Is It Time to Quit the Internet?

How much time do you spend on the internet every day? Is it productive time, or wasted? Would you ever quit the internet? I've been thinking... | www.fillingthejars.com

{A self-reflective, extremely personal post.}

 

How much time do you spend on the internet every day? Is it productive time, or wasted? Does your husband ever tell you that he wished he were your phone so you would pay more attention to him? (Ummmm…. yeah…)

If you’re age 35 or older, you probably remember a time without cell phones or the internet. I’ve had a smartphone (my first-ever cell phone) for less than two years, and I’ve had a tablet for not much longer than that. I’m amazed at how completely addicted I became in that time.

Here are some of the thoughts I’ve had about minimalism, technology, and the internet. I’ll also tell you about some of the changes I’ve made and the benefits/results I have seen.

 



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Introspection

My husband likes to talk about the eventual possibility of the two of us living at our little cabin, which is in the middle of nowhere. No phone, no electricity, no internet. While I adore the thought of dumping most of our STUFF and living quietly, I always immediately dismiss his plan, saying I can’t live without internet. Seriously, that bothers me more than being off the electricity grid!

Since I’m 45, you would think the idea of living like “the good ol’ days” without internet wouldn’t send me into a panic.

Then I wonder: Am I closing my mind to the possibilities of a richer life? Have we come so far as a society that we really can’t survive without the internet?

Homebound people have a larger world thanks to the internet. While I’m not homebound, I do prefer to stay home as much as possible. I write, blog, and earn an income online. I pay our bills online. We keep up with extended family mainly through texting and social media. My family views television exclusively through streaming services. It seems our lives are increasingly internet-dependent.

Have we come so far as a society that we really can’t survive without the internet? Click To Tweet

 

Does the Internet Enable Minimalism?

My husband and I recently watched the documentary “Minimalism” by The Minimalists.

I noticed they didn’t have all of the “stuff” one would imagine you’d need to run a business, write and publish books, etc. They did, however, each have a smartphone, a laptop, and a tablet or a kindle. I realized most writing- and business-related stuff can be done online now. Which is awesome, yet perhaps a little frightening.

On one hand, I’m grateful for that, since I type much more quickly than I write by hand. I also love being able to edit my work so easily on the computer. Plus, I communicate better online.

On the other hand, while I believe tech & the internet allow us to be more productive with less bulk, they can also steal our time in other ways.

 

Making Over My Internet Relationship

So then I began to wonder (again with the wondering): Perhaps the real problem is social media? Oh, yikes! I have a love/hate relationship with social media, which means I have a love/hate relationship with my smartphone and my tablet.

But thanks to completing Crystal Paine’s Make Over Your Evenings course, I am now to the point where I actually TURN OFF MY PHONE (and other tech items!) at least an hour before bed, sometimes even earlier.

I had some withdrawal symptoms for the first few days. But then something happened — I got to the point where I was RELIEVED that I didn’t feel the pressure to do one last internet check right before I went to sleep — in other words, get sucked into at least 30+ minutes of mindless browsing. Honestly, I think that’s why I now turn off my phone earlier and earlier each evening. I remember all of that stuff is not urgent.

And since I don’t have my phone in the bedroom now, it’s not the first thing I look at when I wake up. It used to be. My alarm clock would go off, and I would immediately reach for my phone to see what happened overnight. But now… nope. Since I’m awake, then obviously the world didn’t end the night before. Whatever is on my phone can wait. This has been incredibly freeing!

 


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Where Do Your Priorities Lie?

Are you an embracer of technology? Is your phone in your hand 24/7? Do you work on your computer 16 hours a day?

Or do you not even own a smartphone? Is social media a foreign language to you? Have you never read an ebook?

Rather than driving ourselves crazy with questions and internal arguments about minimalism, the glories of technology, the downfall of civilization, etc., I think it’s more important to remember that life is about PEOPLE. The people we live with, the people we interact with daily (whether that’s in person or online), the people we try to help with our actions and words.

While I’m not saying I would like to live COMPLETELY AND FOREVER without internet, there is something to be said for restricting tech time. Every night when I turn my phone off a little earlier and consciously place it in an area away from the bedroom, I’m one step closer to keeping my life priorities in the right order. It’s time to be fully present in the real world and real life.

So have I changed my mind about quitting the internet and going to live in our little cabin in the woods? Not yet. But the thought no longer sends my emotions into a tailspin… 😉

How much time do you spend on the internet every day? Is it productive time, or wasted? Would you ever quit the internet? I've been thinking... | www.fillingthejars.com

 


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How much time do you spend on the internet every day? Is it productive time, or wasted? Would you ever quit the internet? I've been thinking... | www.fillingthejars.com

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