Media and Minimalism: Is It Possible to Live Without Web Entertainment?

I discovered an interesting video from youtuber Luke Smith the other day. In the video he explains how he managed to live without internet access at home for two years. At first this sounds quite frightening, especially to a digital native. But Luke‘s thought process offers quite some insights into a brighter and simpler future.No Internet means less distraction

Just imagine coming from work, sitting there all by yourself without any access to the internet. No Twitter, no Facebook, no Instagram, nothing but yourself. Plenty of time to read a book that has been collecting dust for months or to learn how to play the guitar or another instrument. The tasks might be individual but the underlying principle remains the same: The entertainment sites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. steal our attention at any given moment by distracting us with notifications.

And while they present themselves as platforms that bring people together, I would argue that the majority of the time it connects you to memes, videos and ads (which is increasingly hard to distinguish these days, isn’t it?). The content I mentioned could be summarized as entertainment. This thought made me realize that a world without constant distraction might offer me the precious time I never have to work on personal projects.

No Internet at home creates mindful media consumption

While no media at all sounds a bit extreme, the core idea is not to set limitations that restrict our every day life and do more harm than good. The problem with the modern way of life seems to be the complete inabilty to shut down your mind for a couple of minutes and embrace possible boredom. The other day I was sitting in the train listening to my favorite albums and discovered that other people around me were all obsessed with their smartphone. One guy was reading a book within an app which is not worrying at all. But most other people just scrolled through social media. And a lot of times I am this mindless consumer zombie as well. We might have lost our necessary distance to media consumption. Depriving himself of internet access at home worked out for Luke Smith and it probably would for me. If you wanted to watch a YouTube video, you would have to download it in advance somewhere (a cafe or at the workplace). This way, YouTube or other platforms do not have the power to throw you in recommendations all the time, constantly leading your way into spending more time on the platform. The algorithm works. Often I catch myself spending way more time on the platform than intended in the first place.

No Internet at Home Next Week

Currently I am really busy due to my state exams coming up soon. I want to figure out how much of an impact the internet has on my daily life and if some deprevation could lead to more efficiancy. Next week I will not use the Internet at home and document my self-observations for my readers. It might be hard but let the preparations begin. If I need to work with the internet I can take a five minute walk to campus. There is ne exception to it all though: My smartphone does still have access to the internet, but right now I have limited data volume which means I can receive messages but will be unable to browse the web or media.

If you want to watch the video I referred to, you can find it here:

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