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Wait! Don’t let the word diet frighten you off. This isn’t about that kind of diet. I’ve already been down that road plenty — most of my life, in fact — and I’m not taking that path again. No, this is about something quite different; it’s about the dreaded time-suck known as the internet.

I know I need to wean myself off of it before I have to have my iPad surgically removed, but it isn’t that easy for me. I did make a small gesture in the right direction today: I received a book in the post that I ordered a couple weeks ago … a cookbook.  An actual book that wasn’t on my Kindle or iPad.  I read it cover to cover this evening. Without referring to my iPad or computer once. (Mild withdrawal symptoms) The book is Ina Garten’s, “Make It Ahead.”

It isn’t that I have such a whirlwind social life that I have to plan meals I can make ahead for all the dinner parties I’m throwing (which is no doubt the case for Ina). For me it’s about gearing up (mentally) and preparing for opening a little cafe, along with my art gallery. Not that either of those things are likely to happen before, say…August. Hopefully August 2016. I’m still two or three months (at least) from being able to move into my house. ‘But wait,’ I hear you say. ‘Didn’t you start building that a year or so ago?’ Actually, construction started eighteen months ago, but who’s counting? Never mind. Don’t get me started on that…

This article is about what I’ve been doing in the meantime. Bugger-all, actually, given most of my ‘activity’ has been limited to moving around, pillar to post, essentially living like a gypsy. Without the fandango.

Over time, I’ve become more and more attached to my trusty little iPad. Okay, I’ve become addicted to it. In the nicest possible way, of course. Except that it has played conveniently into the hands of my Avoidance Behaviour Expert alter ego.

Back in the day, when I had a life, I was never interested in any of the social media stuff — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest — you know them all. I liked blogging, but didn’t bother with the rest of it. Well, friends, things have changed. I wish I could report that I had been developing a massive contact list, to boost my online presence in case I decide to publish a book, or something. No, I just have a handful of friends and family I like to keep track of. And a rather daunting number of “contacts” who mostly want to sell me things.

I have discovered the joys (and perils) of Pinterest. Now there’s a time-suck if there ever was one! A very useful time-suck, I have to say. And, of course, there are the online auctions, which are a time-suck and a money-suck. But we won’t go there right now…

I’ve decided I have to reclaim the hours and hours a day that I’m losing to the Internet. Mind you, I’ve never been so well-informed about so many things, but it’s not like I’m going to remember much of it anyway. I shall have to unsubscribe to so many sites … But the ones that will actually remove me from their mailing lists will be the interesting, informative ones. Those who want to sell me something, or ask for money, simply ignore my unsubscribe clicks. I shall have to block them, I suppose.

I’m telling you, folks, it takes hours to check emails, and Facebook. Not to mention reading the newspapers. All the time I spend deleting, more are coming in. I would quit cold-turkey, except there are important things buried amongst it all. I need to know what is being said on Mother Jones.  And Grist, and Huffpost, and NYT… and Bored Panda is a hoot.  And what about those hilarious cats!  Woe is me. I

Anyway, I suppose some of you have similar issues (unless, of course, you have a life). I welcome any tips you may have.  It really is time for me to take control. I might even start tomorrow.               MM