How long could you live without the Internet?
A few months ago, that’s exactly what Paul Miller decided to do with his life.
For one year, he’s going to go as off-the-grid as he reasonable can.
He’s traded in his smartphone for a dumbphone. He claims that he won’t browse the web via any device (or even asking other people to Google stuff for him). He won’t use Netflix… or watch anyone else’s Netflix streams. He won’t use text messaging.
And gosh darn it, he’s going to TURN OFF HIS WI-FI at home.
As the comments in the linked piece point out, it will be hard for Paul – as a tech writer – to write about current tech without having access to current tech himself. Some say that he will be woefully behind the times and out-of-date when he comes back to “the real world” after this experiment is over.
More interesting would be the counter-experiment, also suggested from one of the commenters: perhaps he should go “paper-free” instead. No old media whatsoever, everything must be consumed and used online only. No printed material, letters, bills, cards, receipts… that last one may be hard, if it means he can’t go to any local business that provides paper receipts.
Would that mean no supermarkets? No brown-paper bag carryout? No corporate expense account dinners at fancy restaurants? No food court meal where “if we don’t give you a receipt your meal is free” signs?
Which way would you go with either of these experiment ideas? Would you be able to survive either with only, or without, the Internet for an entire year?