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How Do You get Away from the Internet?

Camels in Rajasthan India

Girls, Palaces, Camels– Rajasthan, India. Copy right Damyanti Biswas

To write about escaping the internet on a blog is a ridiculous, ironic, thing.

A blog is on the internet, after all, and why would I blog if I want to escape the internet?

I don’t, not really, not all the time.

But some days, the noise really gets to me, the constant demand of voices from all over– friends, strangers, trolls, crazies.

I plug off at such times, from my blogs, social media.

And then I travel– physically when I can, and into fiction when I can’t:Β  reading, and writing– that’s who I am, after all. A compulsive reader and writer.

Does the noise from the net ever get too much for you? How many hours in a day do you spend on the internet?

How much time do you spend with folks who don’t know what the internet is all about?

Have you ever wanted to escape the Internet? How do you do it?

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • it’s hard … anyways

  • touchy πŸ™‚

  • sabenelucia says:

    It’s so true that we tend to neglect relationships that we should be cherishing by instead trawling through the internet for multiple hours of the day. I have found that I am so terrible with social media! I tend to just surf through my newsfeed for hours, which often triggers feelings of angst, envy, jealousy and dread where I compare myself, my life and my achievements to others. What a terribly narcissistic way of living life!!!! Your post has given me an idea, I am going to set myself a 30 day Challenge where I stay off social media, ie: Facebook, Instagram etc. I am going to see how this things and use my blog to monitor my thoughts and feelings this time. Thank you for providing me with the spark for this Social Experiment!

    • Julia Lund says:

      I hope you get some space and clarity. And remember that you don’t need to measure yourself by other people; you have been created unique and that is something to celebrate! Good luck with your personal challenge …

  • Very true article. Even i need to stay away from internet for few days. Thanks for sharing this article.

  • dweezer19 says:

    This is what I experienced in Costa Rica. There is internet availability in so many places, but people don’t spend tons of time on it. Most young people there like Facebook and music, but they also can live without it. They don’t have expensive iPhones so when they are about their daily business they do it without the internet, i love my connections for writing and my family; but other than that I care more anout what is in my immediate world. It is nice to enjoy the quiet. πŸ™‚

  • I definitely identify with this post. it’s a topic I actually touch upon in one of my stories (just get on with it). What I often do now is leave my phone in another room when writing a blog post, and then wright it in word or scrivener (with the internet off), and then cut/paste into my blog when I reconnect.

  • Pete Buckley says:

    The internet has revolutionized the way writers work – these blogs wouldn’t be here without it for one – but I agree it can distract from your focus too. I like long walks in the mountains, a bike ride or even the (occasional) run to get away and my phone is always switched off on these occasions.

    • Damyanti says:

      So good that you have mountains and nature nearby. I have none where I live– parks and seasides, that’s it.

      Yes, we do need to unplug once in a while.

  • karrie2014 says:

    Hi just wanted to say thanks for following my blog and I agree we live in a internet obsessed world now. I often think how lost we would all be if something happened to the internet service providers being unable to provide access,meaning that even just for one day the whole world couldn’t get online.
    We wouldn’t know what to do with all that free time!

  • Shalin says:

    Exactly! This internet has taken a toll on me. Despite of knowing that things like facebook or instagram are just a waste of time, I still entangle myself in this vicious cycle and that has made me such a wastrel these days.
    Reading and Writing on the other hand, I suppose, are different. That is an hobby and an hobby which you like to do is never a waste of time, I guess. That’s why I blog too often. Any ways you pointed things correctly.

  • Why indeed. That’s a good question! After all, the internet is here to stay.

  • Miss Alister says:

    This is sad, just getting around to 17 Feb things, but I’m compelled to toss my two cents on the table…
    I’ve no desire to get away from the internet (it being β€˜life support’ and all!) but then, I pretty much stick to a set use of itβ€”which excludes trying to do, be, and see it allβ€”one that brings the highest percentage of technological joy!

  • Thanks for liking my post. I escape with photography, I take my camera and snap at interesting images. I make cards with them, sadly nobody wants to buy them! but it doesn’t matter because it is an escape. I also switch to reading and reviewing books on GoodReads.

  • Wow. This is exactly how I feel. There is so much pressure to update frequently. If I don’t respond quickly, I’m considered rude. So, I succumb to the craziness. I waste so much time, but I can’t seem to stop.
    If I do escape, it’s by reading or writing. I have a typewriter and I honestly prefer it to a computer. No distractions. Just words.

  • Very occasionally my Laptop runs out of battery and I have to travel around the house looking for the charger πŸ™‚

  • Thank you for liking β€œLong Exposure Photography.” I get away from the Internet by being physically away from my computer. I usually have to go out somewhere a few times during the week, and I do not take my computer with me when I am out.

