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Back on the grid

Two weeks with no land-based Internet at home and this tech reporter is feeling just fine. It wasn’t that way at first. Getting knocked off the grid was sort of like getting weaned off caffeine, complete with headache and jitters the first few days.

To be sure, I wasn’t completely off the grid and was hardly out of touch. In fact, I was able to pretty much get any information I needed from my two smartphones. My RSS feeds go straight to my Google Reader account. I e-mailed on my BlackBerry. Tweetdeck and Facebook are one-tap apps on my iPhone.

But producing a blog was much harder. Getting into The Post’s Moveable Type application to write a blog is pretty much impossible on a smartphone. And even if I could get on, I’d go crazy trying to cut and paste links and tap out entries on the touch screen or the small-thumbs-favoring BlackBerry key pad.

So outside the office, I could see and hear what was going on, but couldn’t contribute to the conversation beyond tweets and Facebook updates. That was tough for this reporter, who is admittedly a little obsessive-compulsive when it comes to work. I was getting used to filing pretty much every night. But being forced off the grid at home made me recalibrate and as a result produce one fewer post a day.

I don’t think anyone missed it or noticed. It helped that the outage occurred right before Congress went on recess and as people poured out of Washington to escape the heat. And, as I twirled my thumbs with the kids in bed and no television (I’m cutting the cord) or Internet, something great happened at home: more conversation, reading, and sleep.

Now, with 25 megabits upstream and downstream coming into our home, I'm sure I'll be back to my own ways. But I'm going to try to keep up my new habits too. And thanks, readers, for bearing with me along the way.

By Cecilia Kang  |  July 9, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
 
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