An Internet Detox – what I learned

9th July 2015

Florence, Italy

When I went on a holiday nearly a month ago I decided to take on a challenge and go internet free for a week.

It wasn’t exactly hard considering everywhere I went I had to pay for WiFi, or was having too much fun to care, but I did it and it was an achievement.

I learnt a lot from my internet detox (as MissPond put it!), particularly about myself and what makes me happy.

When I was internet free I was happy and relaxed. Sure, that might have been because at the same time I was indulging in my passion of travelling and enjoying a lot of free booze, but I’m also sure that having no internet made an impact too.

It’s obvious really. I wasn’t able to check my emails, so I didn’t have to worry about bills or job applications. I wasn’t able to check the news, so I wasn’t made sad by all the negative events happening around the world.

That instantly relives a whole lot of stress and negativity from my life.

I also didn’t have access to social media, and being away from it for so long made me realise that social media was making me unhappy too. Particularly Twitter.

Why? Well, because I was following a lot of people who made me feel a whole load of emotions I shouldn’t have been feeling; annoyance, frustration, sadness, jealousy, bitterness and pure anger.

I firmly believe that if you surrounded yourself by negative people then they will have an negative impact on your life.

So I unfollowed all of these people.

And I have no idea why I didn’t do it soon, because since I’ve unfollowed these negative people I’ve started enjoying Twitter so much more.

I was probably worried about upsetting someone. I’m clueless as to why I felt like this because:

a) I’d never met them before.

b) If I had met them before and they were making me feel bad then I didn’t need them in my life any more.

From what I learned during my internet detox I have decided to take some simple steps forward to keep my positive spirits up:

  • Unfollow/remove people from my life that make me unhappy.
  • Turn off social media and email notifications on my phone and tablet so that I feel more disconnected.
  • Take more days away from the internet. Continue to learn about myself.

Have you ever taken an internet detox? If not, you really should give it ago!!

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  1. Jamie

    Internet detoxing can be a good thing and a bad thing (depending on how you look at it). I noticed that when I got grounded for three months for buying a domain with my money (my dad doesn’t understand why I wanted a second domain) and I was grounded from the internet because I kept asking when my grounding was over. Well, three months of being grounded, I started to read more and watch more television. So, I know first hand on what it feels like to be free of the internet. However, we can free ourselves from the internet, we just have too try harder. It’s so easy to get sucked in to being online.

    Being free of negative things and/or people can be considered a really good thing. And, I agree that the more you surround yourself with negativity and negative, it will have an impact on you and your life. Like you, I got rid of the drama starters and negativity in my life. You shouldn’t have to let others say affect you in any way.

  2. I’m glad your Internet detox has helped you a lot and that it made you realise that you had to cut away some of the negativity in your life!

    I really couldn’t do a complete Internet detox. I’m far too attached to my emails, blog, Twitter, and other social media :D However, I think a detox is necessary if you do feel overwhelmed, burnt out, and whatnot with your Internet life. I think the keyword to it all is balance. There are days when I can balance my Internet intake and do other non-Internet activities and I actually feel happier :) But then there are days when I need to be a total Internet bum. But that’s just me XD

    • Holly

      If I wasn’t a blogger I probably wouldn’t be so addicted to the internet, and I do enjoy most aspects of the internet. I definitely need to find more of a balance.

  3. I think this is great, it’s so hard to see the negative impact social media can have, until you free yourself from it! Since giving it up for Lent, I really don’t use Facebook that much anymore. It’s great that you managed to rid yourself of so many negative things, here’s to a happy Holly!

  4. I used to do a detox during lent, where I set aside two days a week with no internet and computer access. I always felt slightly stress because when I am at home there is really nothing to distract me from it. I used to sit at the computer for hours when I was in high school because I never really went out. Now in my uni years I am focused on school and enjoying the free time that I have with my boyfriend that I only check my email once a day in the morning when I wake up. I removed a lot of negative people on Facebook last year and yes I can second you that it really does work. Now I follow a lot of inspirational writers, and people in my life I care about and care about me. Makes a huge difference! Maybe you should make it a yearly challenge for yourself!