    My dog also helps me take a break from the Internet. She is very playful, and every now and then she will bring me a tennis ball or some other dog toy and bark at me and do other things to get my attention until I finally leave the computer and play with her for a few minutes. πŸ™‚

  • I and my children pick a day every week. We switch off our gameboys, mobile phones, laptops and tvs and we read books. We talk to each other. We eat together and practice introspection and reflection.
    In this digital age, there must be an eye of the storm, after all.

  • There are times that I get slightly overwhelmed by the web. I force myself to take a step back, turn my volume down to stop the notification well, notifying me, and then I have a chunk of time to do what I need to do.

  • I attempted to quit Facebook a while back. I felt so disconnected that I only lasted three days… When you’re my age if you don’t have Facebook you’re pretty much out of the loop. As for the internet, my entire degree relies on it for readings, lectures etc. So long as I exercise some level of self-constraint with my internet/Facebook usage I don’t feel so guilty about the whole thing.

  • If I get too stressed, I don’t open my email, and I only get on the internet to play a guilty pleasure. Thanks for following itsmindbloggleing.

  • Maria Tatham says:

    Yes, I have wanted to escape it. It’s a million voices talking at once, trying to find common ground or fight… Contradictions, misinformation, agendas that are scary. Yes, reading has helped me, and I want to get back to writing daily. Though discouraged, I cheer you on as you deal with this too. (Yes, it is ironic to write about this on the net, but it’s needed.)

  • ctriff says:

    I do think that the big thing people forget about technology is remembering to keep some balance. There is definitely something to the problem of the internet in making us always available. I think spending some time unplugged would definitely allow us more time to more fully digest what we see and hear in our regular offline lives.

  • This post was a great reminder to unplug and go analog for a bit. More and more I’ve re-intoduced myself to reading books – mystery novels, comedies or just being outside and taking in the environment. I think I’ll start having a pen pal!

  • thetarotman says:

    Thank you for following my brand new blog, and thank you for this post.

    For several years now, I have been recommending to my clients, students, and friends that they treat themselves to an “Unplugged/Off-the-Internet” Day. Every time I do it, my physical, emotional and Spiritual Energies are higher and stronger, I sleep better, I laugh more, I enjoy my relationships even more, the messages I receive from my Psychic Guides are clearer and stronger, and so many other Blessings and benefits.

    That I have been looking forward to my next “Unplugged/Off-the-Internet” Day and the timeliness of me discovering your post, is truly, no coincidence! Thank you so very much.

  • I’ve thought so much of putting real pen to paper to get good writing done, but it’s so hard to turn it off! I binge on books when I want to escape everything, or spend some time in the sun. Do it! Unplug =)

  • W. K. Tucker says:

    Sometimes I want to experience nothing….not just the internet, but TV, books, people. I sit on my patio with a cup of coffee and just listen to the birds sing, admire my flower beds, and let my mind–for at leat a little while–NOT think…about laundry, housecleaning, or even my blog or the book I am writing. I just exist.

  • I don’t know if I ever felt the need to escape the internet, it’s nothing super addicting to me. However, when I need to escape “technology” more so than the internet I pick up a hard copy of a book (instead of a kindle) or an actual newpaper instead of searching for news online. It’s almost a foreign feeling, but it’s so comforting to do that instead of relying on the internet, and techonology for every source of information, or pleasure reading.

  • renemutume says:

    I greatly enjoyed the personality of this post.
    The internet is a synonym as (all things are)
    for creativity, and there is no getting away from
    anything, as one only needs to know what they
    are doing, and do it.

    It is the same for ‘escapist’ past-times,
    they only put off inevitable reality
    and form a rather mundane loop.

    There is nothing to β€˜escape from’.
    All is dance and can be illuminating 24/7, if we drop the weary designs
    of patriotic society and let matriarchic thought have more

    Life only seems to have dichotomy because
    we are still getting away from it’s suppressive borders.
    Which we are doing!

    Gorgeous photos, many thanks for your post.

  • In the USA, the idea of people who don’t know what the Internet is all about is unheard of. Sometimes I wish we weren’t so dependent on it.

  • j1m says:

    i’ve blogged before about not blogging, odd though it sounds. but it can feel like too much. even within just a writing focus i doubt i could keep up with all the social media sites everyone is supposed to embrace these days.

