Snow days ≠ slow days

On Monday, the Fredericksburg region received a foot of heavy, wet snow. It caused trees to snap and a fifty-mile backup on I-95. People were trapped in their cars overnight in plummeting temperatures. Here on our little homestead, we didn’t have power for two days, but the dogs and cats snuggled with us and became personal heating pads until electricity was restored. Our access to cellular service was limited due to tower damage. The world was silent and the few noises from the birds and neighbors’ dogs barking were muffled by the heavy snow.

Internet took five days to come back online, and I thought it would prove to be a productive few days. Faced with limited access to social media, I had big plans to write and use the time to organize my life. It didn’t happen. I felt strangely untethered from the world without the constant fix from Facebook and Instagram. I’m an introvert and don’t feel the need for face-to-face contact, so I thought this would be my time to shine. It surprised me how much I still craved access to the outside world even if it wasn’t true interaction. I experienced anxiety not knowing when service would be restored. Ridiculous and such a first world problem that I’m embarrassed to even write the words. So many people in the world have limited access to clean water, food, and education, and I’m here jonesing for social media and web surfing.

Now that I’m back online, I want to work on a healthier relationship with the internet and social media. They are tools for us, and they do have their purpose, but for those few days, I realized I was a tool for Meta (the company formerly known as Facebook) and other giants. I don’t have it figured out yet, but I think it’s important for us to remember that our lives don’t need to be ruled by algorithms. For now, I’m signing off for the week to finish The French Paradox by one of my favorite Virginia authors, Ellen Crosby.


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