Last Tuesday I woke up before 5 am with an idea,
What would it be like to have a day without any internet?
I felt I needed to go back to basics and spend a bit of time with just a pen and paper, a couple of real books and my thoughts.
So instead of just wondering what it would be like, I decided to make it happen.
By 530 am my laptop, two iPads, both my phones, the power lead for an iMac I sometimes use and even my Garmin watch was in a briefcase and left for safekeeping with Sue. She would have them until 6 pm that evening, a full 12 hours later.
Apart from my Roberts radio, I had no device available to me. I had no way of accessing any internet, social media, email, messages or even phone calls.
I was fully expecting some kind of withdrawal feelings to kick in, surprisingly they did not.
For the 12 hours, I read, made notes, thought and by the end of the day I had been more productive than I can remember in a long time.
I was also noticeably calmer and happier when I sat down for dinner that evening. That night I slept better than normal and woke up feeling on top of the world.
So much so that on Wednesday I repeated the process.
This is normally the point in my blog where I suggest what this may mean to you, but not on this one. This one is about me just sharing my experience, you can make of it and do with it what you will.
By Thursday I had work to do that needed the internet but following my two-day experiment, it was kept to just the minimum required to get the tasks done.
This minimum usage policy seems to be working for me so has continued since.
Six days later I have had a glimpse of what less internet usage can do for me, and it certainly makes me more productive and happier, and that alone is enough of a reason to be mindful of the time I spend connected to a device.
I think we all need to take a reality check now and again and be honest at how the internet and especially social media affects both our productivity but more importantly our happiness.
Us humans benefit for the technology these days, in many ways life is much easier for us because of it.
But we also need quiet time, time with no distractions, time to be reflective away from constant input and stimulation.
I will be spending less time on the internet going forward, how much less is still yet to be worked out, but my happiness depends on it.
Originally published at https://www.garethboot.com on October 12, 2020.