193: Out of the Internet and Into the Wild

Out of the Internet and Into the Wild

What do you miss when you spend five days without the internet? As L.B. Jeffries discovers, not as much as you might think.

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There is no such thing as true privacy on the Internet. Not only forums and photographs, but the people one meets and the very manner one holds oneself in have a huge effect on future potential. It's easier than ever for such things to come back and bite us as search engines such as Google expand more and every IP address logged somewhere, somehow.

Just because you're not paranoid, doesn't mean they're not after you.

Who doesn't drink more without the internet? A serious study should be conducted on this...Lord knows they throw research grants at the most random stuff nowadays...

Interesting article, thanks.

Interesting read. Me and my wife both spend lots of time online - she scouring the internet for information of professional and personal interest, me "tanking" something-or-other on World of Warcraft. We recently took a one-week vacation away from home and placed a little bet to see which of us would last the longest without a computer and the internet. We had access to both if we wanted to, the idea was to see who would show the most self-restraint. Surprisingly, it was my wife who crumbled after just two days - she just had to check her e-mail, which led to her checking her favourite forum, and so on.

I quit WoW because of that vacation. My wife, however, got herself a netbook which she can carry around in her bag to get online whenever she wants to. It's a funny old world...

Good thinking article. i dont think it mentioned this but did u ignore the cell phone too? I honestly still feel retarded for feeling so naked without the damn cell phone.

"Almost all of us have posted a comment or written a response to something with the sole purpose of being read by someone else. We are all here for that slice of recognition, whatever its size or scale."

Hi, my name is Clemenstation and I'm here to comment. Your article was nice, and I bet you probably had a great time playing outside and going for walks in the woods. Can you validate my parking... er, post?

I once had to wait for my computer to be fixed. It ended up taking over a month (the faulty motherboard crashed just before Christmas break). During that time I went a little stir crazy. at certain periods of times i had internet from some computers (dial-up unfortunately)but when I had to spend to weeks in a computer-free environment it was horrible, I stayed in my room much of my time, I was bitter and I lost quite a lot Net-Cred in my various forums and games...
I have forgotten where i was going with this (to reply to metatr0n, I don't use a mobile much, free chat via net FTW ;p )

I find I'm almost happier without the internet, when I go on holiday (in a completely computer-free environment) I just use the time for my other hobbies. If I have no access to the internet at home I will get work done quicker, and then be able to spend the extra time I have either learning things for personal interest, or (again) pursuing my other hobbies, rather than hanging around on forums or compulsively refreshing the page to check for new posts.

Thing is, if the access to the internet is there, I can't help myself. Recently I've cut down on use a lot, asking myself "Are you really doing anything, or are you waiting for something to do? Couldn't you be doing something else more enjoyable?" - it usually works.

I went without the internet for a week last summer.. It was pretty much the exact same life style, except I got work done. I've never been a popular or even noticeable person. If I stop posting some place or stop signing on AIM, there's not too many people out there that will really care. so I suppose that's a factor. (Not to sound self degrading or anything. I'm just a bit of an introvert who would rather being composing music then talking to someone hah.)
Next summer perhaps I'll do two weeks or an entire month. Though I also want to try writing with my left hand and riding my bike for a 6 miles every day for a week. Hehe Doing things like that are really fun. Like mini-adventures or "unlockable achievements" for you young ones.

Ok yeah you went a little crazy, I lost it for about 4 days but that was all phones as well, we forgot to pay the bill and no one had credit, while I did almost died from boredom mostly I worked out and thought about all the things going on in my life, not kidnap next doors cat.

Wouldukindly:
Who doesn't drink more without the internet? A serious study should be conducted on this...Lord knows they throw research grants at the most random stuff nowadays...

