Could you live without the internet?

I’m 50.

That means I’ve spent half my years without the internet and the other half with it. So you’d think that’s enough time for me to have formed a particular preference for or against the internet.

Especially for an opinionated gal like me.

But honestly? I’m coming up blank. Nothing. Numb.

I think the fact that yours truly has no opinion is actually freaking me out a tad.

The internet for the most part has done good things for good people. But we all know it’s also been used to do bad things by bad people.

And that s why the tiny word ‘net’ embedded in the word ‘internet’ is so perfect. A net is one of those things that can be used for good and for bad.

Mosquito nets, safety nets, cook’s hair nets? All good things. Animal poaching nets, trawling nets, net loss on income statements? Hmm. Not so much.

So if you had to choose life with or without the internet, what do you think you would choose?

Today I would pick an internet free world.

The volume of news, information, and inspiring home and garden ideas, never mind recipes to cook is just too overwhelming.

Plus there’s the over-abundance of success stories of people rising to the top of their fields and how perfect their families are and how they’re going to celebrate and honour their moms on Mother’s Day this year (for example).

It’s just too much.

Instead of invoking feelings of aspiration, I’m fighting feelings of inadequacy.

I think if that can happen to me while I have nothing to complain about spiritually and materially, it must cause the same feelings in other people too. It is maybe creating an entire society of always wanting more, to be recognized more, to travel more, to have more.

If we keep this up at this pace, thanks to the InterNET we are going to “more” ourselves to oblivion.

So here are a few ideas I use as my own advice medicine to minimize the barrage of in-coming messaging from the Internet:

  1. Limit the number of creative/inspiring/heart-filling bloggers/photographers/celebrities I follow on my social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter. Besides friends/family/co-workers, I pick one or two of my top faves to follow in the categories of home decor, gardening, business, leadership, celebrities, travel, sport teams, cars, news channels, etc.
  1. Complete an audit (I’m an accountant so of course I’d say that) of how many hours actually spent on the Internet surfing, googling, watching, posting and downloading. I was appalled to admit I spent more than two hours a day generally just wasting time for which I could be doing more productive things. Some days were even worse.

So if you’re in that boat of more hours a day than you care to admit, challenge yourself by asking ‘is this helping me be a better person and helping me be a positive impact on my family, friends, and community’? If you answer ‘yes’, pull up your honest socks and ask again.

  1. The experts have proven it over and over – your best chance at a good night’s restful life-giving sleep means not staring into a digital screen (phone/tablet/tv/laptop) at least one hour prior to going to sleep. The experts call it good sleep hygiene and who wants bad hygiene? I don’t!

When I take my own medicine, it heals me for sure!

And it lets me get back to seeing the good of the internet, like being able to enjoy a FaceTime call with my daughter who is many miles away at college.

I’d love to hear your own tricks to stay grounded and not overwhelmed by Internet overload in the comments below.