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Experiment: Living Without A Home Internet Connection (graemeblake.ca)
133 points by graeme on Apr 7, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 77 comments



While interesting, I have to ask, what makes reading books, watching TV, and watching movies higher value than whatever it is you're doing on the internet?

I learn about travel, science, technology, and countless other things through the internet. While not a replacement for real life experiences, I certainly think it could be considered a high-value experience (personally I think it is better than TV), perhaps on par with reading books.

Sure, if you're spending all your time playing minecraft online... wait we have kids building graphing calculators in minecraft, nevermind.


One word: focus.

When you're on the internet, you're engaging in bite-size activities and constant task switching. Quick, how many tabs do you have open right now?

Until about 1999 or 2000, I accomplished at least four times as much per year as I do today. Before that time, there either was no Web to putter around on, or it existed but without the speed and content it has had since then.

Have you ever noticed that your best ideas come when you're in the shower, or maybe on a long drive alone? It's down to focus, and lack of distractions.

Even if you think you're reading long-form journalism or other content online, you're most likely doing it in a window of a browser, with visual clutter all around, from UI elements to menu items to the dock at the bottom of the screen. They're all subtle cues to your mind to stay alert for extra input, and not get too zoned in on whatever you're reading. Not to mention the amazing amount of visual crap most webpages surround their content with.

There's value to the vast amount of information available online, but you have to be discerning. Information for the sake of information is not always worth the mental and time tradeoffs we make for it.


Perhaps I'm just bad at doing things, but I noticed this way before the internet. Something like this random-walk path: reading a semi-scholarly book, run into an endnote, turn to the end of the book to read it, find a concept I don't know, open up my dead-tree World Book encyclopedia to find it, follow up some cross-references there, eventually remember to go back to the book, try to remember what endnote I was reading and where I got there from, restart. The internet makes it easier, but the pattern doesn't seem new!

It's even worse in university libraries, where you can actually follow up all the references by grabbing them off the shelf. The number of books piled up around you with post-it notes marking pages is roughly like the number-of-tabs metric...


I don't know, it sounds like "I don't have home internet" is more of a stand-in for "I don't have self control."

If you want to read a book, just get off the computer and read a book.


I'm vaguely sympathetic to that viewpoint, but also do think changing your environment matters. Humans are weird creatures, and not really made up of completely disembodied rational minds. Even simple things like choosing to read in one location versus another seem to make significant differences, so I can see not having internet at home making differences too (some positive, some negative).

I had no internet in my apt for a few months, and it was also right after I had moved to a new city (it was semi-accidental, due to bullshit with a "pre-wired for ethernet" apartment that I took way longer to give up on than I should have). The mixture of having no internet and not much else in the apt was interesting. It was easier to unwind at the end of the day; go home, cook, read a magazine or book, go to bed. There just wasn't enough in the house to keep me up.

It's true that when you have the internet, with all the information and possibilities, it's like I have both an entire library and an entire workshop always available to me. And how am I going to go to sleep in the middle of all that? But I think it was also important I didn't have much else in my apartment at the time; if I had had a bunch of dead-tree encyclopedias, novels, magazines, etc., I would've just read those.


I can see that, but I also see cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Has anything less drastic been tried? Like, for example, making Internet access only available to one computer in the household?

If one believes that home Internet access is a bad value proposition I could see that, I guess, but this is such a foreign view point that I don't see how I could have anything to add.

Books? I have a Kindle. TV? I don't have cable, I subscribe to Netflix and Hulu+. Cooking? I find many recipes online. Purchasing things? I buy a lot on Amazon. Keeping in touch with friends? Email, gchat, IRC, facebook, etc.

The Internet isn't a product. It isn't even a technology. It's an efficient overlay communication network. If you communicate with the outside world it can make everything you do better. If one doesn't, then maybe one has no purpose for it but then I have no purpose for that viewpoint because that life doesn't even exist to me.


Ah, the prerogative of youth: assuming that because you don't understand something, it must be simple. And that anybody who thinks otherwise is just a fool.

Actually, willpower is a limited resource:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self_control#As_a_limited_resou...

The people who make the best use of it shape their environments to avoid temptation:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/05/18/090518fa_fact_...

Exactly as this person did.


The solution I proposed was perhaps flippant, but not ill-thought out.

I stand by my claim that the fundamental problem that the author has is not with the Internet, it's with their willpower.

I read the same article as you many years ago when it was first published.

