Ok, I admit it…the title is a play on words. Today’s post is actually about a program that helps folks gain freedom from the internet. Now if I sound like the internet is a prison, that’s because it can be. We have all done it…gotten out of bed, slogged over to the coffee pot, sat down at the computer and suddenly it’s 6:15 p.m. and the kids are asking if grilled cheese is really dinner. The internet can catch you and hold you for the better part of the day if you let it.
I get caught in the trap if I don’t severely organize myself. There is so much to do on the internet. As it is, I get up and check my e-mail, update Facebook (personal), update the Facebook fan page, check my website, update my blog, check the news and look at the obits in my hometown newspaper (okay, that last one is a little creepy but I am at an age when folks I knew in high school are dying off…it’s sad and interesting all at the same time) If I allow it, the internet can bleed through into my writing time very quickly. You really do have to have enormous self-control and…well…and I don’t. (There I said it)
So what can you do if you are an internet weakling like me? The answer for me, currently, is a software program called “Freedom”. Freedom was developed for the MAC originally (because all the really cool programs are) but now you can also get it for the PC. The program does only one thing, turn it on, tell it how long you’d like to be offline, and it kicks you offline. It literally blocks your system from the internet for the time you allot. Freedom enforces freedom. Once the time you set is up, the program allows you back onto the internet. If you want to get back onto the internet before the time is up you’ll need to reboot your entire system and having to do that means you’re less likely to cheat, and you’ll enjoy your freedom. It’s a really cool program. You can get the program here; and it will cost you $10 but it is two lattes well spent for a little freedom from all those e-mails from your mother-in-law and Timmy, your creepy childhood friend, the Facebook updates about everything from people’s choice of underwear color to if their two year old has finally gotten he hang of potty training and those annoying doomsday news flashes about 2012 warning of impending doom. Go ahead, admit that you are addicted to the internet and buy yourself a little “Freedom”. It’s really worth it.
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