Disconnecting from the internet sometimes can do you a whole world of good. In the 21st century, life is pretty good. You’re always connected to the internet; in your class, inside your room, and outside of it. You’re never disconnected.
Your smartphone brings the world to your fingertips. And this sounds great, right? No!
Most students don’t use technology. Most students I’ve seen are rather used by technology. And I’ll tell you why I said so.
Videos, apps, games, articles, commercials, TV-shows, etc. are all designed to keep your attention. So without your knowing it, you waste countless hours every single day of every week. You think you’re being entertained. Your attention is all over the place, but not in the right place.
“To be everywhere is to be nowhere.”
Why do you think Facebook automatically starts the next video when you’re on the videos page? Or why does Netflix automatically start the next episode in 3, 2, 1 seconds? When that happens, you think: “Screw it, let me watch another episode!”
The same goes for YouTube. Why do you think their suggestions are so good? They keep you locked in. And this applies to all content on the internet. There is ALWAYS a “next” video, episode, article, game, round, movie; you name it.
Seeing that this is true, what manner of student ought ye to be?
Funnily enough, most students who have read these types of articles before know that a lack of focus is bad. And in recent years, a large number of research papers and books have appeared about the harmful effects of distractions.
Research, have specifically shown that distractions are associated with more stress, and higher frustration, time pressure, and effort.
Doing focused work is HARD. We’re always distracted.
And the truth is, it’s not your fault. Most technology taps into your lizard brain and locks you in – it turns you into a consumer.
So don’t even think about resisting the internet or technology. I bet you’ve tried it in the past. You’ve told yourself severally, “I’m never going to browse mindlessly for hours.” Yeah, right!
What will work? Recently, I read a book about how to beat distraction. Well, one of the most critical points I took from that book is this:
Disconnect from the internet!
And there’s only one reason to do that: Too much of anything is a bad thing. Even good things.
- Too much love? You will smother people.
- Too much work? You will burnout.
- Too much food? You will get fat.
- Too much water? You will die.
So why do you consume so much internet? I asked myself that question 10 months ago. I had no answer. So I thought; I do everything else in moderation, why not the internet?
Soon I found out that there’s no moderation with internet usage. It’s like an all-you-can-eat buffet. You’re already full, but you still keep eating. And after you’ve stuffed yourself, the regret will eat you up later.
Internet usage is so tempting and satisfying, and available EVERYWHERE. So you go all out with it. YouTube, Whatsapp, Facebook, Snapchat, Tik Tok, Instagram, etc.
I’m all about eliminating distracting stuff. However, I also don’t want you to live your life as a recluse. So I had to find a middle ground that worked.
I found that a simple tweak in my attitude towards the internet did the trick. Disconnecting from the internet did the trick.
I went from “Always Connected” to “Always Disconnected.”
In practice, this is how it works:
- On my phone, wifi and mobile data are standard off. I only turn it on when I need it.
- On my laptop, I use an app called SelfControl during the times I work (try FocusMe for Windows). The app blocks distracting sites. The advantage is that my apps like Evernote, DayOne, Office 365 remain connected so I can save my work in the cloud.
“Always connected,” isn’t a good thing for your focus and productivity.
It’s the same as going to the class. Or swimming. Or having a time out with your partner. You don’t do those things for 24 hours a day. You do them for thirty minutes, an hour, or a few hours. Too much of those things is simply not effective.
Disconnecting from the internet has worked wonders for me. I don’t feel the urge to check my smartphone, email, or the news 350 times a day anymore. What happens is, after a while, you feel like you’re not missing out on anything. And really, you aren’t!
That brings a sense of calmness to your life.
I also get more out of my days; I achieved more things than I had in the past, feel less distracted, and have more time to spend on the things that really make me happy.
At the end of the day, the internet is just a tool.
However, some of us think it’s everything. But I’m pretty confident that years from now, I will not look back and regret that I didn’t spend enough time on the internet. No way!
Can you imagine? You’re on your deathbed, and all you’re saying to your family is: “I’m really glad I watched so many videos on Facebook.”
Nope. You’ll probably look back and reflect on the times you spent with your family or friends. Or the memories you made when you were in school. Or how much you enjoyed travelling.
So cut the crap with the internet. It’s not giving you anything but frustration.
And after reading this article, help yourself; disconnect.
At first, you will get some withdrawal symptoms like grabbing your phone 1000 times in a day. But I’ll promise you this: Disconnecting will help you do more. And that’s what your student life should really be about.
Related article: 6 Amazing Tips For a Healthy Brain.