Sunday, November 11, 2012

Back on the internet

My little experiment in going without internet is now over. It was interested and I learned a few things in the process.

  • Most blogs that I followed in my RSS feed (google reader) I don't really care about at all. As a result, I've deleted 24 feeds that I used to think I cared to read. They simply wasted my time.
  • I surf the net when I'm bored or procrastinating. During my experiment, I'd be board, and automatically I'd think about grabbing my iPhone and see what was happening on the www. When I couldn't, I'd have to find something else to do, and more often than not, it was something productive or something that needed to be done.
  • After the first week, I  became used to not checking up on twitter, tumblr and my google reader. It took about a week before the habit to instantly waste time was gone. Even when I was nearing the end of my 30 days, I still wanted to surf the net, but it was far less frequent and way less strong.
  • I use the internet for far less productive stuff than I do for useful, productive things that will actually better my life.
  • I'm convinced that North American culture would be more productive, efficient and I'd even go so far as to say that peoples individual economy would be better off if they spent less time on the net. The internet is mostly a time waster. Even for useful things, DIY things and such, how much intake can we really handle? We take in way more than we can actually do ourselves. 
  • Social media is just a superfluous version of social. It isn't real, and it really doesn't matter. The people you see, interact with in person matter far more. I was amazed at how confused I was on this matter prior to my little experiment.

It was an interesting experiment, but I am glad it's over. Lessons have been learned, and I've adjusted the way I use the internet accordingly. The internet is an incredible tool, and something I'd hate to have to live without. It's just that most people use it too excessively and have it's usefulness misconstrued. I'm convinced that more most people in North America, it robs them of productivity, contentment and spending time with real people. 

Even this blog is pretty much a waste of time. It won't radically change anyones life, increase their productivity or add much meaning to their life. Happiness it will not bring. But, I will keep blogging. It is fun to share with other people. There's nothing wrong with that. Even if they're people that you have never met, or probably never will meet. But when you let these numbers get out of whack, that's when I question it all. I'm now on a path to seriously decide who I want to interact with on the net, whose blogs I'm actually going to read, and how much time I'm going to spend doing so. 

Mostly this no internet experiment has showed me that I've quickly become sucked into the feeling that anyone who has ever put something I like on the internet should be followed and kept track of. The feeling that I should follow so and so on twitter, or be friends with this person or that person on Facebook. Use the internet smartly, and don't let it get out of hand. Chances are, the less you use it, the better.

Surf's up kids!


Pondero said...

Report appreciated. Your observations are as I anticipated the results might be for myself. Fortunately, my new job does not come with a company issued laptop, nor the need to be working around the clock. So I am being nudged in the right direction. Now on to apply some of your other excellent hints...

I'll be trimming at least half of my Reader subscriptions...but not this one. Where else can I get this kind of perspective?

Doug said...

Thanks for sharing that. It's a great reminder of how much of my own time is spent being unproductive while online. I trimmed my reader subscriptions significantly during the summer when I decided to stop blogging. That helped a lot to focus my computer time a bit more.

Doug said...

.....of course you and Mr Pondero are both still in my Reader subscriptions.

Jon said...

Welcome back. I have to admit that I have been on something of an accidental "internet diet", for the past couple months as I have worked on my CD, and I just read the post in which you announced your experiment.

I find myself forgetting to check on blogs (both other people's and my own) when I am busy. I am not sure that is a bad thing...

Jerome said...

Thanks gents. You guys represent the publishers of content on the net that is actually worth taking in, and one of the reason I missed the www.

I'm on it very little now, which is kind of nice. This experiment has actually made an adjustment to the way that I use the net on a permanent basis.