i stopped using the Internet for forty-eight hours

I stopped using the Internet for forty-eight hours.

It’s fascinating to observe how intermeshed our lives are with the constant signalling we receive from the Internet. Every five minutes, a notification pops up, asking for your attention.

Have you ever tried to live without the Internet consciously?

For me, I observed these three things happening as my mind detached from the Internet:

1. Restlessness to Calmness

We are spending six-to-seven hours daily on the Internet – from being a luxury – the Internet transformed into a necessity, mainly after the accessibility increased post-Jio’s mass distribution strategy. And, now – well, it’s paradoxical – we use the Internet also for meditating.

As I took a conscious pause from the Internet last week, it helped me reduce the constant stimulus I am being offered (wantingly or un-wantingly) and just by reducing this stimulus – I was able to move to a calmer state within me.

Think of your mind as a digital machine with limited RAM. If you run on overload – with too many tabs and software opened, the system will ultimately crash.

2. Mind-Body Connect

I have an overactive rational part which lives within me, i.e. in simpler words, I think a lot, and often, I agree with René Descartes’s idea of “Cogito, ergo sum”, which means I think, therefore I am.

Lately, I have been allowing myself to experience otherwise – how our bodies and minds are capable of living experiences without necessarily thinking (read overthinking) about them.

Staying away from the Internet for two days was a catalyst for this activity, to build a better connection between the mind and body.

3. I realised Less is More

I keep returning to Brene Brown’s words, “We are living in a Culture of Scarcity” because I have enormously learned to relate to it.

In the constant hustle-bustle of our modern lives, somewhere we are internalising this feeling of “Not Good Enough” constantly, no matter how far you’ve reached, the goalpost is constantly moving forward (As Morgan Housel explains in Psychology of Money), and if we live with this constant messaging of “nothing is ever good enough” then no matter what we do, we will not find the inner peace required to improve the quality of our lives.

A large chunk of the scarcity messaging comes from the Internet, breeding on FOMO and nurturing the insecurity monsters – when you just pause from this constant messaging – you realise less is more.

I believe a lot of the challenge here comes from the unavailability of a code of conduct or the question of what is the right way to use the Internet since essentially it functions in a rabbit hole fashion – you move from one search query to another, how do you know that you’ve gathered the required information you need – where do you put a full stop and also, how do you authenticate if the information available is reliable or not. (Speaks the cynic inside me)


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