Walden; or, Life Without the Internet

My new morning routine

My p.c. crashed a few weeks ago. Died. Breathed its last. The funeral is Tuesday.

And with that, my old manner of news consumption perished too. Out went the nytimes.com, the Huffington Post, and a bizillion other news-sites; in went the Chicago Tribune, a few-too-many pilfered Wall Street Journals, and a limited selection of quality media.

Naturally, my other online activities virtually disappeared. As you might notice (and celebrate), my postings on this blog became far less frequent. So too did the writing on my other blog over at True/Slant — for which I’m actually paid to do, but still lack the sufficient motivation to drag myself to a freshman-heavy library to post.

But this experience has been far from harrowing. In fact, it’s been revelatory. Perhaps not transcendental, but still, influential.

I now read full newspaper articles, with an eye on comprehension and thoroughness. Instead of an itchy mouse-finger, I now utilize a relaxed full-arm broadsheet page-turn. Although I know less facts, per se, I am much more capable of engaging in a meaningful conversation about politics, sports, and music.

Aside from current events, my experience of literature (scholastic or leisurely) has been greatly enhanced. It’s now much easier to fully immerse myself in the worlds of Joseph Conrad, Norman Maclean, and even A. A. Milne.

Perhaps I’m an outlier — I still lack one of those “facebook” things, and generally distrust anything connected with ‘digital media.’ But I maintain that  even the most plugged-in Gen Y-er would benefit from a week’s unpaid vacation from the Interwebs.

Give it a try.


One thought on “Walden; or, Life Without the Internet

  1. I was always a newspaper “skimmer,” only reading the first paragraph of articles that looked semi- interesting to me, or just going straight to the sports section. The online news I got was from my espn.com homepage or headlines on my e-mail account.

    Recently I started getting the Wall- Street Journal for my marketing class. It’s a little conservative for me, but every morning instead of jumping right on my computer I take the time to actually read it. And in full. I feel like the internet makes us feel like we always need to move on to the next thing and not concentrate on taking in full what’s in front of you. Sometimes doing homework online, a thought pops into my head like, “I wonder if I heard back from that job. Let me check my e-mail, or do I have any new facebook posts.” By only having the newspaper as the focus on my reading, I have no other distractions. I feel a lesser sense of the “Internet ADD” I feel quite often.

    It’s like a break from the world, while still getting to know more about it. This is definitely something we need to return to; print. If not once a day, at least once a week. I definitely approve of your new morning routine!

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