My conclusion, however, was different from yours. You seem to have stopped at "manipulate your environment to change how you behave." I preferred the conclusion, "manipulate your environment to change how you think." When I have distraction problems with the Internet I'll restructure my environment to provide gratification in different ways. If Internet browsing is rewarding to me to the point where it causes a distraction it now becomes an effective reward mechanism. I can make a schedule wherein a certain amount of work is rewarded with a small amount of Hacker News.

Moreover, the entire Internet isn't to blame for this person's problem, only a certain set of behavior on the Internet. They describe how slower or less rich internet didn't present a distraction. Why not cap their connection speed or disable images, javascript, and sound?

I see many options and "get rid of the Internet" seems the most naive and harmful in this case.


Actually, I think your "solution" was both flippant and ill-thought out.

"Just read a book" isn't a solution at all. It doesn't work, and it displays willful ignorance of how willpower works.

I'm glad to see you have now responded with some more nuanced notions, but your arrogant "duh, he's doing it wrong" tone still grates. In particular, you assume that he couldn't possibly have thought about the issues you raise. Maybe if you started with the assumption that he has considered them you'd get someplace more interesting.


TFA is basically telling us that the route to success in life is to turn off one's home internet service so he or she could live as Americans did in 1985; purporting that way of life to be superior in some way because the occupations of time used several physical items instead of just a computing device.

.

If you want to read a book, you take a book, open it, and begin reading.

.

If you're still having trouble reading it, maybe you don't actually want to read it as much as you are telling yourself you do. Be honest with yourself, listen to yourself, and don't force yourself to be something you're not. If you can't find some psychological lever to help you begin learning to code, or learn French, or to stop playing WOW - something important in your life which makes you want to do this - maybe you should step back and reexamine your life and priorities.

.

Reading a book shouldn't drain one's willpower; if it is you're doing it wrong.


TFA is not telling us that. He's just saying he's trying an experiment. And he's not saying that the physical items are superior. He talks about watching video and doing email and posting to blogs, so he's obviously ok with virtual things.

Also, it sounds like he really does want to do the book reading, in that's what he went and did once he was less distracted. And then tried an experiment to see how he could bring back more of that.

Also, your "it's just that simple" line is contradicted by a lot of research on willpower. (Which, hint hint, I linked.) Maybe it really works that way for you, in which case: bravo, you magnificent alien. But it doesn't work that way for most people, including the the author of the initial article.

Some books are easy books. Other books are hard, but worth the work. Some things are quick and easy gratification, but other only pay off after a while. For humans, at least, one has to set aside the former if you want to pursue the latter.


"The prerogative of youth" rings somewhat ageist to me when people of all ages express similar foolish ideas. Let's not indict youth or overlook the views of the 'more experienced' who still harbor a fundamental misunderstanding of people.


I agree that there are fools of all ages. But I think confusing "at first blush X seems obvious to me" with "duh, X is totally obvious, fool" is something that most people get over.

Age may not bring wisdom, but it does mean more experience. In this case, the experience of thinking that something is utterly simple, having your ass handed to you, and being forced to recognize that apparently simple things are often fiendishly subtle.


While I understand what you're saying, his deliberate choice is a form of self control.

"I don't have home internet" is more of a stand-in for "Removing the distraction of the internet is a working form of self control for me" than for "I don't have self control".


There's quite a bit of evidence that willpower is a limited resource [1]. Eg if you're on a diet and have to resist eating chocolate, you'll accomplish less at work. So solutions that let you get away without having to exercise self-control are much more useful than solutions that require expending willpower.

[1]: http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=willpower+limited+resour...


I completely agree and I find it mystifying that you would be downvoted for that comment.


It reeks of ad-hom, it's a bad explanation. It has no more explanatory power than "because you're a bad person". It's nothing more than a way to feel smug with sciencey sounding buzzwords.

If you want to read a book, just get off the computer and read a book.

Really? I guess I'll "just" stop all my bad habits and replace them with good habits as well, shall I? And I'll "just" stop playing wrong notes on the piano too. Because, y'know, there's no reason I'm playing wrong notes, is there? There's no reason I have bad habits continuing year on year, there's no reason he's spending too much time on the internet, no complex interplay of a lifetime of biological, neurological and psychological drives and feedbacks, right? Humans are simple. That's why there are no problems in the world and everyone "just" is the ideal person they want to be.


It's easy to avoid playing wrong notes on a piano. Just don't play the piano.

