Starting tomorrow, I’m saying goodbye to the internet for the entire month of August. I took a one week internet detox two summers ago with great results — there’s something about unplugging that lets me refocus on the present and slow down. My plan is to only check e-mail for one hour each Sunday (unfortunately in this day and age I don’t think you can really abandon your e-mail for 30 days straight), and log on only to post book reviews and submit grad school work. (It helps tremendously that I’m off work this month.)
For the record, I seriously adore the internet. But I’m the kind of internet lover who regularly can fall into any Google-induced k-hole, from vintage sunglasses on Etsy, to four different Buzzfeed articles in a row, to ogling all of Baggu’s products, to photoshopped pics of celebrities as real people on Tumblr, to old Ace of Base videos on Youtube, to real estate listings upstate. If you give me a blank browser, I immediately type in “fa,” and wait for the beloved social network to pop up. I’m just curious what I’ll feel like if I disengage. I might not be as super-hero productive as I’d like to be, but at least I won’t be watching baby goat videos* instead of editing a grad school manuscript. Or so the logic goes.
Here are 15 things I’m looking forward to during my internet detox:
1. Reading more of the New York Times in my hands than in small snips on a screen.
2. Finally making good on the brunch/coffee/lunch/beach plans I’ve made with friends all summer long.
3. Challenging myself to reading one book a week.
4. Renting movies from a movie store instead of streaming like six hours of Pretty Little Liars (although I may end up just renting Pretty Little Liars…don’t hate!)
5. Pinning things I like/things I wanna remember to the wall above my desk instead of Pintrest.
6. Library books!
7. Weaning myself from the habit of checking my iPhone literally every five minutes.
8. Making a dent in the stack of lit mags next to my desk.
9. Attempting to turn what would be 140 character witty remarks on current events into full paragraphs or essays.
11. Perusing the racks at some vintage store instead of hunting through four different internet tabs for something.
12. Being present. I know, this is a vague sentiment, but the one thing I best remember from my internet detox two summers ago is how present I felt in everyday conversations. I wasn’t reaching for my e-mail or thinking about tweeting or wondering if so-and-so liked my post on Facebook. I was actually present.
13. Maybe finally getting to a yoga class after talking about it for, like, 3 years.
14. Reading in bed instead of reading all of my Twitter/Facebook feeds on my iPhone.
15. More time outside. Less time online. I’m hoping the extra sun can be stored in my brain until winter.
…wish me luck, everyone! If I break my fast, you’ll be the first to know.
* those baby goats are pretty awesome
[photo from Blue Bicycle Books]