The Internet Diet

This week I learned a really important lesson.

Basically if you are reading an article read the full article. Some may think this is obvious but I didn’t think so until I read half of an article, then decided to base my entire upcoming week on the half an article I read only to then learn from a friend that in fact the ending of the article wasn’t “and they all lived happily ever after.”

There was an article that appeared in The Verge at the end of last week. Getting in touch with my leftist, attempted but truly failing hipster side, yes I do glance at The Verge from time to time.

The article was about a man, Paul Miller, who went a year without the Internet. May 1, 2012- May 1, 2013.

I only read the first few paragraphs about how instead of Skyping with his nieces and nephews he would finally gather the strength and energy required to visit them (gasp, I know. The effort is just exhausting.)

The article then continued but I didn’t have the patience to read it because I was so caught up in the fact that perhaps I will go a year without the Internet.

(Turns out that the guy lost all of his friends and got divorced. No biggie.)

I was inspired by this guy’s insanity. And apparent loss of friends.

For about a minute I was writing my farewells to my family and friends. I was taking the last glance at my Facebook page and finally bidding Auf Weidersehen (thank you Heidi Klum and Project Runway for that German vocab lesson) to my email.

Once the bliss of Internet detoxing faded and real life kicked in I realized that my plan was basically suicidal. For better or worse, half of our social lives take place on the Internet. Maybe even more.

So I decided instead of a year I will go a month, no, not a month, a week. I will go a week without the Internet.

Looking around my living room I realized I forgot what my roommates looked like because their heads, just like mine, were looking down at these black boxes we call cell phones or bigger boxes known as a laptop.

This was awful. Not only was I losing friends to the Internet but I now had faceless friends.

The Internet can steal my time, my energy, but the Internet is not stealing my friends. I was never taught to share anyhow.

So I somehow managed to make a week without the Internet sound exciting to my roommates and they were on board.

We are intelligent, intellectual, intuitive and eclectic human beings. When did technology begin stealing our lives and our talents?

So  many activities haven’t been done, so many precious moments were taken. Once in a lifetime moments have been interrupted by a buzz, a vibrate, a verse from a Rihanna song.

A few months ago our electricity went out for a few minutes and I wrote the following:

“This morning I lived in the Dark Ages for a few minutes.

Sad to say but me and my roommates were being social. It’s the twenty first century. Social means we were all on our laptops in the same room as opposed to different ones.

All of a sudden the electricity went out.

The washing machine stopped running. The blow dryer stopped blowing. My charging laptop went back to eight percent.

We stared at each other blankly.

Is this what people in the 1800’s did all day? What else was there for them to do?

I am the first “oh go outside and appreciate nature blah blah blah”, but clearly there is no technology atheist in the foxhole. The moment the electricity goes out my fake, environmentalist, dance with the birds facade runs away before you can count to two.”


Well this week I guess I will be living in the Dark Ages for more than a couple of minutes.

I am ready to get my freedom back.

I will no longer be subservient to a little device with no feelings or emotions.

I will no longer be addicted to other peoples happenings, but I will be addicted to my own.

I will win this fight against technology, because my life is so much more important than vicariously living through others.

The only buzz I will answer to is the buzz of a bee, in which case I will run.

Hi. My name is Lottie and I am an Internet addict.

But not for long!

About the Author
Lottie Kestenbaum was born to British parents and grew up in New Jersey. To add to the identity crisis, Lottie made aliyah in August 2012. Hello tri-citizenship! She is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Holocaust Studies at Haifa University and living in Jerusalem. Yes, it is a shlep. No need to mention it :-)