Three weeks ago, I took a short spring sabbatical from work for a holiday. While it was very enjoyable, I was more excited for what was to come the week after. A month ago, I was approached by a fellow blogger who was working together with a company. They were doing a study on the effect of having a lack of Internet and television for one week. Knowing that I had the time and resources to spare a week from work, I jumped at the chance. Here are the highs and lows from the weeklong experiment.
Focused on What Mattered
One of the largest felt benefits of this weeklong experiment was being able to focus more on my studies. I also was able to type up a couple of articles for work in Microsoft Word, making this week a very productive one. Without having to worry what was on television or the next updates in my email or on Facebook, it made the week very relaxing. I was able to not only just catch up on schoolwork, I was already quite on task to start, but I was able to get well ahead in school during this week. In addition, without the pressures of work, I was able to stay back longer for help on subjects that didn’t seem to click well.
Utilizing the Basics
This was my favorite high of the whole week. I usually received a majority of my news from online and the television. However, during this week, both were off-limits. Surprisingly, this felt a bit liberating. News reports that occurred went unnoticed until I heard from the word of mouth of a friend or family member. For example, the death of Dick Clark wasn’t something I knew about until the morning after. The second news source I had, aside from word of mouth, was the newspaper. I wasn’t really a big newspaper reader, however the experiment changed this prospective for me.
As we know, technology is something that brings us instant gratification. Why wait for the newspaper the next morning when you can Google search the news topic you want at the moment. Since the experiment coincided with my first week back from school, I had a paper that involved extensive research. Something that I could have used the Internet database for involved me having to fact check through books in a library. While it took about an hour or two longer than if I had used the Internet, I found myself with better quality sources than my peers who used the Internet. Does having to work for our knowledge or gratification yield a better quality result? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
So, what did I learn from this experiment? Did I come out of this with a better prospective on life in general or did I run online as soon as midnight hit? I can say that I certainly missed the Internet for the week, no doubt about that. However, I was surprised to find that I didn’t rush online or anything. It felt like a task I was going to get to eventually. When I received a text message from the editor allowing us to go back online and watch TV, I was in the middle of a great book I bought myself on Amazon two weeks before to get myself through the week. I read the message, thanked him for allowing me to participate, mentioned that I would answer the survey questions in the morning, and went back to finishing my book. That was and probably will be the only moment in my life when a book was more interesting than going back online.