    I used to be more active online, flitting between a couple of my blogs, a LOT of other blogs, a pbm board and social media sites like facebook, and i felt like i had to see everything, and comment on everything. and yet my opinion was never THAT wonderful it couldn’t be ignored.

    but it reached the point where it did feel like too much, so i pulled back, closed a blog or two, deleted my facebook (and short-lived twitter) account, and would sometimes go a whole day without flitting about online. and it’s amazing how i twisted between MISSING IT to NOT REALLY BOTHERED to WHY DID I COME HERE when i would check back.

    i’m not saying i didn’t enjoy the connections, and i do miss some of them, because i had what i would consider to be maybe six strong “friends” on here, only one of which i’m now still in regular contact with. but the others are still there, and if i emailed them i receive a reply.

    but i don’t need to know everything about everything. and now the internet is mostly used to check email, to still use that pbm board and a blog, but other than that pretty much just to answer inane questions that pop up in my life, like “who was that actor in that film? and what film was it he starred in with what’s her face?” or to learn more about new directors, writers and singer-songwriters/bands in a way you really can’t without.

    some days the internet is down and unavailable, and initially they feel like awful moments, but they always allow another activity which usually ends up feeling like more fun.

    i have a pc i use for most things. but i also have a notebook i use ONLY for writing. or if the pc crashes/is bugging i use the notebook to find a solution. but 94.78% of the time if i turn the notebook on it’s because i’m going to write something, and it’s like it switches my mind into a different place. if the pc is on and i try to write i can distract myself something silly. but if the notebook is on i know i should be writing, so tend to “behave”.

    i just realised this has developed into a POST… so think i will use it for today’s entry. thanks for the inspiration. πŸ˜‰

  • altheasarah says:

    ‘To write about escaping the internet on a blog is a ridiculous, ironic, thing.’ – TRUE! Haha thanks for the visit πŸ™‚

  • Reblogged this on No Walls.

  • H=2 Many

  • I don’t find myself WANTING to escape the internet, BUT, when I do escape it, it feels liberating. We went to Fiji in 2012 and only checked our social media once a day (as opposed to the 100+ times we probably do normally) and that felt great.

    In May, we are off to vanuatu and are taking it one step further – we are not taking any technology with us. No phones, tablets or laptops. I’m actually thrilled at the idea of being “offline” for 7 days.

  • Kajahie says:

    Yes! I was tired of all the negative energy.

    I deleted all my social media accounts except for WordPress.

    I do not come to WordPress daily anymore.

  • Ahmad says:

    I just turn my laptop off, listen to something either on my mp3 player, or finish a book I’ve been putting off. I agree the internet can be a noisy place, and it’s healthy to unplug from it.

  • Ahmad says:

    I just turn my laptop off, listen to something either on my mp3 player, or finish a book I’ve been putting off. I agree the internet can be a noisy place, and it’s healthy to unplug from it.

  • My husband wrote a delightful little poem (which I cannot find at the moment) about taking a “cybersabbath” one day a week–nothing that connects to the internet, all day. We don’t always do it, but it works wonders for clearing our heads when we do.

  • My smart phone is the conduit for my internet addiction. It’s full of so many great fidgeting methods. I escape by putting it down and walking away.

    There’s so much information out there and most of it isn’t worth the time that it takes to read it. It becomes exhausting looking for that one gem in the trash heap sometimes.

    On the flip side, it’s also really easy to find too much good stuff. The ensuing brain cram as you gorge on all of that information is enough to give you a migraine!

  • tabularin0a says:

    I would like to equate the internet with guns – use it wisely then you are safe, abuse it then it becomes a problem

  • I turn of internet when I write and I try to have a block of time when I can blog, tweet and answer emails, instead of doing a little hear and there throughout the day. Having a set time feels lees like ‘the internet is taking over’ than when I used to check in mindlessly.

  • Nice to hear I’m not the only one having this backwards and forwards inner debate…I reckon we should all keep blogging. Otherwise there would be nothing to read! Er…

  • Like you said – Travel and books! And during the day I go to the gym and leave my phone at home.

  • Varun Singh says:

    I had to take a lift in order to reach the comment box πŸ˜€
    Now, regarding the question, I simply detach my modem and give a sigh of relief! πŸ™‚
    That works for me.

    Bdw, if you ever find time, then, do visit my place (my blog)

  • Harliqueen says:

    The internet can be all-consuming! I try and take weekends away from it, just so as I can get a reality check and focus on my other passions. Great post πŸ™‚

  • TC Conner says:

    Nope, not bothered by “net noise” at all, and never felt like I was its prisoner. I don’t time myself when online, it’s a daily function and an integral part of who and what I am – a writer, musician, father, husband. Human.

  • Abhra Pal says:

    Yes, I have. As much as addictive it can be, it also introduces a lot of clutter that stops a focused thinking on any subjected. When I am at home and resting, the noise still doesn’t leave me. I do try to escape at times – shut myself off completely for a few days, spend time talking with family or a book, or go out photographing the world. Then again it surges back to me and engulfs me.

  • M.Gate says:

    I do have to escape sometimes. But it’s getting more difficult to do so nowadays, with everyone hunched over their smart phones “socializing.” Sometimes I’m lucky enough to go outdoors with a couple of my friends, and enjoy a nice and quiet evening under a full moon. Or I could always dive into a book. πŸ™‚

  • poetryshack says:

    Sometimes TV, get outdoors, walk, call a friend, read. I hear you with all the noise though.

