Can you live without the net?

I have just read a really interesting article by Beth Arnold entitled “Letter From Paris: 28 Days (Without the Internet)” .

This was a really good read about a writer/blogger who tells us just how she has (like so many of us) become addicted to the internet. So much so that she says she spends hours and hours online every day and has begun to feel that she has “lost touch” with the realities of being human and living a life outside of the net.

She lives in Paris, which she describes as “the most beautiful city in the world” and yet she hardly ever ventures outside because she is on Facebook, Twitter, blogging or reading other people’s blogs or articles.

Her reaction to all of this is to go “cold turkey”. She is taking herself off to a Greek Island and will live for 28 days without any use of the internet. She will only read printed texts and receive phone calls. It really is a case of going back to where we once were.

She is hoping to write a chapter of reflection on every day that she spends on the island and will eventually be publishing a book (online or just text?.. now there’s a question!).

I certainly found a lot of food for thought about this article. It seemed to hit home in some ways and then felt like some sort of Luddite attempt to ignore a changing world in another. I feel that this is O.K. as an experiment for 28 days but would not recommend that we all turn our backs on the amazing things that the internet has given us access to.

I feel that we need to be promoting the idea of “moderation in all things” to our children. The idea of spending nearly every waking moment of your life connected to the net is a bad one. We do need to get out and have fun, we need to shop sometimes and meet people for coffee, we need to sit in a park and just dream or watch the clouds go by. We need our children to explore their environment and not just by using Google Maps! We need them to hang around with each other and play, talk, have arguments, fall out and do all the things that really what makes us human.

I think that over-dependence on the net is bad but it is something that cannot be dropped altogether. Today’s question from me to you is: can you live without the net altogether? I doubt it.

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One thought on “Can you live without the net?

  1. This is a bit creepy as I lost the internet at home last night & they are not come to look at it until Monday. To say I panicked would be an understatement! I now have some ‘commitments’. I set a weekly challenge for children and feel obliged to comment. Without the internet I would be behind & they would be disappointed. However, you & I know if I explained to their teachers, it would be fine. I couldn’t go cold turkey like Beth but I do need to get it a bit more under control. My latest ‘suggestion’ is that if I got an iphone I wouldn’t need the PC but we know that means I would never be free!

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