Three lessons from three weeks of internet-free days

For three weeks now, I have been avoiding the internet on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So far, I have learned a few things, not just from the days I don’t use the internet but also from the days I do use it.

Lesson #1: Evening internet use is the most wasteful for me

I find that I get a lot more done on Tuesday and Thursday evenings now. For example, last Thursday, I cleaned my whole apartment on a whim when I got home from work, made a great dinner, and then spent the rest of the evening reading. With no social media to distract me, I got started on these tasks right when I got home, which left me with a clean home and time to relax later in the evening.

I also find that I am more aware of my internet use on the days that I am using it. I noticed that when I use the internet during the day, I tend to be looking up useful things or reading the few blogs that I regularly read. But in the evening, I tend to be using social media or getting pulled into the rabbit hole of the internet in general (reading the archives of a new blog I’m not even that interested in, looking at Instagram profiles of people I don’t know well, that sort of thing). This was a pretty surprising and slightly embarrassing insight for me, but I’m glad I gained this knowledge since I can now avoid this behaviour.

Lesson #2: Procrastination can be a good thing

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, when I think of something I “need” to do on the internet, I’m forced to either write that thing down or trust that I will remember it tomorrow when I can do it. Probably about 90% of the time, I realize by the next day that it wasn’t important and I no longer need to do it. This brings up the question: how much time do I waste looking up things that don’t even matter by the next day? I suspect a lot, which is a sobering realization, but a good one. Now, I keep that in mind when deciding whether to do something right away or later.

Lesson #3: The habit is strong!

The habit of using the internet is strongly ingrained in me. But it can change. I still get the urge to pull out my phone and check Instagram while waiting for something but I usually remember to use that time to insert some white space instead.

I’m going to continue this experiment for at least a few more weeks and I’m interested to see if I come up with any more insights. Anyone want to join me?

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