  • Reblogged this on Cyberspace Crafter.

  • J.R.Barker says:

    The internet is too much of a draw, it’s always there waiting to be surfed.

  • HAVE FAITH says:

    i always feel like getting away from technology.. lol .. and though it seems like an impossible task to accomplish it can be achieved by…..



    when technology itself says sorry i cant bear you anymore πŸ˜€ ..

    meaning headache and eyeache are only two panacea that can separate us two after the quickfix.

  • Rajiv says:

    I do spend time with folks who have no clue about the internet. This is when I do street photography

  • Vefday says:

    Hmmm.. it’s a dilemma I can’t solve?

  • In theory, it is easy enough to get away from the internet, just press the off button. But in practise it is harder, the nagging feeling someone important might want to contact you, the way our lives are more and more entwined with our social media, those addictive games (farmville, candy crush…), the increasing tendency for our virtual friends to outnumber the ones we have actually met in real life etc…
    On a darker note there is always suicide, virtual or real….but that is a step too far and I wouldn’t recommend it.

  • I usually muffle the internet with music, internet music. I often find myself hating social media platforms and just jumping into some good ol’ stories off my kindle app. One of the things that helped me a lot when writing was going out to the back yard and simply enjoying the day. My mind is super-active, so much that even the net can become dull at times. I just let it roam on its own when it grows tire from going all across the net. I also day dream a lot…more than I’d like to admit.

  • Reblogged this on Parichita Singh and commented:
    Damyanti wrote this post at a perfect time. Last week, I took a break for four days. Mine was not only a social media or net break, but it was a break from whole laptop routine. Since usage computer at office can’t be helped, I gave up on home laptop.

    So you are wondering what did I do, right?

    I walked. I listened to the radio. I cooked. I cleaned. I gardened. And I clicked random pictures.

    Every once in a while, I need to do this to refresh myself from computer overload. It helps me in concocting new and varied daydreams.

  • I am returning after one such break. It helps to give me many more ideas and a feeling of no-rush-needed. πŸ™‚

    Oh, and I reblogged the post.

  • Haha I liked seeing this. I was feeling overwhelmed by being “plugged in” all the time just the other day and wrote a post stemming from the same idea πŸ™‚

    I really enjoy getting out into nature by myself when it gets to be too much. That’s always grounding and brings me back to reality.

  • Vikram Karve says:

    I can’t – I am addicted to internet !!!

  • Nikhil says:

    Even I have ben tryingt to do this lately. Trying to get away from the internet. But for me nothing seems to be working :p
    But ya , reading & travelling does help a lil. πŸ™‚

  • ladydanie says:

    I disengaged my facebook once last year, for two weeks. I got allot done in that time, studying,cleaning and I wrote more on my blog. Sometimes we cant unplug from all of it, but at least the habitual parts.

  • I think it’s a difficult question to answer for all of us here. Yes, managing this between my daily chores and this, hence half the time spent here and I would like to reduce a little more if possible

  • lazyyblogger says:

    I have a set curfew time, I usually try and stick to it, unless anything is important. The same goes for cellphones.

  • Oh or can wonder why three indistinct are plonked on the top of the post un captioned (at least on my device). #lonewordsmith

    Sent from my


    • Damyanti says:

      Hi, not sure what you’re talking about– maybe the web version doesn’t upload fully on your iPad.

      I’m sorry my post format bothered you but it was not intentional.

      Maybe you could download the WordPress app for iPad and try reading on that. Just a thought.

      Wishing you a nice relaxing time over your cuppa.

  • chuu2venge says:

    I turn it off. Then I leave. I feel free when I’m off.

  • Tienny says:

    For me, I often seldom go to internet. The other way round ?

  • Brad Archote says:

    When I feel as though the items of my “tech world” are consuming my life, I log off etc and I get outside in my gardens and do something else for a bit. Real contact with real people takes precedence over time on my computer anytime night or day….

  • nagoonberry says:

    As a stay-at-home mom to a seven-month-old, for me the internet is my connection to the outside/adult world. In the past month or so I’ve been working harder at getting back to writing, and I find it really helps me keep my sanity. It feels good to do something other than change diapers, feed the baby, encourage her to go to sleep, wash her laundry (and the grown-ups’ laundry), cook, clean, etc.

    My partner’s mom noticed how I use social media to battle isolation, and she talked about how different it was when her babies were little.

    That being said, sometimes I feel too connected. I have to make sure I’m paying attention to the non-virtual world, too.

  • Becca Joyce says:

    So much mental noise from narcissists and idiots – but so compulsive. I hate it; I use it. Then I hate myself for using it πŸ™

  • marlainagray says:

    It’s difficult to spend all day online when the children want food/toys fixed/you to join a pretend tea party. So there’s that. But I am in favor of stepping away from the computer and curling up with a nice book. I’d also say stepping outside, but I’ve about had it with the snow this year and would rather hide from it.

