Well, I’ve finally done it. I’ve been obsessing over the idea for well over a year at this point, and I finally woman-ed up and just did it.
I cancelled Netflix.
I cancelled Amazon Prime.
I cancelled WiFi.
My connection to the last of these will be terminated on the 15th of the month, in T-minus seven days.
Starting on the 15th of the month, I will no longer be a Netflix-binger, online-window-shopper, or internet-user in general.
At least for the foreseeable future.
At least until January.
Rather, I’m hoping I can make it that long.
Here’s the thing: my productivity levels at home su-uuuuck. Once I’m home, I’m basically done for the day. I turn on the TV, select a Netflix show, and promptly become a mindless zombie.
I can’t even be bothered to respond to texts; how dare they interrupt my solace.
I once read that a study was done on people who watched TV – they came out literally dumber than before the episode or binge or whatever. I don’t remember where or when I read that, but it has stuck with me for ages. And I’m probably imagining this to some extent, but I feel dumber lately.
When I was 16, I was working two part-time jobs and going to two colleges full-time. I was exhausted. But, like, a good exhausted. The kind you feel when you know you’ve used up every bit of energy your brain and body can produce for the day.
Now I feel bad exhausted.. pretty much all the time. The kind you feel when you have a mountain of to-dos and spend three hours binging Friends rather than completing even a single task. The kind you feel when you’ve been a zombie for so long that you struggle to get creative juices flowing, juices that used to flow freely and allow you to bang out a 5-page essay in 20-30 minutes.
EL. OH. EL.
Don’t even ask how long it would take me to write that essay now.
I was talking to a friend last night and he point-blank asked me if I was living any of the advise I freely give others about pursuing their dreams.
The answer was an obvious and awkward: “um, no..?”
And it was just the push I needed to finally get it together.
So I called Spectrum at 12:05 PM today, and cancelled my WiFi.
I’m hoping this exercise in unplugging will make me so. stinking. bored. that I actually want to tackle that mountainous task list.
I need fewer distractions and temptations to waste my life, and by getting rid of WiFi in my apartment, I’m getting rid of almost all of them.
Thanks to the recent declutter, I don’t own much in the way of entertainment. My books are purged down to just a Bible and 3-4 non-fiction books I’ve been meaning to get to for ages. My collection of movies is downsized to 3 – the Anne of Green Gables series. I have a handful of games and five partially empty notebooks. I’ve got an iPad, MacBook, and iPhone. Oh, and a keyboard.
All of these things are generally ignored in favor of Netflix or YouTube or window shopping on Amazon.
Getting rid of WiFi is getting rid of pretty much everything I do in my free time.
And this idea thrills me.
A world with no old habits to fill the time is a world of endless possibilities.
Who knows what I’ll do first.
I imagine I’ll catch up on sleep again, and maybe finally read those books. I’ll probably get outside more and call friends more and study the Word more. I’ll probably goof off on the keyboard and spend focused energy on developing my vocal range. Maybe I’ll finally get around to experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen. Maybe I’ll go on more adventures to local museums or random far off places. Oh, oh – I might even become a consistent blogger (aaah ha)! After all, there’s nothing else to do.
Just to clarify for the nay-sayers: I’m not cutting the internet or entertainment out of my life entirely.
This should be obvious since my job is 100% an online gig.
Also, as I said, I have an iPhone which has data which means internet. And there’s no way on earth I’m giving up my GPS, the ability to check open/close times of businesses, or an opportunity to fact-check people in the middle of a conversation (because yes, I’m one of those annoying people who has to fact-check EVERYTHING).
I can even use the internet for other things if I should so desire, just not at home.
There’s a Starbucks with great indoor and outdoor seating areas and free WiFi less than a mile away. I’ve got a MoviePass membership (that will soon be swapped for the AMC membership because MoviePass just passed a bunch of new policies that are complete suckage) that I will use to enjoy the frequent theater experience. I have a DVD player and a library card. My iPad is already filling up with books I want to read, and my phone is overwhelmed with Podcasts I intend to listen to on long evening walks. I also have Ronnie, my delightful car that is more anxious to hit the roads than I am.
The point is: I want to make distractions harder to get to; I want to make them a reward, rather than my norm.
So here I go, starting my experimental mutiny of the internet. Wish me luck.