Last week, I resolved to stay a day without Internet, and I said I’d let you know how it went. Well, I did as promised, and here are the results.
On how I did it technically, I just disabled Wi-Fi on all of my devices. When it comes to my phone, I disabled all apps using Screen Time, with the exception of essential communication ones (WhatsApp and Telegram) and apps that don’t use the Internet at all (like the camera).
On how I felt: throughout the day, it felt as if my brain was looking for something. It was sending a signal, but it couldn’t find an answer. Check the news it said, but that request was blocked. You’re eating, so a video on YouTube would go well with your meal. Blocked too. By the end of the day those signals were still there, of course. To eradicate them completely would need a way longer detox.
I still instinctively pulled out my phone to check for notifications all throughout the day. But of course, there weren’t, and even if I did get a message, the phone would ring, so there was actually no logical reason to check my phone. Reflexes.
One result I was expecting, and which felt particularly good, was the complete eradication of gray areas. If you didn’t read last week’s article, I call ‘gray areas’ those times when you’re just zombie-ing through online content, not fully conscious about what it is you’re doing. Well, since there is no “online content” to speak of, those times were gone too.
As a result, I was always doing someting consciously. This is the best part about the Internet-free day, and why I’m thinking about making it a weekly occurrence. Unplugging from the Internet won’t increase your productivity, it’s not about that. I still did things I’d consider a “waste of time.” But it will make you more conscious about what you’re doing.
If I was resting, it was because I chose to. Anything I was doing, I chose to do with a clear mind. I can’t say that’s true when the Internet is available to me.
Would I do it every day, or most days? Nah. I work remotely, so it’s not an option during weekdays anyway. Plus, the Internet is genuinely useful. I can’t deny, however, that being more intentional and conscious about what I do feels really good. It feels like you’re wrestling back control of the ship, after it was left to float on its own for way too long.
Overall, I’d recommend you give it a try. One day is not enough to rewire your brain, but it’s just enough to give you a glimpse of a life of intentionality. I am now making Saturdays “Internet-free” days for me, since the first went really well. If you want to join me, please do let me know how it goes for you.