    Lovely photos, incidentally!

  • umashankar says:

    Saying that Internet is addictive is explaining the obvious. The words are close synonyms. And as you said, it’s hard to pull yourself apart when you are a blogger. As of now, I know of no certain cures, but I keep dreaming and threatening people to lose myself in the wild with my camera.

  • Sudhir Singh says:

    Well, to be honest life without internet is not possible today. It’s an a given. Escapes can be temporarily made, like you do with your travel but then the time comes you want to escape that as well! So all in all…It’s ok to be a netizen! πŸ˜€

  • The closest I can get to that is when I’m not on my computer for 12 hours a day, maybe I go to the (rare) movie with a friend. Or, when one of my efriends disappear and I’m left wondering what’s happened to them (you know Dianne don’t you–I’m so glad she’s back). I find myself going back to their blog over and over just to check, even though I know I’d be notified if they return. It’s like a neighbor going on an extended vacation.

    I worry.

  • Sammy D. says:

    It is difficult to tear yourself from electronic lures. Books, of course, like most comments suggest! I change rooms and try some yoga or pilates or go for walk to a nearby pond. The local bookstore is a refuge. Those pictures were mesmerizing – I could almost feel the dust in that camel photo.

  • I feel guilty either way. If I’m ignoring my blog and social media, I feel I’m letting my readers down. If I don’t, I feel I’m being disloyal to my friends and family and other writing projects. It’s a losing proposition.

  • nerdycanuck says:

    Harder answer: If the internet permanently went away, I wouldn’t miss it.. we would still have television in the future and DVD rental stores, department stores. I would still be a writer and write for newspapers, magazines. Your blog post made me ask more questions.. what would life be like if the net had never been invented? How would that affect society and economics? turned into a short SciFi Writing Prompt..Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Miliee Cyrus says:

    Internet is my breath.. without it i will be blank… anyway nice presentation,,,,

  • estyree says:

    My 18 month old does a fairly decent job of keeping me in check…although we do spend a lot of time with Netflix (they have Curious George episodes and she’s half-monkey!) . I also spend a lot of time crocheting and working on my blogs before typing anything up…my novel and almost every post on my blog are written by hand in a notebook, far away from the computer, before I pull up the first word document. I prefer hand writing to typing for flow. I can make notes and doodle and it keeps me from getting too frustrated at myself if I get blocked!

  • Petra says:

    I have to walk away at times to prove to myself that I can. It’s hard at first but gets easier with time. I’ve only been back a short while and already feel addicted, ocd, and overwhelmed by the noise. I wish I could program my computer to only give me x numbers of hours per day or even week – a switch of sorts that I couldn’t tweak.

  • There are definitely times when the internet gets too “loud” or I feel to drawn into it and I need to get away… Sometimes I should get away to experience life where I am and I don’t even realize it! During those times that I do realize it I usually go write a letter, dance around to some fun music, or go and try and start a conversation with the closest “real life” person around!

  • digiriki says:

    Lots of responses to this one…enough to add to the overwhelm, but too good not to read!

    I feel it just as you describe it. Getting outside–into the mountains–is a good way to unplug, No reception; just the sounds of nature. Getting out like that is a luxury I can’t fit into my days often enough, sadly. πŸ™

    One of my tricks that allows me to keep writing without getting sucked into online reading, is to write in my blog offline. I save many posts as drafts until I am ready to let them out into the world, and sometimes I just schedule a number of posts for the future so I can leave my blog for a while. This wasn’t originally a conscious practice, but rather the outcome of traveling abroad without ubiquitous wi-fi access. Now I do it as a choice.

    Hot baths are always nice as well. No devices near the water! πŸ™‚

  • jr cline says:

    I spend a lot of time on the internet. Hours each day usually. Part of my income is derived from the internet.
    I limit a lot of things. I check my email once in the morning and once at night. I don’t chat or Skype. On a week day I check my blocks, Facebook, and my RSS feeds once in the morning and once at night. Sometimes only one of those two times.
    I do a lot of other things. I love to take pictures. I go places and do that. Of course I go to work. I’m working on a video project. I read and write. I maintain a junk journal. I work on selling my house. I visit friends.
    I meditate.
    I escape by picking to do something else.

    • leftoverpeas says:

      It’s the feeling of having to continually ‘check’ everything and be permanently available that annoys me. Especially when you get phoned at work and hear, ‘I’ve just sent you an email. Have you read it already?’

      • jr cline says:

        I hate that one too. One of my bosses does that. It’s so annoying. I don’t know how people stand to have their email open all day. I’d never get anything done with my email nagging at me. I always let my office phone go to voice mail. I listen to the messages fairly often each day. It saves a lot of time. I can just delete and ignore the useless calls. I can’t be permanently available and do my job.

