Letter #1: The first letters have arrived!

This is what greeted me in my mailbox this morning...

Isn't it great?  Julien was THRILLED to see real mail in our box, with real letters, to me!  He was a little dissapointed that he did not find his own name, spelled J-U-L-I-E-N on it, but was happy nonetheless.  There is something to be said for the weight of paper in your hand when you read a letter.  A real letter that was penned with ink faraway and made a journey across a nation to arrive in my mailbox (apparently a long one in this case... Christina wrote this one on January 3rd and it arrived in Vancouver on January 11th!)  I love how this message was so short yet so very sweet, a reminder of a grandmothers love and how powerful taking time to pick up the phone can be.  And here, a second letter, which was actually the first but the mailman didn't know and stuck them haphazardly in our box to be read in any order they so happened to be pulled out!

Tomorrow I will post the beautiful card and envelope that housed this little letter... tonight my eyes are falling shut too and my file has ceased to load.  

In this letter we see what my biggest issue with going offline would be... LOSING CRAIGSLIST!!  In all seriousness this would be a major concern in my life.  I am the self-appointed Queen of Craigslist.

Anyways, here I am, exhausted from the first days of my new teaching contract, sick with one of a million high school viruses, and yet wanting so deeply to sit and take a moment to reflect on this internet fast.  I have been thinking about it constantly... as I walk the boys to the park, cook dinner, read Facebook for the fiftieth time that day... just in case I missed something!  (I mean honestly, you never know what people might post as their profiles in the last five minutes... right?)  Where have we come from and where are we going as a technological people?  I think about it as it relates to education.  My fears of this next generation of students who cannot seem to focus long enough to read a textbook or write their answers in full sentences on a piece of loose leaf paper.  They beg to listen to their iPods while they read during Silent Reading and look at me like I stepped out of a historical fiction novel when I tell them, "No.  It is SILENT reading... which means you need to read in silence." 

What would it mean to give up the internet for one month?  Would I feel completely disconnected, unplugged, alone in my reality of concrete daily life?  Or would it be liberating... I will not be seeing first hand what it would mean, but I am looking forward to reading snippets of Christina's journey long the way.

Check in again tomorrow - we have only received two of eight sent letters!


  1. I think this so interesting and empowering. I'm lucky to not be a real fan of facebook; however the fast has truely been getting me thinking and really trying to monitor my internet activity and what i use it for. Looking forward to reading more letters.

  2. I get a kick out of the contradiction of practising an internet fast while posting about it on the internet! A lovely contradiction, mind you ... as life is.

    I was a very prolific letterwriter, since childhood, until email took its place. My handwriting suffered, and I never send or receive snail mail anymore. But I also don't face the disappointment of not finding anything in the mailbox; on the internet, there is always some communication to be had. Not always the most satisfying communication, but it has its own merits. The internet is a handy tool.

    That said, it's a tool that needs to be set up on the shelf once in a while if I don't want it to take over my life. I am trying to take back my control of my time because I find that when I'm at the computer the day can disappear and leave me with nothing to show for it. For more than a decade I've been coming with my coffee to the computer first thing in the morning to check email, read favourite blogs, newsletters, and so on. Unfortunately that often leads to spending the entire day in front of the computer (I work at my desk in the afternoons), and that is just not healthy. Or satisfying.

    Changing that habit is harder than it sounds, and I'm not 100% successful yet, but I'm working at it and I do find that when I manage to stay away from the desk in the mornings, I feel a hell of a lot better about my day in general. I get more done— things that matter to me— to feel good about. I feel like I've lived more life to write about -- if that makes sense to you, as I think it will to all writers. And with luck my ass won't get any wider from parking it in this chair!