My family has a summer home that has little or no wifi capability and no television, and as a result I have very limited access to the internet for two months out of the year. Most people that I tell about my techie shutdown are like “Wow, that’s cool!” But I’ve also had lots of negative reactions (mostly from those dern young’uns who don’t know what life is like without video games. H’rumph!). There are disadvantages—like not being able to check SparkNotes—but there are also some pretty persuasive pros. For instance...
- You can spend more time outside: Maybe this isn’t a plus for you if you live somewhere exceedingly hot in the summer. But if you don’t, outside is a pretty awesome place, especially when seeing it after a winter and rainy spring of hiding away inside with a computer and a subscription to Hulu+ . But if you shiver at the idea of skipping around picking berries, no problem, because…
- You can spend more time reading: Since you’re on this site, I assume that you love to read. If you’re not spending time TV-ing or Internet-ing, you can be reading. ‘Nuff said.
- Some semblance of a normal sleep schedule: I will admit it: At the moment, I am pretty much nocturnal. I stay up late watching movies and TV and finally go to sleep as my dad—the early bird—wakes up. Then I sleep till 3 PM. It’s kind of embarrassing. But without technology, you really begin to realize that there isn’t much to do after it gets dark. Thus, you can rise and take in the glorious sunrise! Or at least not make your parents doubt that you’re still alive.
- Avoidance of crappy summer TV: Watching summer reruns is basically equivalent to dying of boredom. And summer TV that isn't reruns usually just sucks. (Except for a certain hunky archeologist and certain female reporter who will be in a certain medical drama! Sorryfandommoment.) Quitting TV brings you the freedom of not being a consumer zombie who will mindlessly watch anything put in front of you! Free will is pretty awesome.
- Zen Mode: There are numerous scientific studies that say that the Internet is changing our brains. All that tab-switching and obsessive checking of Facebook has shattered our ability to concentrate on one single task for more than a few minutes at a time. I find that when I quit the Internet, even just for a few days, my thoughts are more coherent, I can concentrate more, and I just feel better. You don’t realize just how jangled technology has made you until you discover what life is like without it.
Once the withdrawal symptoms cease, it’s actually pretty easy to go cold turkey from technology And if you succeed in unplugging for two months, I guarantee that you will think about how you used to play internet games and text 3 people while watching TV and think, “Why would I need that much stuff in front of me at the same time?” I do it every year. So go forth, and unplug yeselves! But maybe you could still check Sparknotes. Just a little.
Have you ever had to live without technology?
Post by ElvesAreJustBetter!