Five Reasons to Take a Break From The Internet

Five Reasons to Take a Break From The Internet

While sighing like a conservative old man at the excesses of young people culture, I think we should abandon a cynical, pessimistic attitude towards the digital age in the past. I can proudly declare myself a lover of the internet. It brims with memes and assurances that at a given point, you aren’t alone in your existential crisis. On a more serious note, the internet enhances public knowledge and fuels our economy. Educational environments are energised and diversified through online resources. It creates opportunities for anyone, from entrepreneurs to average citizens wishing to showcase their talents.

Take blogging as an example. Through an online platform, we can share our opinions and start conversations. We can capitalise on the knowledge of others and in turn, turn our own into advice and information. Moreover, connecting across the world with likeminded individuals would be much slower via messenger on horseback; the world is faster and more immediate on the internet. This isn’t for everyone. I, however, and other people from my generation thrive in an environment of constant change and growth. Moreover, as much as people like to separate the internet from the ‘real world’, they are increasingly interconnected and influence each other on a daily basis, often for better rather than worse (for instance, the proliferation of delicious vegan cafes and cruelty-free products reflects increasing awareness of ethical concerns among the general population).

That being said, the online world has many drawbacks. Moderation must be practiced; the occasional break is beneficial to virtually all of us. Of course, digital entrepreneurs, influencers and the like rely on the internet for their wage – whether you agree with such a career path or not, time off equates to less income. But these people are likely to have found their thing. Provided they’re doing what they love, extensive breaks are rendered unnecessary, except for in extenuating circumstances

A few months ago, a friend of mine told me that she has little to no internet access for two-three weeks throughout her annual holiday to France. My heart skipped a beat; I thought hard but could not remember the last time I stayed offline for more than a couple of hours. Sure, the internet adds value to our lives, for the reasons mentioned above. I disagree with people who shower technology with blind hatred because it contrasts with ‘the good old days’. However, a balance must be struck with everything. Spending excessive hours online impacts our mental and physical health, reaching the proportions of an addiction for many. And it’s hard to deny the existence of unreasonable pressures and a tendency to compare yourself to others among innovation, self-help resources and solidarity in times of hardship.

Internet detox

Taking an internet break need not be switching off for months and retreating into a cave or living in a forest (ironic because I am in a forest of sorts in these photographs, but that is entirely coincidental). In my case, a weekend, a couple of hours each day or evening is all I need. So, for what reasons may such a break be beneficial?

You can prioritise other aspects of your life

This applies to anyone who doesn’t sustain themselves through the internet, i.e., most of us. I’ve talked about prioritisation before, the best way to reduce the amount of stuff on your to-do list and emphasise what matters. Recently, I took three weeks off from blogging because I had to prepare for an exam. Except for an occasional post on Instagram, I was completely switched off. When studying, work and projects unrelated to your online endeavours must be prioritised, staying away from the internet prevents burnout and shifts your focus to what’s important in that moment.

internet break

You can avoid procrastination and time wastage 

The internet is one of the most lucrative distractions out there: think YouTube, social media, checking emails. Unplugging declutters your schedule and frees up time you didn’t know you’ve been wasting, Even when doing something internet-related, such as writing a blog post or editing photos, I turn off my WiFi as a means of disciplining myself. After all, we know from how ‘quickly checking twitter’ usually snowballs into hours of mindless, unproductive scrolling. Hence, if you ever fall behind and find yourself unable to complete your to-do lists, analyse whether an internet break may be a way to overcome such a hurdle. And if in need of online access for purposes like research and study resources, try blocking distracting websites or limiting their use to a specific amount of time each day.

You can try new things and re-discover old passions

Undoubtedly, as it plays such a big part in our lives, we may wonder what people did with themselves before the Internet came into existence and struggle to imagine life without it as a source of entertainment. However, there are plenty of options. And the more you explore them, the more you recognise how limited online usage enhances your life. You can read more books, learn a language, join a club or a society, write, travel, spend more time in nature, attend interesting events – just to name a few things. If a hobby you abandoned due to insufficient time calls your name once more, check where your hours are going. Be honest with yourself about your internet usage: what is valuable, and what is a distraction, a bad habit of sorts? Ask whether your time online is well-spent, whether it furthers your goals, makes you happy, connects you to meaningful people. If not, consider rediscovering those old passions. On occasion, we need to step back to discover what’s been missing from our lives.

