Sorry, no cats here. But let’s try a little experiment: Imagine there was no Internet for a whole month. Or let’s say, no more than one hour per day. How would the world react and more importantly, how would your life change if you had to go offline?
The Internet is a greedy monster
Those were the questions, I asked myself last night. I realized that every time I use my computer, there is a big chance for me to get lost on the Internet. It feels like an addiction. When I am writing, I hear the symbol of my browser calling me: „Click me! Just one minute, you need a break. No more than one video.“
When I give in to temptation, and I mostly do, I usually get stuck on YouTube, or a page with funny pictures. The worst is that I am not even focusing on interesting content, I just get high on the infinite depths of the internet. Every click gives me a small kick. It’s the feeling of being able to access everything from my desk at home, knowing everything that’s going on the the world. But what for? Most of the stuff I read online doesn’t further my career, my studies nor my relationships. If you ask me, the Internet can be a greedy monster, feeding on our creativity and productivity. That’s when I realized that I need to go offline.
Cold Turkey – or when you go offline
I First thought about shutting down my Internet connection a few times a week. But then I changed my perspective: What if I just turned on the Internet when I need it?
This thought felt frightening, almost dangerous or forbidden. Could I just do that? It seemed like an antisocial act to me, cutting myself off from the infinite stream of knowledge. Until I realized that I hardly ever need the Internet. I could definitly get everything done that I have to do online in one hour a day, or even less. I was flooded by excitement and fear – so much time that I could suddenly spend on doing something, instead of surfing the Internet like a zombie. So, me and my boyfriend accepted the challenge. The Internet connection in our apartment will remain closed, until we decide to check our emails, make online payments and so on, then we’ll turn it on again. But only for one hour, no compromises.
You can never get back the time you spent online
Thinking about how much space surfing online took up in my life, I am shocked. I can see myself looking at some comic strips, clicking the next-button again and again, feeling numb. But there is a different image, which seems way worse: Looking back at my life and realizing that I spent most of my free time online, instead of meeting people, going out and actually living. All those lost hours that didn’t contribute to the joy in my life. There is no way for me to continue wasting my time online. The Internet is an amazing tool, but it needs to be used in a focused way.
This is the first week for me to go offline. I will keep you updated on whether I feel that this improves the quality of my life or not. Have you ever tried to limit the time you spend browsing?
Here’s some more brain food for you.