When I first started drinking coffee, I used to take 3 cream and 3 sugars, a triple-triple. Looking back, I am amazed I was even able to drink it because I now drink black coffee. I can’t imagine putting three heaping spoons of sugar into my delicious coffee, then adding the equivalent of a small glass of milk in as well. I tell you this because it shows how we change over time, and can do so deliberately if we so choose.
My wife and I are looking to make a change in our life, and we are going to experiment and see what would happen if we disconnect from the internet for an entire day once a week. To be fair, we have done this in the past with success, but since buying our home this day without the internet has dwindled away. The idea for our day without the internet is very simple; for one whole day, we will not use the internet. If we want to talk to someone, we call them on our house phone (they do still exist). The idea is not use the internet for a whole day to disconnect, mostly from our smartphones, apps, and social media.
We noticed in the past, when had a day to disconnect from the digital world we became more connected. Disconnecting actually reconnects us as a society especially in our relationships. We can have deeper conversations, be more productive, and overall less addicted to our phones and technology. If you would like to start your no internet day, use these quick steps below to get started.
Get Everyone On Board
Sit down with your entire family to get everyone on board. You need the whole family in on this if it is going to work. It is important to have your entire household involved, or at least your significant other so you have someone with whom to share your day. If you live on your own, you can definitely do this by yourself, but try asking a friend to join you. Working with someone will help you have fun, as well as brainstorm ideas for what to do with all the time you have – you are going to notice time slow down without the internet.
Pick an Evening to Start
This can be difficult to start, but the benefits are huge. Do a test run by picking an evening to cut out the internet. This will still give you the connectedness with your loved ones, and remove some addiction to your devices. You can use this evening to slowly build up to a whole day as you get more comfortable without the internet. You will begin to notice what works and what doesn’t for your family. There may be a certain time, such as after dinner where everyone is on their phones checking their latest Snapchat. You may also notice there are times when everyone is not on their phone. Trying it out for one evening will reveal a lot about your internet use.
Pick the Easiest Day
Figure out with your no internet team which day will be best to not use the internet. I suggest staying away from days of the week because you are at work, and most likely using the internet. You could also have the tendency to forget about your no internet day with the hustle and bustle of the work week. Days off of work tend to work best because there isn’t that requirement of using the internet. Talk to your household about each day of the week, and see which one you use the internet mostly during leisure time. This is the time you will be cutting out most, so whatever day has the most leisure internet use, and least work internet use is going to be the best for a no internet day.
Prepare the Day Before
Have a plan for what you will do on your no internet day. My wife and I will plan a run or a workout, read our books (not Kindles), and just spend time together. If you work from home consider sending out all email and notices the night before. This will help you enjoy your day stress-free because you are not thinking of that one person you need to talk to. You can also let people know through social media and email that you will not be using the internet the next day, and if they need to contact you use the phone (I know, crazy idea!).
Not using the internet is difficult in the 21st Century, so don’t beat yourself up if you come across a situation where you need to use it. This is meant to be a fun challenge with some added benefits thrown in. See how many weeks you and your family can go without the internet for one day. Two of the greatest benefits in not using the internet are that your stress levels will decrease, and you will begin to feel more connected to your loved ones, no screens attached. Make sure to keep it fun and full of positive energy so you can make the best of your day without the internet. Hey, maybe you will even decide to add more internet-free days to your week!