The Unplugged Challenge


By Becky Holland

I am an Internet junkie – I spend countless hours each day surfing the net, using the net for job and personal use. I stream in movies to watch.

Conversations as of late with my aunt, my dad, my friend, Travis and others have centered around the amount of time people as a whole spend on the Internet – Facebook, twitter and Instagram in particular -and how much time we spend building relationships with ourselves, each other and God for that matter offline.

I am in the media business – I cut my teeth on the old-school way of publishing a newspaper, and now, 20 plus years later, look at where we are. Print newspapers used to compete with each other – now we are competing against social media news.

Schools, governing bodies and other groups, like churches, didn’t mind, in fact, they would douse us (newspapers) with news on a daily basis – didn’t matter if we were weekly or daily.

Today, I have literally had to beat my own head against the wall and become Becky the Pest in asking for news to be submitted. I had one pastor recently tell me “Why do we need you when we have got social media?”  (That is still ruminating in my head and heart. I will have an answer one day when I can do it without getting personal.)

So, I was paying my bills, when I noticed my Internet bill jumped not $5 but nearly $50 from when I first started with the company. Apparently, this particular company gets you with the good deal (and there is the small print that you know you read and they probably told you, but you were so excited to get Internet, you didn’t pay attention) and WHAM.

I called my computer guru father and asked him what he thought. Even he thought that was too much. “You will be bored if you don’t have Internet at home.”  I thought about it.

My Verizon prepay phone is equipped with Mobile Data, and I do a lot of “interneting” on it.  I email. I video. I upload to You Tube. I social media. I search for answers. My office is not that far away. Do I need to stream all the movies that I do? There are two movie theaters that I know of within driving distance.  I have book shelves full of novels waiting for me to pick them up. My dog is always looking for his human friend (me) to play with him. I am in need of losing weight – so i could get out and exercise. There is a book inside of me waiting to be written without distractions. I just bought my first Lego set to build – just because I wanted a unique hobby.

And I am sitting at desk 8 to 10 hours a day in between going out and covering event on the Internet.

If I need to get on – I can use what is called the ‘Hot Spot’ on my phone and quickly get off.

In my head I thought about 1,000 lessons I could learn, and not to mention save money with. There is time management, discipline, organization  and some personal ones that I won’t mention.

I was talking to our police chief recently, and we were talking about social media. What benefit do we get out of it? Granted, I stay in touch with friends from home (Georgia), we share pictures, we update each other with what is going on and some of the people I have gotten to know in Texas, I have gotten to know better through conversations on Facebook – but that is about it. I can still Facebook them or text them on my phone. Or write a letter or hey, call them. Or what about visit them?

Church – I streamed church services for so long. And the funny thing is there are seven churches – no, eight – within driving distance and minutes from me.

So, for the next 30 days, I am going without Internet hooked up at my house. I am going to be without TV and movies. (My noise and news will come from the radio I just bought – good time to do the KVNE 30 Day Challenge).

Oh, I will still check in and do things via my phone, but can you just imagine what other things might be accomplished?
Like , mmm. Maybe – my house might be cleaned. Clothes stay washed. Toby and I get more outdoor and Toby time. I might get my book finished. The possibilities are endless.And I plan on focusing on my relationship with God and myself. So let’s see.

I will be like a meth addict going through withdrawals. I have been around some of those and it is not pretty. But we will stay strong.

Also, I am letting my hair grow long. I went and bought my first curling iron, some headbands that will fit my big ole’ head and some heavy duty mousse and hair spray. My goal is to get some sweet curls in my big ole’ head so I can look like a classy almost 50 year old author… Who knows what I will do next.

More to come.


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