Posted in life

No Internet week Challenge

 

Recently, I took one-week no internet challenge. No Internet for a week, no emails, no social media, nothing. I’m usually a hardcore internet user. On a bad day I spend more time on it than off, am stuck in a haze of heedless web-based social networking looking over, poring over boring Facebook posts from people I don’t know, distracted by email links from mailing lists I never signed up for and rotating between online magazines, time-killing youtube, Instagram, Quora, social interaction notifications, Twitter and so forth. I realized that I was chained to the digital world.

So, I tried taking a break from it when I knew that it’s affecting my productivity and health by altering my sleeping patterns. I promised not to sneak a peek on my phone and computer for a week. My college’s end- term examinations ended this week and hence it was the perfect time to take up this challenge; time to cut-off myself from the social media and the Internet.

The first thing that struck me after a day of abstention wasn’t so much what I lost, but what I gained. Time.So much time. Not taking my phone into the bedroom with me was giving me at least two hours extra a day. I never thought that I had this much time before and would usually blame my engineering curriculum.

I made a daily schedule and tried maintaining a diary to which at the end of the day writing down of what I achieved and what not.

Two days in and miraculously I was far more productive; I could do something that would normally take me a whole day in an hour of uninterrupted focus.  Consequently, I felt a lot better about myself.

It took four days before I got itchy trigger fingers. I was watching an IPL match on TV and felt an overpowering urge to share my thoughts on it with my friends on WhatsApp, but I resisted. The next morning I woke up with a craving to check in with the online world: the news, the papers, the facebook, the twitter.

What I began to realize was how many times I fool myself about why I’m picking my phone up: to check the time, to check emails, to discover something particular. In reality, these are just gateway excuses for me to jump into the dull cycle of internet use. When I stopped to think about it, I realized that I would pick my phone up or sit down at my computer to find one thing out, and an hour later would have completely forgotten what that thing was. Before I would tell myself- “Hey let me take a break and check out some notifications”. Hours later I would still be checking notifications or laughing on some stupid youtube channel, or engrossed tweeting on some not so necessary twitter threads.

But, now it was different. I started reading books and watching television again – things I hadn’t done in months. I started to have long, involved chats with neighboring friends. Most importantly I became very very aware of my surroundings -the green leaves of plants, the pleasant blowing wind, and the blue sky. Everything seemed so real and I looked at them and thought that where I have been before, why didn’t I noticed this earlier.

By the start of the sixth day what had become very clear is how over-stimulated I had become when I was using the internet.

I’d got through the week without going online but I’m not sure how it would have worked over a much longer period of time. By the end, I didn’t want to log back on; I genuinely wanted to break the chain. I want to enjoy the nature, the family-friend chats, hanging out outside and everything I couldn’t do before.

But as a student, it’s virtually impossible to go without internet for a significant period of time. Not only do you miss out on social events, but your work suffers too. However, I’d also recommend logging off occasionally; even if just for a day or two. It will help for sure.

When you realize that internet is nothing more than an addiction..it’s a hard habit to break; but when you break the addiction, life is so much fun.

So all I want to say through this post is that use internet wisely, no doubt it is essential but don’t let it empower your mind and body.

For me, I will surely figure out a way to maintain an equilibrium with life on the internet and outside it, because  I really want to enjoy both of them.

Peace and have a nice weekend!

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Author:

Abhishek is a student of computer science engineering. He creates poetry, quotes and short articles on a variety of topics.

20 thoughts on “No Internet week Challenge

  1. Wow you use a lot of social media. I have more time because I only use WordPress but still I think I’m getting sucked into it. Must’ve been very hard for you during the challenge.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. It’s a tough challenge but worth it. Yeah, social media is trap but it’s just our mind which creates urges which prompts us towards it. All we should try to do is control our mind, definitely a tough thing but it’s the way towards glory 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. that’s really amazing that you got over your addiction to the internet. I need to start doing that. I deleted my facebook account, and I deleted other social media sites as well. I mostly use email and skype. I struggle with internet addiction too, but I know I can do it if I just distract myself. But I’ve noticed that when I’m not on my phone or computer (which I’m using now), I’m alot happier and less bored. You inspire me to go without social media for more than a week.

    Liked by 1 person

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