When blogger and self-described social-networking addict Esther Emery announced she was logging off from the internet for a year, she got one of two reactions.

Those who were older than Emery and had experienced life before iPhones and laptops asked, “Why?” They wanted to know what she thought she would get out of it and why it was a big deal, she said.

Those who were younger and never had known life apart from the World Wide Web asked, “How?” For them, it was a matter of survival, she said.

“I realized how quickly technology has changed our culture,” she said. “That I can look at someone in their 30s and look at someone in their teens and see those almost opposite responses was eye-opening to me in terms of how much exploration there is to do around this issue — how much there is that’s changed in such a short amount of time.”

Emery answers both questions in her book “What Falls from the Sky: How I Disconnected from the Internet and Reconnected with the God Who Made the Clouds,” published late last year by Zondervan.

The short version? She needed a project after moving from Southern California to Boston at a time when her marriage and her job as a theater director and stage manager were falling apart. Since her year without internet in 2009, she has moved to rural Idaho and gone off the electric grid; welcomed a third child with her husband; made peace with the legacy of her mother, Carla Emery, one of the pioneers of the modern homesteading movement; and reconnected with her Christian faith — all things she said she’s not sure would have happened if not for the yearlong experiment.

Emery discussed that experiment and what she learned from it with RNS. This interview has been edited for …read more

Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News

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