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Wednesday, October 19, 2022

How Would Your Life Be Different If You No Longer Had Internet Access?

I ask this question because of how I spent my day, today. Early in the day, we lost our internet. All 4 of us have limited data plans on our phones, relying on our home wi-fi for internet most of the time and saving the cell data for when we're out. Our home internet was restored just as we were sitting down to dinner (about 6 PM). So, I spent the better part of a day in non-tech mode.

A few ways my day was different:

  • I read an actual hard copy of the Bible for the daily reading in our church. I knew where we had left off the previous day, so I just had to find my place and guess at how long the reading was supposed to be. Of course, I couldn't leave any comments about my thoughts or read other's thoughts on our reading. I'll catch up with my group tomorrow.
  • I worked outdoors in the garden more than I might have otherwise. I harvested the last of the summer squash, green tomatoes, and tiny peppers and made 3 jars of sweet pickle relish. I also dug the entire 2nd bed of potatoes. Both daughters came out late in the afternoon to help with the potatoes, as it really was a big job. We harvested about 20-25 pounds of purple potatoes. This was more work than I would normally take on for the day. I otherwise would have dug about half the bed this day and tackled the other half the next. But today, I had all the time in the world without the internet beckoning me.
  • I went for a longer walk than I'd normally take, because, why not? And I took my time really looking at all of the front yards, the flowers, fall decor, new paint jobs, fence installations -- all things I'd quickly walked past ion previous walks. I guess you could say I slowed down to smell the roses.
  • My husband took the bus to the public library to do some work for the office. While this wasn't "my day", where he is for the day does affect my day.
  • I played 3 games of solitaire with a deck of cards. I laughed at myself when I waited for the cards to be dealt, then realized I had to do that myself, no auto-dealing.
  • We spent more time talking with each other.
  • And now I'm more tired than usual after putting in a hard physical day.

My concluding thoughts about how I spent my internet-less day were that I was more productive, more physically active, and more intentional in exploring my surroundings and developing my relationships. I could have skipped the card games. It was mostly frustrating that I had to keep my piles of cards straight and deal them myself.

I'm glad to have access back. I get to write to you because I have internet tonight. But I do think I would be more productive without internet. But I also wonder how long that would last. Maybe I would find other ways to be less productive.

So, my question for you -- how do you think your life would differ without access to the internet?


  1. Interesting to hear your observations!

    I get chunks of time without internet, but most are when I'm out backpacking, so not a true test of what a "normal" day at home would be like. However, those days do seem to be a good "reset for the soul" as I like to call it. This past Thursday, I drove to Arkansas to hike, parking at a remote trailhead to be ready to start hiking the next morning when my friend arrived. With no cell signal (which I had expected), I took along my planner, a couple books, and my journal, as well as some knitting. Just to have a selection, as I knew I wouldn't have time to get to all of that. One feeling that always catches me off guard is an almost panicky feeling at first, before I settle into the offline groove. It just feels odd to not be so readily in touch.

    If my normal day were without internet, I do think I'd be more productive. I've also tried to think about if I would do things differently if no one knew what I did. I don't post my activities on social media on a daily basis, but I do post about hiking trips and other highlights. Milestones for the kids, glimpses into the garden, etc... . I've often thought that I'd read more actual books again, rather than lots of articles online, blogs, youtube videos, and so forth. But I do love the variety offered by the internet.


    1. Hi Cat,
      I think I would go back to reading more books, too. I spend far too much of my reading time online, I think.
      It's always interesting to read about how others think their lives would be different.

  2. I've often wondered what would happen without internet. All of my work is done online via the internet. Lots of things are stored in the "cloud". I would lose connections to my kids. I would find it devastating. How could we (and by we I mean the world) have gotten so consumed by internet and cell phone that we haven't really given a thought of what could happen if internet and cell phone signals all went away. Part of me says that since I don't own the company and only work there it isn't my problem. What is my problem is what I've chosen to only save to my phone or in a computer based storage. I need to remedy that somehow.

    My husband and I choose to play a game as often as we can in the evening on the table. Our choice has been Upwords. We have lots of games and like to play them instead of phone based games. Try it. Here are some of our favorites: Upwords, connect4, battleship, boggle, scrabble.

    1. We love Boggle. I'll have to check out Upwords.

    2. Upwords is like 3-D Scrabble. We used to have it, but didn't move all of the games we had when we moved a few years ago.

    3. Hi Alice,
      I would miss being able to keep in contact with some special friends. Paper letters would take so long to be delivered and would be less spontaneous in feel. And phone calls don't always work because of time differences or out of the country.
      Thanks for the suggestions on games. I've always loved word games like Scrabble and Boggle.

