Okay, that headline is a little misleading, I’ll admit it. More accurately, I’ve decided that during the month of January I’m going to limit all Internet use to one hour per day. That includes
- Instant Messaging
- Message Boards
- General Online Searching and Perusing and Time Wasting
Why would I do such a crazy thing?
For starters, I’ve kept tabs on where I spend a vast majority of my time. From sitting at my desk to waiting for food at a restaurant, I am online way too much. The moment I wake up, I reach for my phone. It consumes too much of my energy and day. I want to be present in the real world, and I can’t do that glued to a screen, large or small.
Perhaps more importantly, though, the Internet has the potential for being a great tool and also a pessimistic pit of distraction. Lately it’s been a lot more of the pessimistic pit for me. I see people raging about anything they come across, and it drags me down. The Internet has become that one friend that always looks for the negative in any situation, and there’s a reason most people don’t want to hang out with that friend.
By limiting my use to an hour a day, I’m hoping to rediscover the “great tool” side of the world wide web. Without unlimited use, I will be forced to choose my clicks wisely, and that means not spending the precious 60 minutes reading arguments about whatever “outrage” the Internet has latched onto that particular day. Which, from experience, is nothing but depressing bickering.
I also realized, after writing and publishing my first book last year, that if I combined all the writing I do online into one effort, I would have already written dozens of books. And those books would be permanent things; much more concrete than a fleeting forum post. I think I would be happier having those dozen books, to be honest.
I thought I’d share my attempt, though I doubt it will affect you the reader in any significant way. I still plan on putting up the new blog posts here each Monday morning. I’ll use some of the one-hour allotment to schedule those in WordPress each week. They may even be better posts than normal, because I expect to have a lot more time to dedicate to writing!
Whatever new goals you’re setting (or habits you’d like to break) in 2016, I wish you the very best! While every day is a new opportunity for change, there can be something special about making the effort as the calendar year rolls over. Good luck!
Next week I’ll be talking more about 2016 goals and plans, so I hope you’ll stop back on Monday and see what’s in the works!