  • Amy says:

    I (shamefully) allow the internet to rob a lot of my time, time I could be using for writing and more quality time with my family (I don’t suppose letting the little one sit on my lap while I surf the net is exactly quality time, eh?) This past week we were stuck at a hotel during an ice storm, and while there was a computer available on the first floor, I never even wanted to go use it. It was enjoyable to have some internet-free time. But, of course, the first thing I did when I got home was go to the computer. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted πŸ˜‰

    • Damyanti says:

      It is always nice, and how long to make it last is up to you. Those wihout the internet seem to be doing pretty ok without virtual lives. πŸ˜€

  • arlene says:

    I am asking myself the same question because I am online every day. Aside from blogging, i have a Catholic Apostolate site to update.

  • MikeW says:

    I think what you’re talking about is analogous to being a citizen of the Republic with choices between relationships versus walls. There are many public places, but also places of solitude interspersed within them. We want the freedom to be able to go about as citizens without consenting to every myriad private sector / public sector-exploitable use of surveillance and monetization others may wish to impose. The Constitution is the law of the land, while it seems many government and tech concerns would like the way the Net works to dictate to what non-technical, very human individuals consent to. Should there be Open Spaces on the internet? Publicly sponsored but with seclusion built-in? National forests? I think such things might expose some of the absurdity of living online. If so, just as these would be virtual open spaces, so I would want virtual taxes — not real ones — to sponsor them. Still, the only truly legitimate places for us to be true to ourselves is within our own beings, and it is more important that we be the sort of people other beings would trust to be real with.

    The internet is like pages in books, fast-graffiti boards, and screens on interactive TVs, while the supposed credible media controls public contributions in the guise of free press…irony is everywhere. We are not our avatars. They are not comprehensive, just images. But the substance is the priority, the persons who use the net should never cede control to materialism or media over real interpersonal contact with others. Our souls are not made to interact principally through machines, but directly with others to quell loneliness, see truth, and love others. The Net offers some great opportunities for minds to touch base through language, and that can be helpful to quell loneliness, however, in a Vitamin-D deficient era, and one where the touch of another is rare for many, media moderation is essential, and a large life-space of media independence is even better.

  • No escape except by turning it off for a month or two….you can do that – I did over Christmas….

  • viewpacific says:

    I unplugged from television 20 years. I learned then how easy it is to unplug from anything that feels like a waste of time.
    Similar to your fine blog post,
    I’ve had people ask me what life is like without television.
    I enjoy many things with my time now. I live near the Pacific ocean so breathing the fresh air at the beach is wonderful. I have a small garden I tend to. I meditate. I simply sit. I enjoy the company of friends. And, Many other things.
    I like the image with your post. I haven’t spent much time in palaces or with camels. The other, though, happily shares some of my time.

    • Damyanti says:

      I’ve more or less unplugged from TV. Saves me a bunch of time, and I like reading way better. Plus, I get to blog more– and you guys respond. A TV is just that, an idiot box. You need to watch what you watch on it πŸ˜‰

  • Dave says:

    Technically, I spend all day every day on the Internet because I’m a full-time telecommuter. The only way I can work is to be on the Internet. Fortunately, because I’m working, I can’t get sucked into too much during the day other than work. However, I still do πŸ™‚ I also spend several hours in the evening on the Internet, either blogging or Facebooking or stuff like that. Both of those take time away from what I’m supposed to be doing, which is writing πŸ™‚

    I love getting away from the net and technology. Anymore, if we go out for dinner, I like to leave my phone at home, or at least in the car. I’d also like to institute a technology free day where my wife and I cut ourselves off from the Internal *all* day and spend time with each other or pursuing our other interests.

    • Damyanti says:

      Tech-free days sound so good. We can only do that when we travel, though. Telecommuting and working from home can make it very easy to get distracted with the internet.

    • Joseph Nebus says:

      I do telecommute, too, but I’m pretty good about a couple of break points — meals, particularly, and an evening tea break that might as well be inviolably non-computer based, and that does me some good. My spouse and I tend to spend most of the weekend away from the computer entirely, usually out of the home, and that’s also rejuvenating.

      • Dave says:

        I need to get better about taking those meal breaks. I have gotten quite used to my afternoon tea break, though πŸ™‚

  • Tegami says:

    I go to the library, draw or play massive amounts of video games in my spare time. If I’m out of town the internet doesn’t come with me even if the hotel offers it free. I don’t like to get on unencrypted networks anyway. I’m not with it when it comes to social media but I have ended up on my computer late into the night for the sake of “research.” Even if I get on my computer to write the internet has this habit of butting in. If I find myself frequenting a site too much I put it on the ban list and stop going.

