Technique

The 1 hour internet diet: spending one hour a day on the internet tops. Simple as that. Actually set an egg timer to go for one hour, and check all of your email, etc. whatever it is you got to do. When the hour is up you are done for the day!

Result

A simpler, less cluttered, more real life.

In the flurry of activity following my book release I suddenly found myself with plenty of excuses to check up on things online. I would bounce around from website to website: how is my book doing on Amazon, on twitter, on facebook etc. It seemed that there was a cycle of apps, websites, and feeds that was just long enough that as soon as I finished checking it I could start again.

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After a week of this I began to feel sick and tired of it, I was spinning my wheels, hitting the refresh button on my rankings pages—living in an virtual world. How much of the time I spent on-line was actually accomplishing anything, and how much was just idle, masturbatory, and repetitive waste?

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The fact of the matter is I shouldn’t have to need the internet—being on there is not really a necessary part of my job description, and more importantly I don’t think it brings me much joy. It fills time, in the same way that staring at a TV does, but all in all I don’t think it brings me as much pleasure and fulfillment as say dancing, or going on a hike, or curling up with a good book.

I decided to go on an internet diet: one hour max on the interwebs daily. Depending on your view that might seem like a crazy idea, or maybe it seems like a pretty obvious goal. But I suspect that for many of us we spend more than an hour of time idly surfing the web. If you are curious about what it is like to cut back to a healthier amount of online consumption read-on. I will blog the next week of my internet diet:

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Day 1

So I have set a timer for exactly one hour. Once it dings I have to go off-line for the rest of the day! It is kind of amusing, giving me a sort of Mission Impossible feeling at first. I sit down, and what, I have to get all of my inter-netting (Including writing this blog) done in 60 minutes GO! So I answered a couple of emails, and then clicked through my social media, Facebook, Twitter etc. And the funny thing . . . was I realized OKAY all of that only took 10 minutes or so. Huh, that’s weird. Am I already done for the day?

What I’m realizing is that when I spend all day tied to my laptop (a lot of that is research, looking up various ideas, books, blogs etc.) I often use the internet as a way to take a break. I mindless return to the same pages, telling myself I am being productive, when really there isn’t any new info there! All of this to say that cutting my online time down to an hour a day is suddenly looking like it’s not only possible but an hour might even be more time than I need. The less you engage in an unfulfilling the habit, the less appealing it seems. I have experienced the same phenomena with trying to eat healthy—after a few weeks of eating right, junk food just becomes less and less appetizing and veggies start to look like  . . . well, bacon and ice cream if you know what I mean.

Chamonix Hiking View of Valley

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