My husband and I recently moved to a new apartment. We now live closer to anywhere we ordinarily go, saving us money on gas. The apartment is smaller, meaning it’s cheaper to cool and heat. Rent also costs less than it did in our last apartment.
Even with all these savings, however, we were still hunting for ways to shrink our expenses. After a long hard look, we decided we would not be signing up for Internet services in our home.
Before you collapse on the floor in shock, let me tell you that it has been a wonderful experience. My husband and I are both very prone to wasting time on the Internet, whether it’s social media, news articles, or mindless games. Ditching the Internet in our house liberates us to spend more time together, get more done and grow in all sorts of ways that hadn’t been on our radar before.
Regardless of why you pull the plug on your Internet service, it’s kind of an uphill battle. Therefore, I share what we have learned about making the change work with the hope that you will be able to consider an Internet-free home life if that is something you feel like you should do.
Find another source for the Internet
This sounds a little funny considering you’re trying to untangle yourself from the Internet. However, semi-regular Internet access is an almost essential part of modern life. Your kids probably need to do Internet research for homework.
People expect to be able to email you, send links and look at your pictures so you open yourself up to a lot of criticism if you cut yourself off from the Internet entirely.
That’s why I go to the library a few times every week. It’s only a mile and a half from my apartment so it’s easy to slip over there as needed. I usually go when I’m out doing some other errand. If I don’t remember to bring my laptop, I can still use one of the public computers. If your library isn’t convenient and you prefer to always use your own computer, try a school, college campus or just Starbucks. Many businesses now provide free Wi-Fi. Look for the wireless Internet logo when you are out and about. Just remember that the Internet connection may be rather slow, especially if information sharing is not the company’s primary objective.
Keep an Internet to-do list
As previously stated, the Internet is a nearly indispensable part of life in this day and age. How else am I going to review bills, keep in touch with friends, or turn in this article, for example? Throughout the week or during the day, I keep a sheet of paper and pen on my kitchen table. This develops into my to-do list with a column specifically for “computer tasks.” These are all the things I will need to do while I am using the Internet outside of my home. That way, I can do all of them at once.
If part of your reason for unplugging is a moderate Internet addiction, you may find this tip especially helpful. With Internet, I tend to be off and on the computer all day. What begins as “just a minute” grows longer with every click, and repeats throughout the day until I wonder where all my time has gone. Instead, make a list and wait until your criteria for using the Internet is met. These criteria could be having a certain number of items to do, predicting a certain amount of time that the items will take, or even realizing that a task on the list is time-sensitive.
Incorporate alternate solutions
Going somewhere else to use the Internet, even if you do make a list, can quickly get to be a pain. I recommend opting for low-tech methods for doing things you would normally do via the Internet. For example, I used to use Pinterest constantly for recipes. Now I have a cute little binder in my kitchen that I slip note cards into with my favorite recipes. This has meant that I’m finally writing down the recipes that I make up. Plus, I can stop bringing my laptop into the kitchen where I am bound to splatter food on it.
Also, now that we’re Internet-free, a friend and I agreed to exchange handwritten letters instead of relying on social media. The anticipation of receiving a real letter, as well as the investment it takes to write one, has deepened our friendship dramatically.
To make a long story short, you’re not completely crazy for secretly wanting to make your home Internet-free. It takes flexibility, a little planning, and some creativity. But if you think unplugging from the Internet would really be the best thing for your family, I hope this article makes it seem a little more possible.