Facebook, Gmail, Delphi and oh look - funny pictures! Hahaha! ...Okay, back to work. But first I'll check what happened on Facebook in the last thirty seconds and check my email again. post office
This was my daily routine when I left my salaried job and became self-employed. This went on for more or less half a year, until I lost patience, spat, said "I quit" and turned off the Internet for a month.
Discovery: The month without internet was probably the best experience I've had in the last 3 years.
...And later I repeated this challenge several more times.
But why did I take on this challenge, how did I do it, what did I learn, what did I achieve, how did I change? And why would you need such a challenge?
Is it worth giving up the Internet for a month?
If you spend less than an hour on the Internet a day, don't read news portals, don't work on the Internet, and don't have Facebook... Then a month without the Internet is for you no need.
However, if your situation is different and you spend all day on the internet or you can't imagine your life without the Internet... The experiment of turning off the Internet made for you.
True - not necessarily for a month. Two weeks will be enough, if you are afraid this time, 1 or your source of income is online work. But it's worth a try and you can do it. You really can.
“Hey wait, you forgot yourself? And why did you, Daniel, turn off the Internet for yourself?"
Ah, I really forgot. Remember I mentioned the internet everyday? And that sometimes it's hard to imagine life without the Internet?
That was my first reason. I have had the Internet at home since I was 12, I have been actively living there, and during those years there was not a single month when I lived without the Internet. I was wondering if internet addiction really exists. 2
The second reason was that I call myself a writer. And a writer who does not write and wastes time on the Internet is not a writer. So, I decided to test my limits and become more efficient at work.
How to start your month without internet?
You probably know the answer: you can find the shutdown button on the back of the internet splitter or in the settings of the smart device. Press it.
But, of course, it's not always that simple. Especially if you work online and such a change would be new to your soul. Here are some steps to help:
A) As much as possible, arrange and finish old affairs.
I, personally, did not finish all the works before leaving the Internet and even started a few new ones. So, this step is not too important in the end. But the whole point of this step is that reduce potential anxiety.
Pay your debts, answer letters and say you'll finish your work when you get back, wish your mom a happy birthday in advance, and so on. The sooner you get rid of the burden, the better.
This makes it convenient to spend a month without the Internet while on vacation. Although it is not necessary if work allows you to spend less time on Facebook and email. 3
b) Report that you are going missing and where you can be found.
Just because you go offline doesn't mean you're giving up face-to-face meetings, phone calls, paper letters, work visits, or other offline methods of communication.
So, make the most of it. This is what I did here:
- I informed the Clouders by letter that I would be gone for a while;
- I wrote messages on Facebook to important friends and colleagues, which phone number to call them if they needed me suddenly;
- I created a Gmail autoresponder with an emergency phone number.
I also asked a few of my colleagues and friends to keep checking my blogs to see if anything bad happened. If it happened, he would call. In other words, at this step protect yourself from fire.
c) Don't delay.
It's easy to think "Maybe I'll do that in the future," to plan, to wait for the perfect moment, and never, damn it, try that new thing. I know this because I'll admit, I've been putting off my challenge for a month since the beginning of November. However, there will be no ideal time for experiments.
Simply. There will be better times 4 but no ideal time. Similar to starting a business or giving birth to a child.
If you're still afraid, don't worry, I'll reassure you:
Actually, I'm not the first person to think of turning off the Internet for myself.
And this is not something unexpected, some of the internet users have been challenging themselves since the beginning of the Internet. For example, one of them is Jim Stolze, a researcher at VU University in Amsterdam, who tested the connection between the Internet and happiness:
A second example would be Paul Miller, editor of the news portal The Verge, who talked about his challenge in another TED talk:
When will I try the year-long challenge?
And what did you experience this month?
Well, I... It's really not a big deal. I did not experience any kind of enlightenment and opening of chakras, not even my friend Jesus visited me. These were just small and pleasant experiences.
Part of these experiences were jobs. It's been crazy fun to find time to catch up on all those long-postponed things after turning off the internet: writing, organizing, home repairs, books, and sports...
...The other part of the experience was a little less tangible, but nevertheless gave lasting satisfaction with life. As a result of these changes, I repeated the month without internet challenge several more times.
I recorded my experiences in this weblog + in the diary in paper format:
First: I became more confident.
