We talk about the word “wireless” like it’s freedom. The ability to stay connected without a physical line. What a dream.

But real freedom is found in disconnecting. In stepping away from the keyboard. In not knowing what’s trending on Twitter. In not reading your Facebook feed. In letting your inbox pile up.

(In filling your lungs with cool fresh air. In crunching the dewy dying leaves underfoot. In watching the sun slowly sink below the horizon.)

That definition of freedom is something I forget time and time again. Fortunately, I’m reminded of it time and time again, too. (Usually when I’m forced to, by travel or other circumstances.)

On a related note, Sherrie Peterson recently shared a great anecdote about jars. Empty jars, and what we choose to fill them with. Perhaps obviously, it’s a metaphor about priorities.

In my heart, my priorities are very clear. But do my daily activities reflect them? Am I free to follow my passions, or am I a slave to the invisible wire?

Only I can answer those questions. And answer them I must. Each and every day.

9 responses to “Wireless, freedom, priorities, choices”

  1. Anthony Lee Collins Avatar

    Losing my Internet access for over a week was a reminder about this, I also think it’s important to keep in mind which connections we think are really important.

    I’m not on Twitter and I spend less and less time on Facebook (though it was useful for checking in with family after the hurricane). I try to focus on the things which really suit me, not just the ones everybody else is on.

    That makes it easier to limit the time and energy I expend in that direction.

  2. Shari Avatar

    You know, as frustrating as it was to lose power after the hurricane – and as isolated as I felt not being able to watch the news coverage of the storm – the computer break was actually refreshing. I’d printed out a couple chapters beforehand to edit by hand, and I did, free of distractions. I read, I played Scrabble by candlelight instead of Words with Friends on Facebook, I spent time with my family instead of working so much. Disconnected from technology, yes, but connected in other, more important ways. :)

  3. Laura Avatar

    So true. I find that we don’t start living the lives that our hearts tell us we want to live until we remember to recognize what our hearts want every day. Often I find myself constantly looking ahead while forgetting to enjoy the “now.” And often that lost time is taken up with the internet…Thanks as always thoughtful musings!

  4. Kristan Avatar

    There’s definitely a usefulness to social media that I appreciate. But yeah, it’s all about what’s genuine, what’s a good fit, and what doesn’t drain too much time/energy.

    Sounds like fun, despite the circumstances. :)

    Yup. There are holes in our daily wants, our daily wills, and it’s so, so easy — too easy — to fill those holes with internet. I’m… working on that, haha, obviously.

  5. gingermandy Avatar

    Not having internet for a week when I moved reminded me of this. Of course it drove me insane because I had so many deadlines, but once I was home from working at the coffee shop or library it was nice to realize OK, I have to find something to do other than watch Netflix or read useless junk online all evening, guess it’s time to unpack/read a book/cook a delicious meal. And it wasn’t so bad! I survived!

  6. Kristan Avatar

    Haha, yeah, Netflix is an evil temptress…

  7. Jon Avatar

    So agreed! I love this post. Jonathan Franzen has to unplug his internet before he can really write, and I kind of agree with his approach.

  8. Kristan Avatar

    Oh yeah, I think many writers have gotten to that point. Sometimes I use a program for Mac called Freedom, which disables the internet for a user-specified period of time.

  9. Anthony Lee Collins Avatar

    I sometimes use a nice fountain pen. :-)