Follow Up of Going Cold Turkey: 2 Weeks….of No Internet!

It has been well over 2 weeks since I have written a blog post. For the past couple of weeks I have been offline doing other things. For instance, watching photography videos, taking random photos with the skills I learned, reading a couple of books (The Road and Shortcomings), starting my novel, spending more time with friends, family, and girlfriend, watching a couple of movies, getting myself better due to the flu or whatever it was I got a couple of weeks ago, finish writing my life business plan, and thinking of where my life is at the moment. To some what I have done doesn’t amount to much, but I have done all of this while not being online. Also, when I was at work I limited my internet use as much as possible.

Things Realized About Myself

I have come to realize with the observation of my girlfriend are that I am an extremist. Looking back at this challenge I could have done it with ease, whenever I do anything I don’t ever have a problem of not completing it. Whether it be me being on the internet as much as possible and checking my email 20 plus times a day, to putting an excess amount of nasal drops in my nose only to cause a headache, being able to workout 5 days a week without any problem, going vegetarian for two weeks, watching a very small amount of television, and this latest installment of extreme behaviors of being without the internet for 2 whole weeks. This is one thing I am going to work on and will have to bring balance to my life as much as possible in order to live a productive, but not to one-sided lifestyle.

So What Did I Really Give Up

I gave up some very important things I thought I couldn’t live without. I gave up the mail on my phone (which will probably stay off because it is a huge distraction), my podcast (also was able to delete a couple of them during the break), blogs I read on a daily basis (which I have also deleted a couple of), and gave up yahoo home page and a web browser in general. Being without sports and news was a dream, but became reality and enjoyed my time away from. I actually was really informed due to other people telling me what was going on and also had the trusty paper laying around. Not being able to read what others wrote and listen to what others produced helped me to realize I was too involved with other people’s lives and didn’t take my passions seriously. For the most part I developed my own thinking of whatever subject at hand and loved the fact I could express my own ideas more times than not while talking to other people. Every day I wrote so I was able to journal about my thoughts and whatever else I was going through at the time. What I have realized is at times rely on others opinions before I come up with an opinion of my own. Most of the time when we have thought about the topic we have combined opinions of others before we have an unique voice of our own. Opinions of others are great, however if we can’t make our own independently, than who are we really?

A Fight of The Ages

I got many praise for doing what I was doing for 2 weeks. Some people thought it was weird, but one person really let me have it. I have a friend who is over seas doing contract work. He tried to email me multiple times to see where I was and wondered why I haven’t emailed him. He finally called me and was wondering what the hell was wrong with me. I asked him if he checked the blog lately and did he look at my last blog post? He said yes. I asked him if he got my last email I sent him about me taking a couple of weeks away from the internet? He said yes. He said he didn’t think I was serious, he also said I was taking things too far, too extreme, some hippie shit, and blah blah blah. He said the internet is everything and we can’t live without it. He kept going on and on about everything is driven by the world wide web and I was foolish to be doing what I was doing. I told him it was only for 2 weeks. He continued to go on about the economy, business, about a lot of stuff we have talked about in the past, and how he is ready to get a business started. He really got frustrated with me after he started talking about television and current events. I told him I don’t watch much television anymore and didn’t know much of what was happening, except what other people were telling me. He quickly got off the phone. I was angry, but got over it quickly. Why should I  be angry at someone who is making an argument of the internet that has been effecting the way we live our lives for the past decade? Which the internet everyone depends on for everything and the main tool that makes us feel we are too “busy” to do anything for ourselves. I can’t worry about what somebody thinks of me, because I wanted to try the impossible for 2 weeks. The internet is a very very helpful tool, but it shouldn’t be our lives. We should use the internet for what it is and do other hobbies or activities in our lives that make us happy.

What Am I Going to Change?

After two weeks of no internet I am going to change the amount of time I spend online, my email usage of only committing to one email check per day, keeping podcast listening to 2-3 hours per day, probably less depending on the day. Continue to do my passions as much as possible; writing every morning and finding time in the afternoon to write some more, reading, taking photos, spending time with my girlfriend, family, and friends. That is about it! My life isn’t complicated anymore, especially after eliminating tons of things I thought mattered.

I Wasn’t Perfect…

Most of everything I do is online. I pay bills, manage my credit cards, check updates of sports and news, talk to friends through gchat or simply sending them an email, or whatever, it is done online. I had a couple of very sensitive money transactions I needed to monitor and execute during the time I was offline. I checked my bank account online the day my work check cleared to make sure I had enough funds to pay my rent and my brother back. I was online for a total of 2 minutes. Another time was when I was reading this book about novel writing, The Art of Fiction, and the topic of using a specific book for improving grammar came up and I was too impatient to wait, so I went online and did a quick google search. I was online for a period of 3 minutes. The last time was when I wanted to know some more details of a Porsche Carrera 4 I was interested in buying. I asked friends through sms and it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t hold myself together and resorted to using wikipedia on my iphone for 4 minutes to get the instant information.

What Was Waiting For Me Online?

I was so anxious to get back online. I knew I could go longer, but I committed to two weeks and did it with honor (lol, like I was going to war and my life depended on it). There are 3 things I usually check while I am online that seem to waste tons of my time: email, reading blog post, and the constant update of the podcast I frequently listen to. I was welcomed back with 64 emails in my gmail account, 85 blog post, and nearly a day worth of podcast to listen to! I continued to become overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do and where to start. Now this was the big reason I was running away from the internet. I felt I had to keep up with everything everyone else was doing and didn’t give myself time to do me (or to figure out what I wanted to do). When I was off for 2 weeks I was doing what I wanted to do and also did activities I have been putting on my someday list. Now after being back for a couple of days I really do need to sit down with myself and determine the right way I choose to use my 24 hours. I need a good balance, either being plugged in for an hour or 2 and still doing other things I love to do. I will figure that out in the coming days and do another post on the topic.

One response to “Follow Up of Going Cold Turkey: 2 Weeks….of No Internet!”

  1. Lol you were mad at me man? I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings but that “hippie shit” line I used was classic lol! So you see this social experiment you tried had implications some good and some bad. It makes communication a little more difficult as we are accustomed to sending short messages with web links or multmedia attchments in this day and age rather than phone calls. I challenge and argue that it is near impossible in 2009 to run any business, large or small without the internet. That was the issue I had with you not using the internet as we’re both potentially on the verge of business ventures. I learned something about myself too through your experiment I can be an asshole lol be easy man.

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