  3. I wonder if I'd be more productive, or I'd just find other ways to use up my time that may or may not be productive. The problem with no internet is that much of the world is based on it, and it's hard to conduct business or communicate without it. Besides those, I use the internet the most is to look things up - both trivial and important things. But that's not to say that I don't enjoy a word game or a puzzle on the internet. I'd like to impose regular times without using the internet, but I don't know how long I would last if it depended on my willpower to enforce that.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      isn't it just so handy to look things up online? I couldn't remember a celebrity's name the other day and I could just look it up. Maybe I would end up with a better memory if I couldn't look things up online.

  4. My life would vary based on what I was doing. No internet at my job in a major hospital system would be horrible. Our charting is all done online and I shudder to think about not having access to information which literally could be life-threatening. Occasionally the system is down and we have to revert to paper charting, which is then translated to an online format, and that's just .... work.

    We have been debating the pros and cons of keeping our landline phone, and questions like this make me think that maybe we should keep it, but it is an added expense which we could eliminate. It was helpful to have it while my husband was working from home (he returned to work in April, so it was a good chunk of time in which he used the landline regularly).

    I don't care about social media so that would barely affect me. I think I would have an adjustment period--like Cat, I feel a momentary panic if I don't have it--but I would then do what you did, Lili, and find other ways to be productive. I would miss the convenience of having information at my fingertips and I do enjoy the NYT online games. Loss of email (yes, I'm old-school) would be hard for me, as that's a way that I connect with lots of people. I would miss following the few blogs that I follow--reading them is a way for me to unwind and connect with other readers--but it would be more of a momentary disappointment. I'm not a big online shopper although I do like to compare cost online before going to a brick and mortar store. I don't (gasp!) use GPS but I do like to look up a route online before traveling somewhere new and I don't think we have any updated paper maps so that would be a hassle. I prefer "real" books but I do use my Libby library app on occasion. We use our Rightnowmedia account (online Christian version of Netflix) for family devotionals and trying to find hard copy material that would interest all of us would be tricky. All to say ..... I think there are a lot of smaller activities that enrich our lives that I don't even consciously think about that I would have to adjust to.

    1. Hi Kris,
      I think I would feel slightly less connected, not being able to read online friends' blogs or comments. But maybe that would push more of my connections back to my local area, like it used to be.
      I can see how work situations would be hampered. For you, having to go back to paper charting. I can imagine that would be more time-consuming both to enter info and to try and find info.
      When it comes to books, one thing that I've found to be very handy about reading books online is I can enlarge the type as much as I need. But I think our local library offers a much larger selection/variety of hard copy books than the online selection.

  5. I resist learning new technology,, but I like the convenience once I'm over the learning curve . I prefer writing with paper and pen and keeping notes the old way. However, the internet is definitely a game changer.
    Twenty years ago, I participated in a financial (deals) forum where participants shared product information and strategies. It helped me gain the confidence to bank online and get the best credit card and savings rate offers. That site terminated many years ago as financial deals grew slimmer. However, since interest rates have gone up, I see that offers are coming back. Recently, Sears Mastercard had a targeted offer of $60 for five $30+ charges each month, June, July and August, and $40 for four $75+ charges for each month September, October and November. That's $300 free cash, plus another $70 in points should the monthly total over 1K. I charged our insurance premiums. Once interest rates head back down, these offers will disappear.
    The internet is a great crafting resource and I definitely would be lost without it. But I think taking time out and setting limits would be beneficial for restoring our inner balance and circadian rhythm.

    Have a nice evening,

    1. Hi Laura,
      Those are some phenomenal deals on cash back with charges on credit cards. I should check my bank card to see if they have any special deals going on right now. Sometimes they have double the rewards points for certain categories of purchases.

      Your comment reminded me of another way tech helps some of us save, digital coupons. Before I had a smartphone, I couldn't use my old flip phone to present or access digital coupons while in the store shopping. Many plans did allow me to load digital coupons to a loyalty card. But I've noticed that I come across deals while shopping. I also use my phone and internet to check prices on items at other stores while I'm shopping, to try and get the best deal. If I were super organized, I could do that all from home, but even still, I'd be comparison shopping using the internet, just not on a smartphone.
      I think many of us would get more sleep and perhaps better quality sleep if we didn't use our phones/computers in the evenings before going to bed.

      Have a great weekend, Laura!

    2. Lili, that particular Sears Mastercard cash back offer came via email, so check your emails. Some arrive snail mail as well. Back in the day, there were so many offers for both banking and shopping. Nowadays as you mentioned, in store is where I find the best deals. You almost have to be at the right time and place. Last month, we stopped by Safeway to buy Pastaroni on sale using a digital coupon (for our grandson since his cooking facilities are limited) and just so happened in the clearance section were a variety of coffees, kcups and 12 oz ground, marked down to $1. I bought 29 and froze most. This should last us a year at least.


    3. Good to know on the sears Mastercard deal, Laura. I'll check.
      Great bargain on the coffee!


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