What I Learned From Not Having Internet For 30 Days

I visited my mom for one month not long after she canceled her internet from lack of use. I decided to see what happens if I not only go without internet, but also without mobile internet on my smartphone. The only internet I had access to during this month were in cafes or other people’s homes. Here are some things I learned…

1. It’s easy… at first

The first couple of days were a breeze. I’d go to the cafe, complete my work, then read or watch competitive cooking shows on the Food Network (cable TV). But then things came up where I would need immediate answers. How do I get to a friend’s house located on the other side of town? How many teaspoons are in a tablespoon? What time does the McDonald’s close?

Every day, we use the internet to answer many mundane questions, and it becomes challenging when you can no longer get instant answers. I had to maintain a running “questions” file and then open it when I had internet access.

2. I went from internet snacking to eating meals

When the internet is always on, you tend to graze on it like a cow, even when you’re not particularly “hungry.” You’re able to consume throughout the day because you never fully sate yourself.

Without internet, I’d do the work that had to be done, which usually took two or three hours, consume a bit of entertainment, and then I’d be full—I couldn’t sit in front of a screen any longer. Of course I’d get hungry again in a few hours, but I still used far less internet per day than if I snacked.

3. My attention span improved slightly

While I did see an improvement in my attention span, it was by a much smaller amount than I had hoped. Either it would take much longer than a month to heal the damage from decades-long internet use, or there are other contributors that are hurting my focus, such as text messaging, email, or television.

From the way I consume the internet, I believe Twitter is the most responsible for causing my mind to crave constant bits of short-form content. I noticed that going on a Twitter break improves my attention span nearly as much as quitting the internet entirely.

4. I sought more face-to-face interaction with my mom

We underestimate how much of our social interaction needs are met by the internet. Without trying, it’s possible to have a dozen “conversations” on forums and social networking sites before you even leave your house for the day (assuming you leave it at all).

Without internet, I desired to speak to my mom far more than usual. I also engaged in more small talk with various clerks and salespeople. We all have a baseline of how much social interaction we need in a day. For some of us, most of it is fulfilled by the internet.

5. I don’t really need internet at home

It’s definitely convenient to have, but it’s still a want, not a need, and that’s coming from someone who has an internet business. Within a couple of weeks, I adapted to not having it, and if you told me that the situation would permanently remain, I would still find life worth living.

The main downside was not having many entertainment options. I started consuming way more television though the quality of content was quite low and stuffed with advertisements. A possible solution is to download videos for offline viewing. Otherwise, I got bored in the evening when I was done with the day’s tasks and didn’t feel like reading. I even watched a handful of reality television shows, and suffered a temporary IQ drop as a result.

Conclusion

From this experience, I now see the internet as a substance like caffeine, alcohol, or food. If you don’t consciously regulate your consumption, you’ll consume way more than you realize and develop a dependency. You will also take for granted that the internet acts like a stimulant that your mind comes to depend on for endorphin release.

In spite of having this knowledge, I quickly reverted back to my snacking ways of consumption when I returned home to Europe. A supply of unlimited internet creates the demand, so unless you deliberately remove it from your home and phone, it’s inevitable that you’ll remain a grazing internet cow.

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X E
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X E
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Thank you! Good article!

Alphabet Man
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMotykw0SIk from 22:35 to 22:52 goes along with what you said.

Jim
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I go on periodic internet fasts when I’m out at my cottage for up to a month. I definitely feel withdrawal for a few days, but then quality of life improves in every way. I spend hours and hours outside, even in winter. I get my intellectual fix by reading books, and I’m also more inclined to just chill and meditate.

In the city with regular internet use I rarely read physical books, and both my will and ability to read deeper subject material diminishes. I go outside much less, my energy levels are lower, sleep is worse.. I’m sure there’s more. The question is why bother using it at all then.. guess I’m addicted..

Socializing is less satisfying than it used to be as most people I know are checking their phone every 2 minutes. Actually I noticed real life conversations are now like twitter/texts in nature. Few can concentrate on one subject or get into anything complex or meaningful because that inevitable interruption from their phone is coming and it usually wrecks the flow. Though it could be I’m just not that interesting to talk to, who knows.

Hallohallo
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That last part about real life conversations being like twitter/texts is so true. Nowadays all the conversations I seem to have are usually with multiple people. It’s gotten harder to have a head-to-head conversation with someone, because then there is no ‘third party’ to validate their input. The input usually being quick short remarks with the intent of being funny/cocky or controversial (but not too much). No one really bothers about the actual content of the conversation anymore, everyone wants a quick fix. I’m sure I’m guilty of this as well but I try to keep an awareness to this.

fokker
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I only use internet to get information and make money. Maybe listen to some music also. There´s no other use for it. I´m constantly digging info. Specially the one which doesn´t come from mainstream media. I truly enjoy getting info from internet. Nowadays I would put your blog and Martin Armstrong site has info I try to keep up everyday. Internet democratized information. You have a incredible encyclopedia at the touch of your fingers. I think this is incredible. It created competition between operators which lowered the price. Imagine you wanted to book a vacation without internet. Or just book a flight. The level of information is unprecedent. Internet would kill the elite and privileges if it would continue unchecked. THis is why it will be censored. Imagine you wanted to publish a book before internet. It killed the midle man. And the midle man is a pariah. Unfortunately the censor will come.
BTW the french invented internet. It was called minitel.

The only disatvantage of internet is the fact the west is the elite of the world. We exploit the world. In a much more human. But we do it. And with internet. Western world edge which was our industrialism can easily be copied just by watching a youtube video. If someone from other parts of the world want to understand how it´s being fucked by the west they just have to google it. The dollar and central banks. The west provokes crisis. Buys up and sell. Crisis again. Buy up. We do it to ourselves also.
Your forum in particular gives an unique glimpse into american mind. The way things as manipulating are considered normal. Shaking down countries. And the brilliantism of the american mind.
I was talking to a chinese. Joking I said would put my kids in different language schools. One in french, other in english, other in german. He laughed and said there was a family which did that. I said the Rothschilds. He started talking about something else.

RASER
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i need the net for porn and bitches, die without either

James
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Great article Roosh. It’s ironic thought that you already know about the effects of the internet since you wrote the book review of The Shallows. But I guess you haven’t actually done anything with the knowledge from the book (not that I have either). But it’s become an interesting topic to me lately, I’ve even gone so far as to put my simcard into a flipphone, so getting rid of mobile internet alltogether. Still, I find my attention span has improved only slightly. On the days I installed an internet fast, I found myself just watching low grade TV on Netflix, culminating in getting pissed off at the nihilist morals of the show I was watching (Ozark). My hope was that shutting myself off from the internet would magically make me start taking up creative projects, but that proved to be a little more simpler than it seems. To date, I’m still at a loss how to curfew my internet access in a way that makes sense. In any case it’s an interesting topic and I’d love to hear more about it, not sure if it’s a popular topic with other readers though.

Bob
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nice article – very clever – i recall in the late 90s, a meditation teacher i had seemed so old fashioned when she commented that she didn’t like this new internet thing because it had a vibe like gambling – gets you all tense and hooked – boy was she 20 years ahead of her time !

Toronto 6ix9ine
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Dating was easier back in the early 2000s.

Modern Life Dating
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Where is Roosh hour #29?

Fokker
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