I’ve had this idea in my head for a couple of months now. The idea is to give up the internet for a period of time. Why would I do this? Because lately I feel as though it has completely consumed me and I don’t like that.
There are two main things that I’ve noticed about my life in the past few months that have contributed to this idea:
I can’t go more than fifteen minutes at work without checking my email or doing something else internet related. It’s almost like an obsession. I don’t like feeling like something has control of me like that.
In the last few months I’ve noticed a trend. Unless we have a family event planned, Andy and I spend pretty much the entire weekend sitting on the couch, on our laptops. I feel kind of embarrassed admitting that, actually. And while much of that time is spent doing homework, a ridiculous amount is also spent just messing around on the internet. I hate the way that makes me feel.
Pros of giving up the internet:
1. Hopefully I’ll be more productive at work.
2. My mind won’t feel as scattered, because I will be focusing on what I need to do, rather than wondering if I should check my email just one more time.
3. I’ll get out of the house more. Walk the dog, ride my bike, and go hiking.
4. I’ll exercise more because I won’t have anything to distract me from it.
5. I’ll have to call people and actually make a connection with them rather than just emailing them.
There are a slew of other pros to going through with this challenge and I really can’t see any cons in actually giving it a try. So I’ve set my no internet time to 60 days, starting tomorrow and ending May 6th. I’ve also made some rules:
What IS allowed
1. Internet surfing will be allowed for school obligations like doing research for my senior thesis. I will need to utilize the internet in order to look up things on the library’s catalog.
I will also allow myself to use the internet to access my school’s website in order to clock in for work, check my hours and pay stubs, register for classes, etc- but only when absolutely necessary.
2. Internet use for work will be allowed. This doesn’t always happen, but occasionally my boss will ask me to look something up that is related to our work.
3. 1 blog per week- Yes, I will allow myself to log on to WordPress to blog once per week- in order to let you all know how things are going. I think it’s important to document the ups and downs of my challenge.
4. Paying bills.
What is NOT allowed
1. Facebook. In fact, I’ll be deactivating my account for the next 60 days.
2. Email. Friends and family, you’ll have to call me if you need to get in touch.
3. Reading blogs. I spend so much time doing this. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with reading blogs but right now, my focus needs to be elsewhere.
4. Reading the news or weather- because ultimately I start clicking around to other pointless stories. Heaven forbid I’ll actually have to make use of the free newspapers handed out at school if I want to know what’s going on in the world!
5. Logging on to Mint.com or my banks’ website. Yes, I’ll be doing all of my budgeting on paper for the next sixty days. I haven’t actually set foot in my bank or used the ATM in over a year because everything is online, so this will be weird.
6. Internet surfing just in general.
I’m a little worried about how my self control will hold up, but I’m going to give it a try. It’s not that I’m trying to make some statement against the internet, it’s just a personal experiment. I want to see if this helps me prioritize my life better.
I want to see if I can use the internet in the future without letting it become my main focus in life. I feel that the way to do this is to re-convince myself that I can live without it. I then plan to reintroduce it back into my life in small doses, to prevent it from taking over again.
I’ll try not to let things get too boring around here and I hope you’ll stick with me through this challenge.
So what do you think? Do you think I’m crazy?