|This picture has nothing to do with the post. I just really like it.|
A few months ago, Feraz and I tried to implement a no-internet from 8-10 rule. We wanted to do this to help reduce screen time and encourage more conversation and fun times. It felt to me that Feraz would come home from work and we would exchange some words here and there but we spent virtually all of our time in front of our computers or watching TV together.
We tried the ban for a few weeks but with varied schedules, guests popping in or having places to go, the 8-10 ban wasn’t practical and we abandoned it after a short while. Even as we both went back to the internet, we lamented that we didn’t like being so attached to screens.
While we were discussing where we would place furniture in the new place, Feraz suggested we keep the TV out of the main room and not get cable at the new place. I thought not having a TV in the family room was a great idea and quickly agreed.
A few days later, I had an idea to take things a step further. I asked Feraz, “What if we don’t have internet as well?”
Feraz seemed a little skeptical but after thinking about it for a few moments, he agreed. We figured we would have a library close by, so we could use that for internet and we could always use our phones to look up directions, places to eat or do quick email check-ins.
This way, we could still benefit from the internet but we would completely eliminate mindless browsing and facebook black holes.
After about five minutes into moving to our new place, Feraz started talking about missing the interent. The first few days were tough on him but pretty soon he stopped missing the internet. I, shockingly, did not miss the internet at all. I went from obsessively reading 10-15 blogs, doing all my shopping online and spending too many hours to admit on facebook to just using my phone every now and then and I loved it.
We have now been internet/cable-free for 21 days. Our goal was to go without these things for one month and then decide if we wanted to stick with it.
The most obvious advantage for me has been that I have been reading more. Since moving to the new place, I have read What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures, The 19th Wife, The Toss of a Lemon, Detroit: An American Autopsy, TheThousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet and This is a Book by Demetri Martin. That is more books than I read in all of winter!
I have also felt much more creative since going internet/cable-free. The ideas and words for stories come much more freely now. I find myself using my imagination frequently. I get a lot more done during the day and Feraz and I are spending so much more quality time together.
I don't think the internet and cable are terrible things. I love TV. There are so many great shows on and I do miss watching some of my regulars. There are also times in the evening when I just want to put in an old episode of the Office and let my mind just relax. We especially miss finding things to watch on Netflix or Amazon Prime. But by having to think about what we want to watch and going and getting the DVD in advance, I find that I now get much more enjoyment out of watching a movie.
Overall, at this point in the experiment, we think that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. I will let you guys know if we decide to go back to having internet or cable and what prompted that decision. What about you? Would you ever consider cutting out internet or TV or both? Have you already?