The Definitive Stages of Living Without the Internet

I think we all have to admit that the internet has become a huge part (if not taken over) our lives over the past decade and we rely on it so much that when it’s gone everything just feels different – and much more difficult.

Over the past few weeks I have been relying on re-runs of Friends for entertainment – and it’s got me thinking about the varying stages of missing the internet;

The End of the World

You’re all moved in to your new house; you’ve made your first cup of tea and unpacked the ton of toiletries from past Christmas’ – now you can finally relax and start to feel at home. You pick up your phone to check Instagram and as you look at “3G” at the top of the screen you remember – you haven’t set up the internet.

Hurrying to Google (thank god for smartphones) you start to scroll through various internet deals – JOIN BT FOR £5A MONTH* *plus £20 line rental AND GET A £50 SAINSBURYS VOUCHER – you feel disorientated, you can’t think without Wifi, Google is suddenly something confusing and hectic as opposed to your old, reliable friend who has the answer to everything. You settle for Virgin Media because a man in the street yelled at you about it 4 months ago so you eagerly dial the phone expecting to be connected to the World Wide Web within the hour!

That’s when the news hits. Two weeks. You have to wait two weeks for the people to come and give you your life back. You ask desperately for any way around it – threaten to go to a different company only to find out it’s the same waiting period, finally you accept the harsh truth and try and live your life without the internet.

Awareness of the Obsession

You’re starting to feel better about the situation and beginning to accept that things aren’t so bad without trusty Wifi when you begin to realise just how much you rely on it. A simple conversation with your housemate about who voices Mike Wasowski becomes a seemingly endless debate that would have once been settled in an instant. You find yourself rummaging through your old and dusty DVD’s to settle the argument when it hits you. You once had a whole world of information at your fingertips, now you have a bunch of film inserts and a list of things you must remember to look up.

Having no idea what people are talking about

It’s actually becoming refreshing not to scroll through a bunch of codswallop about the lives of your acquaintances but the Instagram stalker in you can’t help but feel jealous when people are talking about “that thing she posted on twitter” or the “hilarious video everyone is sharing on Facebook.” The worst thing is you know it’s silly, you know if you saw it you’d have little to no reaction – maybe you’d snigger lightly if it REALLY tickled you but the truth is, you don’t actually care – yet for some reason you’re dying to see the slightly provocative picture some girl who’s a friend of a friend of a friend’s posted.

Searching for Wifi

At this stage you’ve memorised the exact opening times of every public library, Wetherspoons and Starbucks in your local area and you’re constantly trying to find enough hours in the day to go and browse the web but it’s just not the same. Let’s face it, if you’re not lying in bed watching embarrassing things on Youtube then what’s the point of even having the internet?! You sulk home feeling defeated.

Accepting and appreciating its absence

At this point you’re halfway through a really great book, you’ve made plans to do various crafts in the evenings and you’re getting to bed at a reasonable time. You start to realise there are plenty of activities you can do without the internet and actually begin to enjoy life without it. You’re present in conversations, you’re finally working on your garden – maybe it’s not so bad after all! Now you’re wondering why you cared so much about it in the first place and the wait doesn’t seem so long anymore.

Getting it back

The day has arrived, the internet suppliers and general life savers are in your house – you’re minutes away from endlessly browsing through clothes you can’t afford and knowing the complete filmography of Leonardo DiCaprio. Everything is plugged in and ready to go – you open your laptop and type in the password, carefully pushing every button individually. You’re connected.

Confusion about what to do with it

You’ve checked your emails, scrolled through Facebook and googled your list of unanswered questions. You sit staring at the screen, what did you even use to use this for?! You’re thinking about what to do with all of this information – maybe now is the time to take an interest in Marine Biology. Give it a quick google and view a million results that seem like a mixture of words you’ll never really understand. Reluctantly you turn back to social media and begin stalking through people’s profiles again, watching ridiculous videos and thinking about your next upload to Instagram.

Reverting right back to becoming a screen slave

You’ve just finished your tenth Ellen interview and you turn back to social media, it’s only now that you realise its ten o’clock and everything got set up six hours ago… Thinking back over the past month and how productive you’ve been feeling, you question what you’re doing and decide to cut down on internet time. With complete certainty that this is a resolution you’ll carry out, you continue to scroll through Rebel Wilson’s twitter account – the cross stitching can wait until tomorrow!

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