  • There are days, especially after the IWSG post day, where I just want to unplug. I’ll visit a few folks and then I delete everything in my Feedly reader. I feel bad, but after visiting 200-250 blogs for IWSG day, I just need a break.

  • Dan Antion says:

    There are days I’d like to escape but it’s mainly related to work. Sometimes, the incoming signal to noise ratio is so low that I feel like all I am doing is deleting email. I do enjoy riding my bike though. I take my cell phone, but I don’t use it unless I have to call for a ride.

  • Tate Simba says:

    With things like phones and other portable devices getting away from the internet is no longer about turning off the computer or getting out of the house because you can still carry it with you. I know I certainly find it hard to get away from the internet with my blog and also being a googling addict. I want to google any question that come to mind no matter where I am but you’ll be surprised how many people are actually true internet addicts.

  • lumar1298 says:

    Sometimes I just browse through some sites, but if I wake up not wanting to open it up, then I just don’t…

  • I spent one month off Facebook just to see if I could… And afterwards I found rarely did I look at my phone. Getting away from the internet for me means turning my phone off, putting the iPad away, reading or listening to music, pampering myself… Like doing my nails or having a bubble bath, or going for a walk. It is nice to have a peaceful, non internet time.

  • jaime tong says:

    I love to read, so for me, the web is an endless source of things to read. It’s a temptation.

    I’ve found a balance by keeping my distance from Twitter and Facebook — platforms that stream endlessly and relentlessly. That pace of information just makes me compulsive. I also stopped keeping up with online news sites, and I no longer use apps like Flipboard or Feedly to compile ever growing RSS feeds.

    What I do to take control over my internet time is to subscribe to sites I like, so that I use my email program to control my time online. I actually think my smartphone has helped me to be more conscious of time spent abs to be more selective.

    My priorities on extra time in my day after real life/face to face time with my family/ is:
    #1– reading books — I read least a book a week.
    #2-writing in my journal about the day/private reflections
    #3–talking with extended family in person or bdrawing
    #4– listening to the radio

    As a mum, I’m mindful not to be staring at a screen all the time, so that’s probably the biggest motivator in how I manage my online time.

    Great topic! In interested in how others answer!

  • jaime tong says:

    I love to read, so for me, the web is an endless source of things to read. It’s a temptation.

    I’ve found a balance by keeping my distance from Twitter and Facebook — platforms that stream endlessly and relentlessly. That pace of information just makes me compulsive. I also stopped keeping up with online news sites, and I no longer use apps like Flipboard or Feedly to compile ever growing RSS feeds.

    What I do to take control over my internet time is to subscribe to sites I like, so that I use my email program to control my time online. I actually think my smartphone has helped me to be more conscious of time spent abs to be more selective.

    My priorities on extra time in my day after real life/face to face time with my family/ is:
    #1– reading books — I read least a book a week.
    #2-writing in my journal about the day/private reflections
    #3–talking with extended family in person or bdrawing
    #4– listening to the radio

    As a mum, I’m mindful not to be staring at a screen all the time, so that’s probably the biggest motivator in how I manage my online time.

    Great topic! In interested in how others answer!

  • Cimmorene says:

    I turn to my family. My husband and children are my eternal supports. What is this “internet” in comparison to that?

  • I have two dog that make sure I get out every day for at about an hour walk and sometimes just watching them play is a delightful distraction

  • EmBe says:

    I’ve just changed how I use facebook, and social media. My facebook is only for close friends, and family now (all others removed), and there are many reasons why I did that the 1st being, not everyone needs to know about my personal life, where I am, what I’m doing, or even what I’m thinking about all the time. By limiting the biggest time waster in my life I’ve freed up an immense amount of time to focus on my writing for business purposes.

    As for Twitter, as far as I am concerned it coincides with my blogs, it’s a platform, and asset to my writing that I don’t feel the need to give up on, I get inspiration from the platform, and therefor getting rid of that usage would be more of a bad thing than a good thing.

    Anything that is deterring me from my goals I’m getting rid of (or already have) some of these things I probably don’t even realize they are a deterrent yet so they’ve remained, but slowly over the course of the beginning of 2014 many things that I once considered normal have been removed including switching out my number and only giving that number to again very close friends, and family members (the same people that are on my personal facebook).

    I am on a mission right now of focusing on me, my future, my dreams, and my goals, anything else as much as I may enjoy it, I just don’t have time for it, and for me as hard as that was even includes my church, which is why I originally became as social as I once was.

  • Nia Simone says:

    I haven’t figured this one out yet!

  • A.D. Everard says:

    For me, not getting on in the first place will give me a clear day – when I want a clear day, that is. I post on a blog daily, so I’m in there daily. Occasionally the inevitable happens and I waste half a day following blogs and catching up with people or news that matters to me (I don’t watch television or listen to the radio – the internet is it for me).

