Minimalism is a way of life. Minimalists like to limit their possessions, which frees them to spend more time on the things that are truly important to them. After all, if you’re not busy earning more money to buy stuff, and you don’t have to clean and organize that stuff, you have a lot more time on your hands.
Apparently, minimalism goes beyond simply owning fewer possessions and also encompasses anything that can be clutter in our lives, including the internet. Some minimalists are writing about their experiment of living without the internet.
What Is Life Like Without the Internet?
What? Shut.the.front.door! I know many people live without the internet at home, but I always assumed that was because they couldn’t afford it. Why would anyone who could afford it not have the internet at home?
We’ve only had the internet in our home for the last 10 years, but I can’t imagine what life used to be like without it.
It seems like life would be so boring at home. How could we survive without Google at our fingertips? How could we make it without Netflix? Without e-mail?
Life Without the Internet at Home is Richer
Turns out, there is a small group of people who are experimenting with not having the internet at home. Joshua Fields Millburn, co-author of the website, The Minimalists, is one of those who has cut the cord at home despite being a freelance writer and having a website.
When asked why he got rid of the internet, he states, “There is one primary reason: I was not content with my productivity. I felt I could do more meaningful things than spend time on the internet—meaningful things like write, exercise, contribute to others, establish connections with new people, and strengthen existing relationships” (The Minimalists). He goes on to say, “The internet is not evil, just like candy is not evil. But if your entire diet consists of candy, you get sick and fat fairly quickly. Thus, I don’t keep bags of candy at home, just like I don’t keep the internet at home anymore either” (The Minimalists).
Another blogger, Graeme Blake, author of Graeme’s Musings, went without the internet whenever he went to Cuba. (Once for seven months, once for one month.) He found that each time he was without the internet, he read more books and had more time to explore the city and hang out with friends. In his estimate, he spent about 30% of his free time on the internet.
Are you the same?
I know I waste a large amount of time on the internet going down rabbit holes. Sometimes, I emerge from an internet rabbit hole and can’t even remember what I initially started searching for. I can’t easily waste 15 to 30 minutes on the internet at a time.
Do you do this, too?
What If You Can’t Cut the Cord?
As much as I’m intrigued by going without the internet at home, at this time, I don’t see how it could work. I’m a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, which means my kids are with me all day. I am also a freelance writer and virtual assistant. I squeeze in my work whenever there is time—while the kids are watching a show, early in the morning, after the kids go to bed. Having to leave the house to do my work would be a major inconvenience.
If you, like me, can’t cut the internet, Blake suggests a few way you might reduce your usage:
Monitor the strength of your internet habit
Blake suggests “installing Rescuetime and letting it count how often you’re in a browser window. You might be surprised. Remember to include time spent on your phone” (Graeme’s Musings). Once you realize how much time you’re wasting, limiting your internet usage might be easier.
Make access to the internet more difficult
If you can’t cut the Internet cord, Blake suggests disconnecting the Ethernet cable when the internet is not needed. He states, “It’s enough effort to get up and plug it in that I usually don’t” (Graeme’s Musings).
Could you live without the internet at home? Do you now? Do you think you have an internet addiction?