Nobody is saying that it's easy to avoid internet distraction while using the internet. But it is easy to block out a few hours of not using the internet even if you are paying for a connection. It's quite similar to not going to a coffee shop for the same few hours.


OP here. I think it depends on your habits and situation. For me, avoiding the cafe for 4 hours is a lot easier than ignoring my computer and phone for 4 hours.

To use the internet at the cafe, I have to put on my shoes, my coat, walk 5 minutes, buy a coffee, sit down, open my computer, etc.

It's not hard to do any of that. But it's a lot more effort than pulling my phone out of my pocket.


And, having gone through doing all that, presumably once you get there, you feel a stronger to at least accomplish something, to vindicate your efforts. :-).

It's one of the main reasons I find value in having an office, and it is a non-trivial (though, thankfully, subway-based) commute away.


There's no reason I have bad habits continuing year on year, there's no reason he's spending too much time on the internet

I addressed that rather simply, I thought. It seems that his biggest problem with the Internet was that it was too easily accessible. Not having Internet is a very obdurate way of approaching this, in my opinion. Note that most of the things the writer did as an alternative were not on the computer. Instead of separating the Internet from their computer, I simply suggested separating themselves from the computer.


But I am also much more effective at tasks on the computer when I don't have internet.


Well put. IIRC pg has two computers, one on the Internet for surfing and stuff, and the other off the Internet and physically distant from the first that's used for work.


I think a good portion of it is how much you want to be distracted. I've had internet access since 95. High speed since 96ish. In that time, I've had both distracted and focused periods. Distractions don't come from the internet unless I want them to. In fact, most of my distractions come from around the house. Sure I haven't read "War and Peace" in a week but: a) I read slow. b) I don't have that kind of free time.


> When you're on the internet, you're engaging in bite-size activities and constant task switching.

Sometimes. Sometimes I'm doing one thing and focusing on it.

> Quick, how many tabs do you have open right now?

Not the greatest metric. When I'm working, I often have like seven tabs open, all about what I'm focused on working on. So why would we assume that "number of tabs" is a better indicator of unfocus when discussing leisure time?


If I am stuck on a tough coding problem, I take a pen and notepad and go to the local coffee shop for an hour or two. I leave behind the phone and laptop. Just doodle, write, think, and drink. Having an IDE open and staring at me is just too intimidating when trying to think high-level.


OP here. Very good question, I should have made this clearer in my post.

The internet is extremely useful. I've learned more from Hacker News alone over the past year than I could have learned from any book. I don't need to list the other benefits; everyone here knows the Internet's advantages.

But...there is a point of diminishing returns. 30-60 minutes of aimless wandering each day can be highly useful. It's the equivalent of keeping your office door open. Can be distracting, but you learn a lot. But I find that if you spend too long on the internet, the value starts to drop off.

But there is much value in reading a book cover to cover, or focussing on a project for hours at a time. I find these things easier to do if I don't have to resist the temptation of the internet in order to do them.

Disconnecting my home connecting was a conscious decision based on the fact that I was spending more time online than I would prefer, and not enough time doing other valuable things. But I do not mean to say that time online is not valuable - far from it.

p.s. TV was a bad example; I don't watch any now. I only included that to show how much time was freed up.


I was going to say similar, but there you go, you said it.

Granted you need to prioritize when there are deadlines, but reading books and / or watching TV can be equally distracting.

Another point I would like to add is that internet, for better and for worse, changes our role from a knowledge consumer to that of a knowledge contributor. which when applied properly, can lead to new questions, new ideas and new conversations.

It is because of the internet, Learning has become dynamic, and humanity is for the better.


For those looking to try a less drastic version of this, I recommend LeechBlock:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/leechblock/

It lets you list websites and then set rules around when and how much you can access them. My current way to set it up: during business hours, I have to wait 60 seconds to access a distracting website. And by wait, I mean sit there and stare at the countdown screen; if the window loses focus it cancels the countdown.

I'm amazed at the number of times a day I try to access something like HN when, after 5 seconds of thought, I really don't want to.


For chrome you have Nanny for Google Chrome with similar feature

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/cljcgchbnolheggdga...


I've just been using my hosts file for the same effect, but this sound like a more elegant solution.


I use a combination of SelfControl.app, my hosts file and OpenDNS content filtering. I need 3 layers of protection.


Actually it's only 2 layers of protection, as SelfControl.app just appends things to the hosts file.


I'm not entirely sure how it works, but SelfControl is resilient to you manually editing the host file while it's running. I know it runs a daemon and I'm not sure if it just keeps the host file updated or if it has a secondary blocking method.


