Experiment: Internet Cold Turkey is Over

Well, that was interesting at least. 44 hours without using my laptop for a single thing, and more specifically without using the internet – I was tempted by the facebook application on my phone for a minute, but I didn’t use it.

I found that I was thinking about checking my email and forums a fair amount, but when I remembered that I wasn’t doing that at the moment, I just shrugged and moved on. I have knitted several rows of my jumper and dug out a colouring book which I used as a reward for every revision flash-card I made. It was a much more effective way of motivating myself to study, because I only spent about five minutes away from my work instead of the hour or two hours I would take as an internet break. So I think I shall try to use non-computer things as a break mid-work in future.

I opened my email programme to discover I had 27 new emails, which in 44 hours isn’t all that many really. I often get that many in 12 hours, when it’s the height of a new term and people are not buried in exams. Most of them were junk anyway, which confirms the fact that I don’t need to check every hour in case something important has come up.

Because I was already in the mood for some social isolation, I also switched off my phone and put it in a drawer for 24 hours. I only got one message, and no one called me, which is fairly standard, but the symbolism of putting it away meant I didn’t keep checking just in case: a useful reminder that the world gets on just fine without me.

The one thing that did bug me was that there were three or four times when I wanted to contact someone, or look something up, and I couldn’t. I need to send three different emails today and I wanted to check a couple of opening times, but none of those things were urgent or essential either.

Forty-four hours is not really a long time. Forty-four hours which were spent almost entirely in my own room, alone, with nothing to do except work felt like quite a long time, but they were more productive hours without my computer. Which is what I expected, really. I just hadn’t anticipated that it would be so easy.

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One thought on “Experiment: Internet Cold Turkey is Over

  1. I do that every so often, just to keep things balanced. The computer, and the internet in particular, can become addictive.

    When my children were young, I’d keep tabs on their patterns, and every so often we’d have a “No Screen” day, weekend, or even week. The louder their protests, the more convinced I was it was necessary! (No screen meant everything: computer, television, gameboys, Wii — everything!) After an adjustment period, everyone settled in to doing other things, and when the ban was lifted, they were more moderate in their use.

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