I picked up a phone and it loaded 8 Facebook messages, several updates and a new tinder match. I put it down without touching the screen, went to kitchen, made a huge cup of tea, went back to my room several minutes later and turned off the phone. A smile of liberation. It was my month without internet afterall.
Why limit exposure to internet?
I had an internet addiction. The first thing walking into a room from a day outside was and believe will still be – turning on the notebook. As if it was a a starter of all the things at home. Which is scarily close to being the true. The longest that I was away from computer since my the day I was introduced to it was probably a week. Which is another scary thing.
To what extent does one stick together with one’s habits? What part of personality do we loose, when limiting a habit? More importantly: what is the new personality that now has more give. Some things better might fill in the void. So I did that. And I want to remember this more clearly.
One of annual goals was to conduct a experiment on myself: to clear the home of laptops, and smartphones for 6 weeks. However the year was closing in and I got my self buried under a lot of “must read”, “must watch”, “must google” etc. I decided to cut it to 4 weeks, which is still a lot to me knowing how much of MY time it takes.
And so it started. My 2017 November – month without internet at my house. 🙂
Filling the month
First days were more full with meetings, dates, going and staying over friends, I started to get a sense that one of myself is playing mind tricks on another part of myself. By avoiding home, you avoid facing the inevitable. You are scared to face the unknown of routine disruption. Eventually I had to, unplanned weekend came and I was alone. The world collided somewhere behind my back. Meaning the internet was the open world we are superficially with, nonetheless still alone in real life. But the day’s passed and I was completely fulfilled with how the time went. I would say:
It’s pretty hard to waste time outside of internet.
Some of the things that filled up the time:
- visiting grandparents, parents, friends;
- going though documents, papers you have been postponing for months;
- reading an awesome and massive 700 page book by Umberto Eco (to be reviewed I hope);
- reading scientific study on Intelligence (wtf?);
- going to movie festival films;
- glamouring with a girl I suppose I’m seeing now;
- attending investment club meetings;
- more eating, walking at the city;
- getting away to swim in SPA 40 km away;
- rediscovering guitar;
- visiting a theater with an aunt I massively respect;
- getting valuable free books to read;
- more sleep, naps, healthier circadian cycle and the average mood I would say;
- meditating in absence of ambient or selected music;
- having yet of another visionary dreams in 2017;
- attending squash courts once a week
- discovering one goddamn powerful movie “Thelma” in Scanorama (might review in the future);
- enjoying the sense in pockets of the best mobile that I have ever had: Nokia 3500c;
- had trips;
- had an exhausting second match of chess with myself;
- and other cool things…
The things I was disappointed with myself after this month is that I did not work on Bate’s method, as hard as I fantasized of going through the month and I did not go through a long printed slides on face reading. That’s it. This how rich a month without internet can be, friends.
Precursor to Prologue
Just few days before November me and my colleagues returned from Milan. Over the next few days I had to bring in the boarding tickets. Problem was that few of them were only accessible though smartphone app that was in smartphone even away of my home. I had to bring it back , turn it on, extract data and turn it off. That was a busy day. I forgot to turn off WiFi right after using an app and noticed the phone only putting in down from my pocket after a workday. I pressed the start button to see if I had turned it off and then would proceed to switching SIM card back to my dear Nokia 3500c. And it got immediately connected to home WiFi.
[…]it loaded 8 Facebook messages, several updates and a new tinder match. I put it down without touching the screen, went to kitchen, made a huge cup of tea, went back to my room several minutes later and turned off the phone. A smile of liberation.
Each and every time I beat that part of myself, a Winner feeling emerges. Dopamine of the good kind.
Defense on working hours
I guess I have to confess I still used internet while at work. But I only for boring work related stuff. No social networks, none of the bullshiting on internet. So don’t lynch me.
Other remarks on experimental month offline
Information diet was double-sided. On one hand I was pretty much left with what others are talking, minimal preparedness for weather conditions. I was next to last to know global news or details for upcoming seminars and meetings which usually came through Facebook or email. That’s uncommon and weird not be be dived in that. On other hand I was more clear minded during workdays and had much more mental power to read and learn on workdays during the evenings. Especially including longer sleep hours and occasional naps.
I kept a “must google/must find/watch/share/write” message draft – reminder on my phone during the month. It’s pleasant and important I was feeling creative more frequently. This, I suspect was a consequence of multitude of things mentioned above.
What did I miss most? Collection movies on demand (initiation by creative mind and imaginary memory of analogies in the present to what was seen in movie scenes that embody the feeling). And funny enough – tinder scrolling. The rest could live without me.
Ok, one more thing. During the last night of October I was sorting what should I email to print to read, and some several Facebook shares with thought provoking content which I was kinda curious to see the reaction of my Facebook followers/friends/contacts.
Would I recommend a month without internet?
If you are another of those people who has not skipped a week without internet in years, maybe you should consider if you still control you? Aren’t you scared of the thought you are not the driver in this life?
If you can’t hold an eye contact or eat without with your nose dove in smartphone you are long past in the Zombieland.
I definitely recommend trying at least a month without internet. Some even call it survival without internet… Heh, you might be surprised of what would come to fill Your internet time.
Now let me start the catching up to you guys.