That actually sounds incredible, I might just start using it. Thanks!


How do you configure leechblock to act this way? I wasn't aware that leechblock could do this -- even after checking its options. :-/


I've had some form of Internet connection since ~2000 and up until a few years ago I never thought I could go without for more than a week or so. In 2010 I had to cut off my DSL account due to financial reasons. I was offline for around nine months and in this time I found that, code-wise, I was the most productive I'd ever been.

When hacking on random stuff while I was online, I'd often find myself starting off opening a browser to load an API reference manual or something similar, and before I knew it I was faffing about on something completely irrelevant. Sometimes it'd be related to the project I was working on (sort of a Wikipedia effect; you can't stop at just one link) and other times it would be random crap.

While I was offline, since I was stuck with the basic essentials related to a particular project (appropriate development packages, documentation etc.), I found myself not only more focused on the task at hand, but generally more interested and enthusiastic about the problem I was working on.

I am currently without a home internet connection again, but this time I have a 'smartphone' that I can tether when necessary. I've noticed having that option available can be a really bad thing for my productivity. I certainly benefit from having absolutely no possibility of accessing the internet, as long as I have all the tools and resources at hand that I need to get the current job done.


Simply put: the lack of work/life balance due to not setting environmental boundaries at the onset of self employment had destroyed your productivity within both work and life.

I suggest continuing to work from an office of some sort - be it the coffee shop, a co-working space, or renting a room or desk in someone else's office, so you can continue to separate your work and life environments.

You can turn on the internet at your apartment, but place priority in what you actually want to do outside of work by granting those things greater space in that environment. If you like to read, have books easily accessible for you to pick up and read. Get a nice chair/couch for you to sit and enjoy reading. Build a nice wall of bookshelves for your books. Join book clubs, arrange lunch/dinner with people who also like to read, etc.

Make your priorities visual.


Fascinating, but perhaps not for everybody. I can waste a fair amount of time online, but most often when I do it’s because of a general lack of motivation due to a depressive mood. If I didn’t have the internet at such times, I would just sit around and mope. At least on HN I can learn things.


I think you and I have very similar situations. My time wasted online is often for the exact same reasons.

Before the internet was such a large part of my life, that time was spent writing in my notebook or reading books (somehow watching TV just made me feel even worse). A lot of that time was also "wasted," but some of it was really valuable time that I spent getting to know myself and my own thoughts better.

One thing wasting time online has never done for me is lift my depression. The only thing that ever does that for me is getting out of my environment and wandering around outside.


Agreed. Putzing around online is a symptom of an underlying problem, and I know it’s time to get up, make a sandwich, take a walk, whatever. Knowing that, lately it’s been a lot easier to stay motivated.


I think messing around on the internet for long periods of time is more dangerous than moping because it's an active thing that builds habit and reinforces itself. If you're depressed and moping you're under no illusion that you're not in a bad place.


That’s very true—and many sites are outright designed to be habit-forming. Still, if you’re feeling down, you’ll take any small comfort.


I lived without home Internet for about a year in 2002 when I lived on a boat. I eventually got a wireless 56k connection. I spent time at coffee shops and wardriving for Internet. I don't recommend it.


Why don't you recommend it? What particularly did you miss and what didn't you miss?

What do you regret having now, but you put up with because it's worth the trade-off?


Looks like the same problems people have with eating: consuming a lot of useless stuff, not consuming enough of proper stuff, hurting their (intellectual) health by that. I wonder how soon people will start selling internet diets - some software that installs on your computer and controls your browsing and counts intellectual calories and vitamins for you. I'm sure there are apps like this already but not a major business like diets... So if you want to be a millionaire, make a startup doing this.


Wow, I didn't expect my first submission to hit the front page. Should have done that third edit I decided to forego.

There are some good replies here. The only point I want to make is that the people accusing me of lacking self-control are 100% correct.

I disconnected my internet not because I see no value in it (far from it), but rather because unfettered access was taking too much time away from other things that I value.

Lest you get the wrong idea, I'm quite capable of avoiding the internet. I wrote ~350,000 (profitable) words last year. I got lots of other things done, too.

But, I had to use up willpower at all times to avoid the easy pleasure of surfing the web. It was unpleasant.

Most of my work is on the computer - I'm no technophobe. It's so much easier to use my computer now that it mostly does work related things unless I'm in a cafe.