    Of course, I’m supposed to be doing other things – writing book 3 for starters. So I will get in and post what I want to post, then pull the plug and don’t let myself be fooled that I’ll “just check out…” whatever.

    Tough sometimes, but that works for me. πŸ™‚

    • Damyanti says:

      I always get fooled by “I’ll check out…” So now I set timers when I comment. I can only be online for 10 minutes after 2 hours of offline writing. That’s the rule.

  • Nice photos. I used to read hardcover books, but Kindle changed that as I now download. Most of my time is spent on the web as I freelance, so don;t have time to find alternatives.

  • Arlee Bird says:

    I spend way too much time on the internet, but less than I did in my first couple years of blogging. I usually have to step away during the day to do things around the house or run errands, but I often have to disconnect because my computer is acting up. Maybe I watch a movie or just rummage through the garage. If I’m wasting too much time watching the computer download sites or whatever I just leave it for a while.

    Rarely do I disconnect for long. If I’m traveling then I take a laptop, but I only get online at the end of the traveling day for maybe an hour or so and that’s mostly just to check email and respond to comments on my prescheduled blog posts.

    Funny–or maybe not–anymore I find it difficult to relate to people who don’t understand the internet since it consumes so much of my thinking anymore. I probably need to get away more.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

    • Damyanti says:

      You sound like my dad, Lee. He’s addicted to the internet too– and gets upset with folks who don’t understand it.

  • Definitely need to unplug at times. Mostly from social media. Sometimes just for the day, sometimes for a few weeks.

    After the initial withdrawal symptoms, it is a relief. I forget how much of a slave to the Internet I can be.

  • authorkt says:

    Came to honoring my passion for writing later in my life so I write a lot now and I love it. Don’t have a smart phone yet but even if I did I won’t use many apps or games because when I sit down to use technology, I use it to write and when I’m done, whether writing a column for the blog, a book or whatever, I walk away from the Internet, except for research occasionally.

    • Damyanti says:

      That’s what I thought before I had a smartphone. πŸ˜€

      • authorkt says:

        Thanks for the heads up … I’ll keep that in mind when I get one, yet I am also finding that as my RESPECT LEVEL continues to rise, what is in my heart to do overrides distractions that keep me from my purpose … as they have done most of my life.

  • Good question, one I often write about here in this country where everyone appears wired to something most of the time. I tell my students here they need to find ways away from the noise and compulsions to stay in touch all the time and learn in solitude what it means to be human. If one wants to find solitude there are always ways; all great spiritual traditions offer suggestions, whether going off by yourself to pray or mediate or learning the more difficult art of silence within the noise. One great poet, Robert Frost I think (I will not go to Google to check), said that poetry was a “momentary stay against confusion.” That’s a great way to suggest that without a momentary stay most of us will remain confused, without focus, even strangers to our deeper selves.

    • Damyanti says:

      “If one wants to find solitude there are always ways; all great spiritual traditions offer suggestions, whether going off by yourself to pray or mediate or learning the more difficult art of silence within the noise.”

      That’s so true.

  • Julia Lund says:

    I’m quite new to blogging but have quickly discovered how much time I didn’t even know I had is consumed by worlds I didn’t know existed. Even my dreaming has changed. I have started to block out chunks of time in my diary so that I can return to some of the other things I love; reading; writing (of the storytelling kind). And spending face-to-face time with the people I love most.

  • I feel this way quite often. In order for me to get work outside my social media sites done I have to use a program called Freedom. And that’s exactly what it does, frees up time for me to write and enjoy my family things.

  • Adi says:

    I guess the real question here is – how many of us are addicted to our phones? Internet comes on a smartphone and brings along messenger, emails and blog and everything else. But your escapes are fun anyway!

  • Dalo 2013 says:

    Love the opening photos… Could not agree more about the need to unplug and get away from the internet (and if possible all technology). Fortunately with work/travel, I have the opportunity to get ‘unplugged’ but more recently have not taken advantage of these times to unplug and get back to a more natural reality.

    Getting out and just walking around with everything buzzing around me, with nothing on my mind but watching is the best way for me to enjoy life away from the internet πŸ™‚

    • Damyanti says:

      Thanks, those photos were from when I unplugged in December! I know, I’ve recently discovered the joys of walking in parks, and come to love it.

  • b1eedr says:

    it gets real crazy at times. so i listen to podcasts, music or read or write poetry and short fiction or just binge watch netflix

  • tranquilizer & don’t look at email.

    • Damyanti says:

      lol, true. Some days I leave my phone behind at home. Frustrates the hell out of people, but I’m happy. Besides, I’m always with my husband at such times, so family can always reach me.

  • Sometimes I ration my internet use, so when I switch on my computer I go straight to my WIP and don’t touch the internet. It works… for a while. πŸ™‚

  • andy1076 says:

    To be honest, I’ve just been writing in my diary to get away from Internet before just to get a breather πŸ™‚

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