Quitting the Internet, Cold Turkey

Yes, today’s society is dependent on the internet. But the internet has made it very easy for us to find anything we need. How many of you have an encyclopedia series? (I don’t, but I do have a library card.) How many of you have an atlas? (This I do have.) How many of you have a dictionary? (I have several, including a huge one that is a great bug killer.)
This is a good idea for everyone at least once a year. Take some time to get away and “unplug” for a week or two. It would be good for the electric bill if not for anything else.


The advice offered to me by people when I explain I am going to live by myself in the woods for a week varies from the sensible (“Develop a routine”) to the frankly awful (“Take some weed!”).

But it is Michael Harris, the Canadian author who published a book in 2014 called The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection, who I pay most attention to.

Like me, Harris decided to try and face his fears. He gave up the internet and his phone for an entire month, though not, it must be said, human contact altogether. Nevertheless, “crushing loneliness,” is how he describes the initial effects of his experiment.

“You have to remember, people who design our online experiences have devoted enormous resources toward making them as addictive as possible,” Harris says. “Walking away from it makes you feel like shit, because…

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