I readily admit that some people may have no trouble with the internet and self-control. That's great - you have all the advantages of limitless information, and none of the disadvantages of distraction.

Many people, unfortunately, are more like me. The internet is valuable for us, but a potential pitfall. I'm hardly the first to point this out, pg had an essay on point.

http://www.paulgraham.com/addiction.html

I'd be interested to know if he ever figured out a workable system. He posted somewhere on here that his dual computer system eventually broke down.


I have been considering making the same leap.

For me it's about forcing some boredom into your life. With the Internet and TV I feel hyper stimulated all the time. To find entertainment I merely collapse into my chair, click a few buttons, and begin passively consuming.

Without something neurotically occupying my attention (ie internet) I quickly become bored. When bored I then proceed to think through everything I could possibly do, prioritize the ideas, and choose one to act upon. Even if I end up watching a television show the important thing is that I chose to watch that specific show rather than passively accepting whatever was being played at the time. I have not had TV in a long time, so that's not a problem, but whenever I've momentarily had no internet I find I eat better, exercise more, have a cleaner house, and knock more things off of my to do lists.

It's not that I want to go without internet, it's just that I do not want the internet at home. I've been without it before and really enjoyed the experience, now I just have to make the leap of canceling internet completely.


I'd say that it's less about the Internet at home and more about the 'always on' aspect.

You could try emulating the 'dial-up experience' by forcing some sort of 'connection ritual' that you must go through to get the Internet. An example setup (assuming you only have a laptop) could be to disable wifi, and force yourself to plug in an ethernet cable every time. With this setup you can still have Internet for things like an HTPC, for your television while still having the 'no Internet' on your computer experience.


Absolutely. I have a wireless button on my laptop and I generally disable wireless when I want to get work done. I like the idea of a physical ritual, I kind of want to build a big cartoony internet switch now. It's like forcefully inserting a brief moment of reflection before you use the internet.


I totally agree. If I waste an entire day messing around on the Internet, I go to bed with my mind frazzled. It's like guzzling a load of "empty calories" and feeling no benefit from them.

I've done the no-internet thing before for several months and while it wasn't a magic cure-all, I'd like to do it again. One downside is a certain feeling of lonliness when you're used to being able to swoop in and out of interesting discussions at any time of the day or night.


Very interesting post. The biggest thing it’s gotten me to think about is whether we’ve been using the internet “wrong” the past two decades. Maybe at some point in the future (or the present, for this blogger), the internet will be confined to something we only use at a certain time of the day. Or something else will supplant the internet as our leisure activity.

I’ve actually been running similar experiments, and you can start trying this in a much easier way than cancelling your internet. http://ndrw.me/2012/03/01/afternoon-refresh/


Interesting perspective. The problem is what you're spending time online doing. If you're looking at cute cats or on facebook, it's likely you're wasting time. I would also bet that lots of time is spent procrastinating. On the flip side I find time away from the computer to be highly unproductive. It's good if you need time away to relax, but overall there's alot of time wasted drinking beer, socialising etc. It's all about balance and getting important stuff done.


On-computer and off-computer time are equally (un)productive. I like to spend a long time thinking about a problem without writing any code, then get it all out in one go as a foundation to build on; something like the Feynman Algorithm. And time spent socialising is only wasted if you don’t make the most of it. Like you said, it’s important to enjoy yourself and maintain a good work–life balance—otherwise you’ll just be unproductive and depressed.


I've had this a couple times in my life. The two nicest things about it are --

1. A consistent bedtime and better sleep. I usually read books before bedtime, and crashed out earlier.

2. When you do get the internet in your home again inevitably, you appreciate it more. Seriously, it's an amazingly powerful thing, the internet. But we spend so much time drowning in it that we often don't notice/appreciate it enough.


Since leaving home to go to University I've completely stopped watching TV and that has increased my free time by quite a bit. Unfortunately, I would have a pretty hard time living somewhere without internet, mostly because I don't own a phone (cell phone or landline) so email and Skype are the only methods I have for communicating with the outside world.


I'm doing a light version of this starting in a few weeks. I've canceled my home internet, but I still have my Nexus S & access from work and cafes. It was motivated in part by the ridiculously poor level of service/price in my area, and part by the same notion that I might be happier without it.

Sadly, I can't easily travel to Cuba for this experiment (US American).


> Encryption (for secure banking): Witopia.

I think your bank is doing something wrong if you need a secure VPN to do online banking.


