Dude Living Without Internet For a Year Will Prove What We Already Know: It's Distracting

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Paul Miller is a tech reporter for a website. But Paul Miller hasn't used the internet in three months. And he plans to stay off of the internet for a year.


He's still working, reports ABC News:

When Paul explains it, seems pretty simple. He writes everything on his iPad, which has been in Airplane mode, sending and receiving no signals, since that day in May when his experiment began. He then hands the machine off to a colleague, who transfers the document to their laptop. His editor edits it and then puts it on the website, www.theverge.com. Paul, of course, doesn't read the comments or know about the reaction to the article online.

He says he finds himself at the bookstore a lot, researching topics or buying books. In fact, part of this year's mission was to start to learn about other areas and read more.

He also uses the phone. While he has traded in his smartphone for a basic cellphone, he does make phone calls — though he won't use text messages. He calls up sources to write articles rather than emailing them. He even calls people to get other people's numbers since he cannot use Google or the White Pages.

Simple? Ha! Sounds like a huge pain in the ass. As a stunt, it's a pretty good one, but it seems like Miller has already learned in three months what living without the internet for a year can do: He says he is much more productive, he writes more, and his mind is "less cluttered." And: "There is less to distract me while I am writing." Earth-shattering! Pretty sure all of us already know that the internet is distracting. It's full of amusement and wonder and horror and rabbit-holes of ridiculousness, endless gif walls and jpegs and videos and everything. Everything. It will suck your life away if you let it.

Still, maybe we can learn something from Miller without actually going cold turkey. He says: "I am definitely coming back to the Internet, but my goal is to be a little more in control and intentional in how I approach it."

No Internet For One Year: Tech Writer Tries Life Offline [ABC News]


Jenna Sauers

In bookstores for Fall '13, Unplugged: What A Tech Writer's Year Without Internet Taught Him About Love, Life, and Connection.