It was strange. And to this day I have no explanation as to why this happened. But if at the beginning of the month I was afraid about my career (and further life), about writing (and whether it is interesting to anyone) or about my relationship...
...I was as calm as a Dutchman at the end. That is, similar to the Belgian, but even calmer. Maybe it helped that I passed the challenge, despite the difficulties of the first week.
Perhaps this was the effect of completed works and achieved goals. Maybe something else; mysticism. But it happened and I gained confidence.
Second: The sixth day of the challenge was the hardest.
At the end of the first week I had what could be called in buckets - malaise, headache, boredom and great irritation.
...And on the seventh, and so on, it suddenly passed and everything turned for the better.
It was on the sixth day that it was most difficult not to connect to the Internet on a phone or another computer. But it turns out that even the greatest temptation and desire to join can be overcome. 🙂
Third: I finally found time for myself.
We don't notice ourselves when we surf the Internet. And everything is fine.
When huge amounts of information are constantly poured on our heads, we are pressed by articles and motivation from all sides 5 and all kinds of Delphi and Clouds... It's easy to lose yourself in this noise.
Only after turning off this noise and the geyser of new ideas on the Internet, I finally found time for myself and my problems. For your thoughts, work and relationships with important people. So I was able to finish some long overdue work, try some meditation exercises I read about in a book... And this and that.
I was finally with myself.
Wait, I have more questions!
Can I opt out of internet only, say at home?
Yes! And I did this during the first month without internet, two weeks before December 12th. Inspired by this article I turned off the internet at home and only worked in libraries and cafes. It was fun and interesting and I was more productive working away from home.
It is definitely possible and worth trying. If you're really, really afraid of the end of the world... Try this method. That way you won't waste time on games, and at the same time you won't completely disconnect.
Do you really guarantee that it will be this good and fun?
No. Because who am I, Mr. God? You won't know what happens until you do the experiment yourself. Other people's experiences and research are good, but not enough to be sure.
But I can reassure you - it is likely that nothing bad will happen to you.
Oh, what a fool you are, I live without the Internet at all!
...And why are you reading this article? You don't need this challenge without internet - I already said that at the beginning of the article 😉
What is the cost of this challenge?
The challenge is free of charge + with money back guarantee.
What if something terrible happens during that time? A war will start, the economy will collapse, idiots will be elected to the Diet or something like that?
If something terrible happens, then... You will learn this even without the Internet.
Even if you live in a village of three inhabitants. Family, friends, neighbors, colleagues will tell you. You will receive an SMS on your phone or you will see neighbors panicking. Sirens will blare and...
Man, it's only been a while since the corona virus epidemic - do you really think you could have missed that? So that you wouldn't understand that the posters at the shops and people with masks mean something?
Calm down, nothing bad will happen. And if it does happen, you can always turn the internet back on. At the same one click. This challenge is not exile. This is just an experiment.
And will no one forget me if I don't appear online for a month?
No, you won't forget. If it was important for people to get to know you, they will not disappear anywhere and communication will continue. No customers, no friends, no followers. In the cloud, in fact, they even increased during my month. 6
After all, collect phone numbers and schedule meetings a month ahead. You remember phones, don't you? These are devices that do not need the Internet. Press the button. Eight. Call button. Boom - connection! Unbelievable.
What am I going to do?!
you will sleep I was lazy. You will work. You will watch birds, watch movies, read books, go to a museum or bookstore, you will talk to the Maxima salesman. You will do everything you have wanted to do for a long time, but did not have time for it.
The only difference: you will do it without the Internet.
After the first week, you will realize that it is possible to do much more than it seemed. You will see that the Internet is not so important anymore.
Can I ask one more question?
Of course you can! Write in the comments below and I will answer you, help you, advise you. If you want to, you can also write to me personally. We can even exchange phone numbers if you want to call each other during the challenge or something 😎
A month without the Internet can be the best experiment of your life.
And I wholeheartedly recommend you try it.
...Will you join? 😉
I was scared at first too, but it turned out to be much more enjoyable than I expected.↩
I'll give it away - it turns out not.↩
For example, after handling urgent matters and creating an autoresponder. *Shoot, Swoosh*↩
I told her what she was getting in the way of "The inspiration for change you've always been missing".↩
Which was strange. Maybe I need to shut up more?↩