True that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW1nakblcOg

But to be more serious, the Internet, and forums specifically, are good places where people talk about their days, likes, dislikes, whatever: all anonymously, free from persecution or judgement. We write stuff, we sing, we watch silly videos, we talk about random junk, we meet new people, and we do buisness. The Internet has become something great: a public area that all can access for nearly everything that we need. And to suddenly be without it is rather strange: I felt like I was cut off from something extremely significant, a good part of my daily life.

You Lived Off The Validation Provided By The Internet?

I Ultrapity You.

Yea, it's the same for all kinds of media. If you stop watching TV then you realise it's useless garbage that occupies your day just for the sake of occupying it. I moved to a different country, stopped watching TV and now I don't miss it a single bit.
Same with the internet and all other forms of media for me.
The movie Fight Club really hits the nail on the head with that message.

Ultrajoe:
You Lived Off The Validation Provided By The Internet?

I Ultrapity You.

Ultrapity is a little harsh, we all know that Superpity should be sufficient here :P

Falien:
snip

Haha, good job dropping WoW.

insectoid:
snip

I hear ya. The internet can suck you in and you forget what you enjoy more (ala addiction).

This is actually not a bad idea, i might try going a week without internet, gaming or Tv in the summer.
Can't exactly do it while i'm at college since i'm doing computer programming...and then i always end up being drawn to the escapist.

Ultrajoe:
You Lived Off The Validation Provided By The Internet?

I Ultrapity You.

Meh.

Ultrajoe:
You Lived Off The Validation Provided By The Internet?

I Ultrapity You.

So you wouldn't mind if we wiped your title, badges, and post count then, right? ;)

Susan Arendt:

Ultrajoe:
You Lived Off The Validation Provided By The Internet?

I Ultrapity You.

So you wouldn't mind if we wiped your title, badges, and post count then, right? ;)

I assumed he was being ironic (in the connotational sense of the term).

Weren't You?

On-article: I sometimes find myself completely cut-off, and I typically really enjoy it. In the past, I've been on multi-week hiking trips where I had no phone, no internet, no books, no music, no distractions whatsoever. Sort of pleasant.

Just poking a bit of good-natured fun. :)

Susan Arendt:

Ultrajoe:
You Lived Off The Validation Provided By The Internet?

I Ultrapity You.

So you wouldn't mind if we wiped your title, badges, and post count then, right? ;)

Yes actually you could and ya know what it would really speak about one's character at least in terms of a forum if you have really made a statement on who you were on the escapist.

Chances are most of us would not even be known to the community at large.

I mostly find the badges and titles much like Xbox live. Just something to gain as your killing time trying to get something that really doesn't exist in the first place.

Also...what would be better a real horse to love and to care for and adopt as ones own? Or a pony badge?

L.B. Jeffries:

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For quite some time I didn't actually notice that this was yours L.B., must have been the lack of coffee.
Still, brilliant work and I'd fully recommend a break from the net for a bit. Does wonders for your soul.

This is nothing. I once went an entire week without electricity, which was much more interesting. Maybe I should do an article on that...

This was a good one, one of the most though-provoking articles I've read in my short time at this site.

Ace Article, and one that hits close to home.

I often feel the same way as you do. The internet gives us this pedestal to stand on and be noticed, and after we are eventually recognised we can begin to crave that sort of attention. My routine has evolved into turn on computer, check mail, check to see if anyone's quoted me, and then check threads I'm made for any comments. Nine times out of ten I won't have any of these. But I keep doing it.

It can be such a dispiriting cycle sometimes, but I think it's worth it.

Ha, I was pretty addicted to the internet, but then I moved to my dad's in early June of 2008 and didn't have internet for about 3 months, maybe 4. And when I moved to my mom's in Vermont, which is where I am now, the fastest internet speed I have is dial-up speed.

During the 3 months without internet, and that includes Xbox Live, PSN, Steam and all other internet games, and the past 7 months with dial up speed I learned that there are more important things in life.

xmetatr0nx:
Good thinking article. i dont think it mentioned this but did u ignore the cell phone too? I honestly still feel retarded for feeling so naked without the damn cell phone.

