Saturday, November 14, 2009

Reflections on My Internet Fast

As you may or may not know, I took the month of October off from the Internet. Well, not completely off, of course. It would be hard to do my job otherwise. I also allowed activities like getting directions, checking email (on occasion), paying bills, and looking up vital information (like how to toast pumpkin seeds).

But I didn't write blog posts, read blogs or other articles, participate in any form of social networking, or shop online.

The motivation: more time, less stress, and just to get away.

I have to say, I didn't miss it a bit. Well, I missed writing, but that was about it. I had some good blog post ideas in October, but I just let them go. Productivity was fantastic. Think about it...

You get to work early (to get things done) and turn on the computer. What is the first thing you do? Work? Probably not. You likely glance at the news headlines, and potentially get sidetracked into an interesting story. You then move on to email where you find a dozen notifications from Facebook, which leads you to that time-sucking site. You see an update from an old friend and go to her profile to see what else is going on in her world and who her friends are. You see a common acquaintance who is not yet your friend, so you send a friend request. Before you know it, it's 9 o'clock, time for your first meeting of the morning and your day is shot.

During my Internet fast, my morning started with my MITs (most important tasks) and allowed me to feel good about my accomplishments by the time 9 AM rolled around. I'm trying hard to maintain this discipline.

I also enjoyed being disconnected for a while. Checking Facebook, especially, can become quite addictive. It's not like I was on there all the time before the fast, but I felt like it was almost a duty to check in several times a day. What if somebody had a baby? What if a good friend was sick? What if, what if, what if...? Like Facebook is now the only socially acceptable form of communication?

The best part was that friends really appreciated what I was doing. Almost like, "wow, I wish I could do that..." Well, you can. It's pretty easy. Even now, 14 days into the world of Internet again, I find myself not using it at all as much. I check personal email once a day. I check Facebook when I feel like it and not out of some weird 21st century cyber duty. I read blog posts when I see a title that looks really, really intriguing, maybe one or two daily.

My fast allowed me to detach from the Internet and find out that it is okay. The world will not end if I don't show up on Twitter for a month (or two).


1 comment:

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