I recently just watched a TED Talk video about a man who left the internet for a full year. He started his journey on May 1st, 2012. Before I begin my discussion about him I would like you, the reader, to try and think about letting go of the internet. Could you let it go for a year? A month? A week? Even just twenty four hours? I ask you this because I asked myself the same questions. I thought about how much I use the internet. This includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and yes, even Snapchat. I was thinking about this as I was watching the video, then I realized I was not even paying attention to the video, so I paused it and just thought about my internet usage and how often I use it in just twenty four hours.
As I was sitting there reflecting on myself I felt my phone buzz on my lap, which is where I keep it when I do homework. I had a Snapchat notification, so I checked it and replied. I put my phone back on my lap and began to reflect again. However, I had forgotten where I was at in my thought process before I checked my phone. I was also thinking about when my phone was going to buzz and light up next, which was also consuming my thought process. I just sat there waiting and staring at the black screen on my phone for it to light up again. After what felt like a couple minutes my phone had yet to buzz. I then snapped myself out of the trance I was in and placed m phone in my pocket and continued the video. I was locked in to what he had to say about his year without the internet. Then, all of a sudden, my pocket vibrated. I reached into my pocket and pulled out my phone. I stopped myself from unlocking and replying to whomever it was and placed it back into the depths of my pocket. I focused back on the video. After roughly fifteen seconds I thought about the notification I had just received. “I need to check it and see who it is and what he or she has to say or ask of me that is so important right now.” That is what I was telling myself over and over again as I attempted to focus on the video that I was watching for one of my classes, which is way more important than whatever was going on with my phone.
I tried over and over again to focus, but I eventually gave in to the distraction and checked my phone. And yes, if you were wondering, it was a pointless Snapchat that could have waited for my homework to get to before I checked it. I was well aware of this, so I chose to place my phone in a separate room until I am finished with my homework. This is where I am at now- doing homework with no distraction of my phone. Honestly, I feel so relieved. I typed this blog in just under fifteen minutes, when it would usually take me at least thirty to forty minutes to complete. I saved quite a few minutes of my night by simply ridding myself of the distraction of my phone.
The man in video below gave up an entire year of internet. Notice how I said “gave up”, as if it is a huge sacrifice. Well, to me, it is! I have had it at my fingertips for many years and it has been such a convenience, yet also a waste of time because of how much I abuse it. Most of the time I use it for my own pleasure, which would be the use of social media, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. If you had the choice of giving up using the internet for a year, a month, a week, or even a day, to save time on getting things done that are actually important, would you do it? Honestly, for me, I still do not know the answer to that.