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Summer Time, Experiments, Persecution, and Practicing our Faith

Summer time has been a time of immense activity for us. We gave our internet provider the kickeroo and started a social experiment on what our lives would look like if we only used free sources. The experiment ended recently, when I had to accept that school work and workwork were being made very difficult without internet in-home.

However, like many people before who have cut down their internet access (or cell phones or other digital technology), I found certain real world interactions increased, encouraging social interactions that were often displaced or de-prioritized by the internet. Interestingly, I found certain real world interactions impeded, making social relations more difficult, such as tutoring people in home, finding directions to go places spontaneosly or without more than a week or two planning, or helping friends who have long relied on calling me for information. 

Another interesting occurrence was the re-introduction of self-oppression for fear of discrimination. At home, I access whatever pages I feel like. I keep my identity online closely guarded, but am not afraid of being judged for what comes on my screen. 

I discovered that in atmospheres where professional peers might see my screen or history, or where other necessary support systems might, I was hesitant to open up pagan space and other like pages. I cringed at my behavior, but at the same time, I have been discriminated against before in a professional setting. Thankfully, no one tried to cut my head or hands off, or burn me at the stake, so I am glad I live in a nation that in theory reaffirms my right to practice my spirituality as I see fit. But that doesn't mean that it didn't negatively impact my psyche, my social capital, my networks, my daily experience, and my life. Then, while it was unpleasant and disconcerting, I was strong enough to handle it. Now, I am not. 

I shouldn't have to hide my religion for fear of discrimination, persecution and backlash. But I feel I do in certain key environments. And that is a sad lesson I learned during my lack of home internet experience.

On the bright side, we initiated a weekend in-home spiritual time, which is kind of synonymous to Sunday worship or Synagogue service in the sense that we devote time to explore and practice our religion on a weekly basis, rather than solely as a lived and high holiday basis. But otherwise not a whole lot like those services in format. We planned on doing this anyway, and I don't think that getting rid of the internet caused this. It might have only accelerated it a bit in the sense that, some other things we planned on doing first, got done quicker. 

The choice of the weekend has little to do with any scripture, and more to do with finding a time filled with sunlight when every one is awake, alert and not busy with school, extra curricular activities and work. A time where your muscles and thoughts aren't keyed up so much with doing. Indirectly thought, these two days are free days because they are influenced culturally by Judeo Christian religions. If the same criteria in the first sentence were available on a weekday, then that time or day would be just as good.

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