Things I learned after quitting the internet
Some time ago I got rid of the Internet at home. It was a difficult but necessary decision to make, because I realized that I had become too reliant on constant online connection and started missing out on the real life.
Quitting the Internet was also an important step to my never-ending journey to simplifying my life. As a minimalist-at-heart, I often feel an urge to cut down on the unnecessary to bring focus to the important. Since browsing the Internet is one of the most distracting and time-consuming activities
I know, I made the decision to get rid of it almost entirely.
The aim was to change my lifestyle and form better offline habits. If you’re considering following a similar way, you may be interested to learn about my experience. In addition to advice, this piece will probably serve as
a reminder in case I ever got the idea to restore the Internet at home.
Here’s what getting rid of the Internet at home has taught me:
When I had constant connection, I accessed my e-mail, social media, and favorite websites a dozen times a day, catching up on the news in real-time. But when I got rid of it and started using the Internet only twice or once
a day, I began to appreciate every single unread e-mail and notification.
2. Data use
After using my phone as a hotspot for a few days, I realized how much data my computer downloads every time it hooks up on the Internet. It drained my 2GB data plan in just a few hours and I have not watched a single movie or even YouTube video. That helped me limit how often I visit image- and video-heavy websites and eventually simplify my browsing habits.
Instead of wasting time on Behance, Facebook or Netflix, I now read two or three chapters of a great book, work a little, wash the dishes, and do laundry. My days are longer and I have more than enough time to organize my to-do list or simply lay down and gather thoughts.
Now that Spotify is gone, I turned to traditional radio for music and news.
I found an incredible radio station that plays only classical music and movie soundtracks. Listening to radio has become an essential part of my morning routine: I wake up early, turn on the radio, and listen to the news while sipping freshly-brewed coffee.
I joined the library and started borrowing books. Local libraries have not only my favorite writers, but also many new ones whose books helped me discover exciting new worlds, characters, and opinions. I also got to read more and savor the moments spent in the company of rustling paper.
6. Watching movies
I was wrong to think that there are only decade-old movies in the libraries. My local media library surprised me with a great selection of new titles, including many recent blockbusters and TV shows. Because picking the right movie is more demanding than clicking the play button, watching movies has become a unique ritual that me and my girlfriend enjoy infinitely more than Netflix.
More free time leaves more space for thoughts. After quitting the Internet,
I found myself to be more mindful and productive. Without the constraints of time-wasting online activities, my thoughts run freely and I have less trouble concentrating on my work and personal projects. I also became more aware of my surroundings: I notice and appreciate the details and notice things that need to be done (house chores, errands, etc).
Due to a very strange situation on the ISP market in my city, I used to pay
a small fortune for the Internet connection. Getting rid of it and cancelling my Spotify and Netflix memberships helped me save a considerable amount of money that I can set aside and spend on vacation or dinner nights with my significant other.
I am curious to learn about your experience. Let me know if disconnecting from the Internet has helped you create a better version of yourself or maybe ended up as a failed experiment. Quitting the Internet is not an easy decision to make, but at the end of the day getting the courage to do it may be exactly what you need to restore balance to your life and create room for experience and things that matter to you the most.