Friday, June 13, 2014

How will you live without internet?

So here's the thing. At my new place all the utilities are included in my rent except cable and internet. I don't have a TV and I'm not interested in getting one, so I definitely don't need cable. 

Then I had this crazy thought, "What if I just don't have internet there either?"

I mean, I'm at work all the time and I have internet here. (I'm currently blogging on my lunch break.) It's not like I'd be totally cut off from the modern world.

But what if I made my home a refuge from the world wide web? It would seem so off the grid. In a good way, I think. Like the old family cabin we used to have up Big Cottonwood Canyon. It already looks sort of cabin-ish, right?

Of course, I say this now. Who knows how I'll feel after a week of actually living without internet at home? But I think it would be a fun experiment in simplified living. I am all about doing more with your life when you have less in your way. And I think that most people will agree that the internet is basically one big distraction. 

Sometimes it's a really good distraction. I have nothing against it on principle or anything. I think it's all in how you use it. But in order to make it a good thing for your life, you actually have to pay close attention to how you use it and why. And I find it extremely difficult to monitor myself in this area. Hours pass unnoticed sometimes. It's definitely a weak spot for me.

That's why I'm thinking maybe I need to take a break for awhile. Last year I went six weeks without facebook, and it was a bit rough. But it was refreshing too. And one thing I noticed was that I had a lot more time on my hands. Just think about how much more time I would have if I had no internet at home at all.

I actually made a list of all the things I could do if I didn't have the internet. Because when I first started to consider this idea I was like, "There's no way I could do that. What would I even do after work? How would I entertain myself?"

But it turns out there are a lot of things I like to do that I've sort of stopped doing lately because I'm too "busy." 

What am I busy doing? Who even knows? I don't feel like I spend lots of time on the internet, but maybe I do. How else do you explain all that disappearing time?

Anyway, here's my list. It may seem nerdy, but these are all things that I really like. I just never seem to get around to them anymore.

Things I Could Do Without the Internet

1. Write more
2. Sew. I like to crosstitch but I haven't done it in awhile. And I owe my brother and sister-in-law a project. Oops.
3. Go for walks. I already do this a lot, but it's really, really fun. And I should do it more.
4. Go to the temple and/or work there
5. Read
6. Study topics I find interesting
7. Listen to music
8. Do yoga
9. Get more sleep. Not sure this would actually happen, but at least I'd have the time. Theoretically.
10. Find a few public spots where I have free wifi. It'll force me to get out of the house more.
11. Ride Daphne
12. Take up a new hobby or two
13. Do puzzles
14. Cook and bake
15. Garden
16. Keep up on my written correspondence
17. Make a braided denim rug for my new living room, like this person did.

18. I also used to make wind chimes out of old hardware and wire. That would be fun to do again.
19. Invite friends over and talk to them in person instead of online
20. Volunteer

I'm sure there are other things too.

When I compare this list to the things I'll be giving up like Netflix, Words with Friends, and excessive Facebook use, there's really no comparison for me.

Also, it's not like I'll be totally without access to the internet at home. I have data on my phone that I could use in a pinch, though I'd really want to limit how often I do that.

I'm also throwing in the caveat that I would definitely need to purchase a radio. There's no way I could live alone without music playing in the background or at least the option of music playing in the background. And having a radio seems like the cheapest way to solve that issue without internet. So far on my visits there, I've just been using the music I have stored on my iPad or playing CDs on my laptop, but that selection is getting old fast. I need a radio. I need NPR and a good alternative station and a few pop and maybe even some country options.

So am I going to do it?

Yeah, I think so. At least for a little while. If I hate it, I can just sign up for service later. Plus at the moment I still have internet at my old apartment and I haven't totally moved out, so there's always that option. 

But if I like it. . . . I don't know. I feel like this could be the start of something great for me.

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