Hello, I’m Neil and I’m addicted to the internet. It has been 15 days since I’ve had a fix.
I’m connected nearly all waking hours in some way or another. Realizing that it cannot be healthy mentally or physically to be plugged in all the time I decided to do 15 days internet-free. No email, no facebook, no instagram, twitter, Google maps, Tripadvisor, Yelp, no interwebs, period.
I shut down the friday before Christmas by turning on my out-of-office, deleting all social media apps from my phone, and leaving my laptop sitting on our coffee table while we traveled to NY and Mexico for 2+ weeks.
The results were mixed – I didn’t find myself missing my social networks or email as much as I thought I would, but I found myself feeling fairly disconnected to current events, sports, and random things like personal finances and the weather. Within a couple days the habitual down-time phone-in-handle reflect seemed to dissipate quite a bit and I began more able to be present in any given moment.
And while I didn’t find myself cheating at all while I was home, but I didn’t do nearly as well while traveling. Trying to check flight statuses, arrange arrivals to rentals, and figure out what to see, eat and do and what to skip was basically impossible for me without the web. I had no desire to check my email or jump on facebook, but the prospect of travel planning without the web made me a bit panicky.
Bottom line, those sites that I currently spend the most time on (FB, twitter, email) were the ones I missed the least. Its easy easy for to fall into the narcissistic trap of seeing how many retweets, likes, and shares something gets. I’m hoping I can use the momentum to maintain 3-4 hours a day totally disconnected moving forward. Maybe even take a whole day off now and then.
I think I’ll start right after I see how many likes this post gets.
By the numbers during 15 days off the grid:
- Email, Personal – 186, (24 needing response.)
- Email, Work – 395, (44 requiring response.)
- Facebook – 34 Notifications, 3 friend requests, 4 messages
- Twitter – 6 new followers, 2 @mentions
- Instagram – 4 new followers, 3 notifications