I agree... I think cellphones are a little harder to detox from now that the net is on there too. I tried detoxing from both the computer AND the cellphone. You feel really lonely for awhile, but you get used to it... made me appreciate reading a LOT more.

xmetatr0nx:
Good thinking article. i dont think it mentioned this but did u ignore the cell phone too? I honestly still feel retarded for feeling so naked without the damn cell phone.

You know, I actually had a sad night where I texted every random person I could think of when I got particularly bored. I dunno...one thing at a time, right?

insectoid:
I find I'm almost happier without the internet, when I go on holiday (in a completely computer-free environment) I just use the time for my other hobbies. If I have no access to the internet at home I will get work done quicker, and then be able to spend the extra time I have either learning things for personal interest, or (again) pursuing my other hobbies, rather than hanging around on forums or compulsively refreshing the page to check for new posts.

Thing is, if the access to the internet is there, I can't help myself. Recently I've cut down on use a lot, asking myself "Are you really doing anything, or are you waiting for something to do? Couldn't you be doing something else more enjoyable?" - it usually works.

I must learn how to do that myself... Sometimes I wonder how much time exactly I lose sitting around doing nothing useful on the net. And I often find that I'm too bored to do anything that I actually like or look forward to doing -- gaming included, not to mention other productive activities -- while I'm on it, even if it means not moving from my chair. It is alarming. Very interesting and thoughtful article, congratulations!

Cubilone:

insectoid:
I find I'm almost happier without the internet, when I go on holiday (in a completely computer-free environment) I just use the time for my other hobbies. If I have no access to the internet at home I will get work done quicker, and then be able to spend the extra time I have either learning things for personal interest, or (again) pursuing my other hobbies, rather than hanging around on forums or compulsively refreshing the page to check for new posts.

Thing is, if the access to the internet is there, I can't help myself. Recently I've cut down on use a lot, asking myself "Are you really doing anything, or are you waiting for something to do? Couldn't you be doing something else more enjoyable?" - it usually works.

I must learn how to do that myself... Sometimes I wonder how much time exactly I lose sitting around doing nothing useful on the net. And I often find that I'm too bored to do anything that I actually like or look forward to doing -- gaming included, not to mention other productive activities -- while I'm on it, even if it means not moving from my chair. It is alarming. Very interesting and thoughtful article, congratulations!

I was exactly like that. It takes more self-control and discipline than you realise to do something. Sitting on the net doing nothing really sucks the life out of you.

StumbleUpon is the evil of the Internet's time-wasting power given form.

I used to be horribly addicted to FFXI a couple years back and when things hit the fan with my GF I moved out into the city with a friend and for about a year and two months I didn't have internet access at home or any form of Television services. Surprisingly I had an amazing time, I hadn't been that active in ages, felt really good. Slightly miss those days, I certainly love having net access but don't really care if I were to lose it.

I know exactly the feeling the article is talking about.

That said, I don't think it's really a bad thing, just neutral. There's nothing that makes it inherently worse in any way other than gut reaction against the new and strange. We've all seen columnists complain about 'modern kids, always plugged in to the rap music, gives them the brain damage' and so on. We're changing into a society based more around the constant exchange of information. Perhaps things become less private, mentally 'busier', with less focus on stopping and thinking. But at the same time, we become more connected, we can process vast amounts of information on all subjects across the world, leaping from one to the next.

I wouldn't say we should praise or condemn progress based on whether it's 'good' or not - it's just people deciding what they want to do with their lives, as they have the right to. I love spending an hour on the internet simply absorbing others' opinions. A day and I start to feel drained as hell. Perhaps we're starting to lean towards forming a general consensus within our groups of choice rather than thinking quietly by ourselves. But that's just like the Geth and therefore awesome not a threat, just a different way of doing things - not one without problems if it goes too far, but not bad either.

 

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