot can be said for only using the computer to make money and sorting work and play from each other.

    Then it can be scary how much ROI you can get back off your time.

    – Ben

  7. [...] LifeDev has a fascinating post that echoes Donna's sentiments about being taken offline. He suggests that by shutting off the computer at 6pm and not revisiting it before 9am the next day, one might actually get more accomplished. Great idea, but not something I'll be testing anytime soon. My addiction is far, far too strong. [...]