    • Holly

      I think my uni years have made me more of a internet addict. Especially in my first year when I live in student accommodation. I use to Skype with my boyfriend every single night for a couple of hours because I got quite home sick. I’d stay online until it was time to go to bed.

      I’m definitely going to try to follow more inspirational people!

  5. Internet detoxes can be so refreshing. I really only do them when I travel because, like you, I don’t want to have to pay for internet or any extra charges from my phone company, so I just abstain from it all together. And I don’t know why I don’t do it more often because it’s so nice to be away from everything!

    Facebook has a similar effect on me. The things that some people post and say… I could live without it. I can get so worked up over something so inconsequential, or I see these little flashes of everyone’s accomplishments and successes and wonder what I’m doing with my life. I don’t know why I still use it.

    • Holly

      I always try to find internet when I’m on holiday, but then normally I don’t have the stress of job applications. My internet detox during this holiday felt like I was giving myself a break from reality, and it was so so good!

      Facebook is just drama. Twitter is going that way too.

  6. Susanne

    I don’t see a reason for myself to go internet free (other than those time when I have to, if I’m abroad or there’s no coverage), but I agree with you about how annoying social media can be, and I’ve had similar experiences on both Facebook and Twitter, that I was just frustrated by reading my feed. I’ve removed lots of people from my Facebook feed (without unfriending them), and I unfollowed or muted some people on Twitter. Later I deleted my Twitter account, because I didn’t see any reason why I needed it.

    • Holly

      I follow some great people on Twitter and I found that all these negative people were overshadowing the positive people. I’m back to enjoying social media now.

  7. Michelle

    I’ve done internet detox before and while it’s hard, I’ve gotten myself busy with reading books like The Hunger Games Trilogy, which I finished awhile ago. It’s great. It’s great to take a time to disconnect yourself from technology and listen to yourself. That’s why I love visiting my dad’s country, El Salvador and spending time at the beach and appreciating what I have.

    It can be refreshing and just calming at times.

    • Holly

      I managed to get quite a bit of reading done while I was on holiday. It made a lovely chance to the norm.

  8. Internet detoxes are great. I try to do it on the weekends since I work *on* the internet… so it is a bit hard to avoid.

    I definitely agree with surrounding yourself with what (and who) makes you happy. That is so important. I find that a lot of people use Twitter as an outlet to complain or whine about their life. No offence, and we all have our problems – but it’s not something I want to see, and I (and you!) have every right to block that from our view. And of course, people shouldn’t take it personally.

    There is actually a psychological study that suggests that people should not consume news because it tends to make us more stressed out. It mentioned that most news makes us feel helpless as we cannot help people, paranoid because we think “it could happen to me” when it comes to negative events, and realistically there is not much we can do to take action towards what is happening in the rest of the world. Not to mention, it may not affect us personally. I actually don’t remember the last time I read the news. My parents think I have zero general knowledge of “the world” but I think people talk about the news because there is nothing else to talk about… :P

    • Holly

      If I got a job based online I would probably do the same. Or at least try.

      I’m so guilty of moaning on Twitter, which is why it doesn’t bother me when people unfollow me, yet I was worried what people would think of me if I were to unfollow them for that exact reason. Which is crazy!

      I think I’ve heard about this. I remember someone once saying that they listened to music in the morning instead of switching the news on as watching the news put them in a bad mood.

  9. Ooh, I could do with an internet detox. Considering where I work, though, it would have to be when I’m holiday or something. Love free booze, aha. Glad you’re feeling happier after doing a Twitter cleanse!

    • Holly

      When I’m at home I struggle to step away from the internet, because my computer and my tablet are right there. But I left it all here while I was on holiday and that helped a lot.

  10. You shouldn’t feel bad for unfriending/removing contacts that make you feel bad. I think we all should do that.
    I had 3 days with less internet while I was in London. I checked the emails for my work, but that was it. It feels better to enjoy the rest instead of checking social media.

    • Holly

      I saved so much time by not going online, checking emails and social media. It did allow me to enjoy my holiday more.

  11. Holly

    I agree. The internet can be very addicting. But there’s so much more to life than being online.