Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I tried living totally without internet access, and while I felt a lot better overall, I eventually had to give in. Nowadays phone books aren't usually delivered to homes anymore, so if you want to get in touch with a store or find a doctor's office, you need internet to search for it. Since I wasn't driving at the time, I couldn't just head out to an internet cafe when it was something important.

For similar reasons, I've had trouble detangling from Facebook. 10 years ago, if a friend was getting married they'd send out announcements -- now they just "announce" it on Facebook, and if you don't log in that week, you don't find out about it.

So part of the reason it's hard to disconnect is because the previous methods of staying in touch have atrophied in favor of these new, more toxic systems.

Nevertheless, I'm trying a couple of things (with varied success -- I really do much better cold turkey):

- Trying to reward myself with internet time after I score enough points in Habitica (aka HabitRPG)

- Trying to turn off the modem at a certain time of night like 10 pm (I find I sleep better too -- might be coincidence but I've noticed the difference many times)

Ultimately what would help me would be a pay-per-use internet plan versus an "always on" internet plan. If I know that my plan fee increased after 20 hours / month, I'd have access when I needed it, but then I'd have to "save up" for special occasions like streaming a show. As of yet I haven't found an external limit that doesn't also make life too logistically challenging.

I lived without internet for a while too and had the same experience. There's benefits, but it's not practical long term.

Pay-per-use would is an interesting idea, but if you live with other people it gets a little more complicated.

The best tool I've found is an app called Self Control. It puts rules into your hosts file and either blacklists certain websites or blocks all of them and whitelists the ones you want. It uses an external timeserver so you can't get around it by changing your computer clock, and it runs regular checks to make sure you don't just edit your hosts file yourself. It's really pretty good. And in theory you could set up scripts that would start up certain blocks at a scheduled time every day. The one huge problem though is that it's Mac only.

I don't think there's a way to completely fix the issue externally, but having some powerful tools for limiting yourself would go a long way in making it easier.

RE: Phone listings, TellMe (408-752-8052) and Jingle Networks (800-FREE-411) run free directory assistance services.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact