During my last vacation, my Internet connection was very limited. Unlike in Singapore where I have a 24-hour broadband connection, in my home country (Indonesia) I only have a dial-up connection which is both slow and expensive. Therefore, I spent much less time online compared to what I usually do.
Though it felt hard in the beginning, eventually I thought it was a useful experience. In fact, I now realize that there are several reasons why less Internet can be good for me (and probably also for you):
- It makes me less dependent to a vulnerable thing
These days more and more of people’s life are moved to the net. People depend on the Net for email, instant messaging, news reading, game playing, and so on. In the future, I guess bigger and bigger share of people’s life would be spent on the Net.
Unfortunately, the Net is not bullet-proof. I am reminded about this when an earthquake in Taiwan caused troubles to Internet connection in many countries in Asia last December. My Internet connection was down for several days (actually only the international connection went down, I could still access the local sites). I can’t imagine: how would it be if my life was so depended on the Net? The more my life depended on it the worse the impact I would get.
- It makes me realize that the Internet is not that important
Sometimes people are so dependent on the Net that they can no longer imagine how they could live without it. Let’s face it: people had lived for thousands of years without the Internet. We can live without the Internet. I had times when I thought doing emails and RSS was very important. Now I realize it isn’t that important. In fact, people could live a happy and fulfilling life without ever touching the Net.
- It reduces noise in my life
With tons of web sites, emails, and RSS feeds, the Net is such a noisy place for many people. Huge amount of information flooded many people’s life. Such noise may distract their focus and attention from the things which are really important. Less Internet means less noise, and it may help you to live a peace and fulfilling life, a life which really follow your conscience.
- It gives me more time to socialize
Spending less time on the net gives me more time to build relationship with real people around me. Of course I can also socialize on the net, but nothing beats meeting real people. In my opinion, meeting real people is the real test of our social skill. It’s possible that some people have good relationship with their Internet friends but bad relationship with people around them. And I don’t think that’s a good thing.
- It allows me to think differently
Spending more time on the Net tends to make me think more like the crowd I involved with. On one side, this is a good thing because I could then learn from other people. On the other side, it made me tend to agree with the general opinion of the crowd. It is worrying because most great breakthroughs in history are caused by people who think differently from the crowd. Would we have relativity if Einstein agreed to Newton’s opinion about time and space? I don’t think so. We have it because Einstein dared to think differently from the crowd.
Being away from the Net makes the crowd’s influence less powerful to me, and thus it allows me to build my own thoughts and think differently. Out of it something great may emerge.
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