I think he's using the VPN because he's accessing the banking site through an open wireless Internet connection at his coffee shop. I don't know enough about wireless security to say if the VPN is protecting him or not, though.


The encryption should be between your browser and the bank's servers, not between your network driver and the VPN provider. You do this with TLS/SSL (it's that little lock icon or security information panel you see when you're at an https:// URL).


Ah, I understood that SSL encrypts the data, but I always assumed there was still a risk of it being intercepted (before encryption) if I was on an open WiFi network.


OP here, that was my worry. But, I admit I didn't thoroughly look into whether bank-side encryption eliminates my risk from a public network.

Maybe it does, but there are enough other unencrypted sites that I'd rather have the VPN.


Heck, for way more than secure banking! I would use a VPN just to check my email at a cafe!


Since 2000, I've spent half my time in locations with only dialup internet access at home. While I can still get distracted by Hacker News (as I just now have when I had meant to come out and enjoy an hour of spring twilight), it does cut down on the distraction level significantly.

My laptop is entirely self-contained, with everything from mail archives to my blog in git (and large files managed by git-annex). So when the net does go out I can easily not notice for an hour or two. Or, this winter, when my solar power reserves got really low and I couldn't afford to run the internet connection after dark, it was not a big deal.

In time periods when I have broadband at home, I have considered putting a dialup throttle on it, but could never quite bring myself to do it. :)


It's an interesting experiment, but I don't see how you avoid using your iPhone to waste time in the same way as you would on your laptop. (unless you cancel your data plan as well)


Have you tried browsed the Internet for extended periods of time on an iPhone? It's painful. The mobile experience still sucks for 90% of the web, bandwidth is limited and slow, and don't even imagine having all your standard tabs open. Mobile web is still very much broken.

I pointed it out earlier but like the author also don't have home Internet. It's pretty easy to avoid grabbing the iPhone and opening up safari for anything more than reading a few blog posts.


For what it's worth, I've not had Internet at home for about a month. I still have access at work, so not entirely the same situation, but it is nice not having the vice at home. And like the author have filled the rest of my time productively.

I recommend anyone give it a go, and if you haven't get rid of your tv too.


I agree with author,you can still accomplish a lot of things with limited access.I just launched a website http://www.mixdem.com from internet cafe in Zimbabwe , Africa.


Simple matter of self control. Something isn't right when you have to visit a communist dictatorship to have that control inflicted on you because the source of distraction is brutally oppressed there.


When you say it's a "simple" matter, and "something isn't right", why don't people "simply" fix it? What isn't right?

I claim your dismissal of it as simple isn't right.


Maybe "I don't even have Internet access" will be the new "I don't even own a TV."


More like "I don't even have a phone". Internet is bidirectional, a TV is just a receiver. The difference is huge.

I do live without a TV quite happily, but I could never live without at least one bidirectional medium. It would mean returning to XIX-century communication methods, which were way too time-expensive for modern life; for example, I'd have to get dressed and leave the house every time I want to communicate, find a shared communication device (public phone, post office, etc) and then have to put up with contention issues and delays (wait for my turn, get a bad line etc) on which I have no control.

OP does that -- he's relying on shared wifi at his coffee shop. Which means he's putting up with slow speed and the impossibility to download large chunks of data -- unless he's being a dick or his coffeeshop is run by Cisco, he won't be able to get that 600mb Linux distro or those 6 Gb of Oracle installers, ever. And the day someone decides to be a dick, good luck downloading your email while the pipe is saturated by Mr. Streetpirate uploading HD movies from the safety of an anonymous IP.

He might be happy with that, I don't doubt it, but his lifestyle is not for everyone.


I feel that you jumped to conclusions in blaming the internet for not keeping up with your reading list, to be honest. Why should anyone be judged on how they choose to waste their time?


I feel that you jumped to conclusions by believing giving up the internet doesn't have other effects on your mind and daily functions (not just a matter of using time!).


Internet is became too important for us. So it' not problem of using it, it's how we us it. Most people use it for social networks, porn and other irrelevant stuf.


I can see cutting cable (which I did a year ago and it's been great). But, I need the Internet.

I run an online business and many times things come up in the middle of the night. I also communicate with most of my friends and family though email or Facebook.

You just need to have some self-control. It's not easy, but it can be done.


Great idea and can relate after two months without proper internet availability. I spend so much time just surfing and having a smart phone doesn't help. I don't have the self discipline just to stop. Maybe ISP s can offer a service tolock your connection at certain times off the day?




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