25 Aug 2015
I had lived without home broadband for a few years now. Actually, I cannot remember when was the last time I had home broadband. I cancelled mine, as I was frustrated with the unstable network. Yeap, it was not a deliberate decluttering effort.
Previously, my broadband provided unlimited use for a fixed monthly payment. As a result, I ended up spending lots of time on the internet to get my money’s worth 😛 Of course, I didn’t realize how broadband was potentially an obstacle to a meaningful life. Besides wasting time on the internet (e.g., YouTubing, reading blogs, junk news…), I also worked late everyday, responding to work emails and researching for presentations. After I cancelled the broadband, I was forced to clear all the “internet” tasks at work. This definitely frees up time for other non-internet matters. A post (www.theminimalists.com/internet/) by the minimalists nicely shared the benefits of “killing [their] home internet”.
Less Internet ≠ More Meaningful Activities
Obviously, less internet time does not automatically translate into more meaningful activities. As the saying goes, “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop”… It definitely takes deliberate planning to ensure that we use the newfound time meaningfully.
Identify Meaningful Activities
First, we need to identify activities that are personally meaningful. Are there things you wish you had time to do? Such as, read a novel which has been collecting dust on the shelf since last Christmas? Learn how to play a musical instrument? Spend more time with loved ones? Volunteer for a meaningful cause? The list of activities can be infinite, but alas, time is not. So, do PRIORITIZE!
Schedule Meaningful Activities
Schedule your preferred activities and start embarking on your new no-broadband life. Do START SMALL and BE FLEXIBLE to ensure success. For example, it may be better to simply read a novel for full 2 hours, rather than trying to read for an hour and slot in another hour for practicing on the ukulele. How many of us would happily put aside a captivating book? Hence, as long as you are engaging in something meaningful, it’s time well spent 🙂
Beware of Smart Phones
Before you think you are free from the internet after you had cancelled your home broadband… Let’s not forget that we can also access the internet through Smart Phones! Fortunately, data plans tend to be more costly (compared to home broadband), hence this may prompt us to be more discriminate consumers. Nevertheless, smart phones are associated with another host of issues with 24/7 connections (read Connecting Through Disconnecting Mobiles).
Guess, this post will not receive “Likes” from telecommunication companies 😛 But, this does not stop the staff working in these companies to secretly wish they can disconnect from www in order to be more connected with life.
Best Regards, SLC