You can improve your mental and physical wellbeing

If you’re on the verge of taking a break from social media because of your mental health, do it. The internet is overwhelming and a direct cause of many people’s struggles, being an unrealistic benchmark for comparison and teeming with intermittent negativity. Over the years, I’ve become an expert at shielding myself from the pressures created by the online world and developed an attitude of skepticism towards displays of perfection, but at times I still need to distance myself from the excesses of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you struggle with your mental health in any way, the internet can burden instead of bringing joy. Unplugging in these circumstances is the utmost act of self care.

Similarly, unplugging benefits your physical health. Fill those extra hours with movement, an extra gym session or a new sport!

Social Media break

How to unplug

You will have more time to spend with your loved ones

Real connections can be built online, but ‘in real life’ family and friends deserve the majority of our attention, especially as the holiday season – a time for gratitude and coming together – unravels. It’s important to be as present as possible and enjoy every moment. Spending time with loved ones is an essential building block of a wholesome and fulfilling life. And we can all agree on the hardships of trying to communicate with someone who seems permanently distracted by technology. If isolated from the people who are important to you, I would recommend unplugging and then re-introducing the online world in such a way that doesn’t interfere with your immediate relationships.

 

Ultimately, unplugging is a way to prove to ourselves that the world doesn’t end when we aren’t connected to the web 24/7. If anything, overcoming your fear of ‘missing out’ may open up new opportunities, illuminating your surroundings with a new, refreshing light. You should search for your own balance between the Internet and the ‘real world’. This differs between individuals, ranging from extensive breaks to allocating ‘time slots’ to the former as I do. Ensure the time you spend online is productive, proactive and moderate. The world isn’t black and white: the Internet and social media are neither an evil to be avoided, nor the only thing worth caring about. Instead, it is an asset and a tool which can strengthen us as individuals and societies as long as a mindful approach is adopted.

Let me know in the comments – do you like to unplug from the Internet, and for what reasons? What are your favourite methods of ‘surviving’ a social media detox?

Why a digital detox is a good idea (featuring 5 reasons to take a break from the internet) - article from inaccordance

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Lots of love, Maria ♡

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71 Comments

  1. In Roseac November 9, 2017 / 7:46 pm

    That so true. We need to break from the internet a little to enjoy spending time with our loved ones. 😍 thanks for this reminder!

    • whatismaria November 9, 2017 / 8:35 pm

      So glad you agree – that’s one of the most important points! Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. SimpleSerenity November 9, 2017 / 8:11 pm

    Such a well written post. I feel like we “waste” so much time on social media (for me it’s mainly instagram). xx

    • whatismaria November 9, 2017 / 8:37 pm

      Ahh that means a lot to me – thank you! And yes Instagram can be very addictive as there are so many gorgeous photos to look at hahah

  3. RevolutionaryRoads November 9, 2017 / 8:28 pm

    I am so glad that you shared this post! We do need breaks from the online world and especially from Social Media from time to time. I have to say that I did the same very recently. I had not posted on my Instagram for over a month till last weekend. I also barely checked it and it felt amazing! xxx

    • whatismaria November 9, 2017 / 8:38 pm

      I think that initially taking a break may seem scary especially when you’re used to posting but once you go for it, it feels great for sure! Thank you so much for reading lovely 💜

  4. Beyoutiful November 9, 2017 / 11:12 pm

    Totally agree with everything you wrote and I’ve been detoxing from social media and it def really helps me priortize my work and just feels so good! Thanks so much for sharing this post girl and you look great in those pics <3

    • whatismaria November 10, 2017 / 7:06 am

      Doing work just feels so much more manageable when you are not surrounded by the distractions of social media – so glad you agree! And thank you so much, I am glad you liked this post:)

  5. Gabrielle November 10, 2017 / 1:02 am

    This is such a well written post – and full of good points, particularly how cutting off for a while can help you refocus your priorities to other areas of your life!

    ps. totally with you on appreciating the mass of memes at our fingertips, haha

    aglassofice.com
    x

    • whatismaria November 10, 2017 / 7:07 am

      Ahh thank you so much for reading dear, I am happy to hear you agree with me because at times it is so easy to lose focus.. and memes have to be one of the best things about the internet tbh :’)

  6. Sarah November 10, 2017 / 3:50 am

    This a great post, and so well written. I keep meaning to do a 24hr technology detox but haven’t found the time yet. Think I need to put on my big girl pants and just do it – I bet I’ll love it after adjusting to the absence of my phone and laptop.

    • whatismaria November 10, 2017 / 7:08 am

      Thank you Sarah! And good luck with your technology detox if you manage to get round to it, I can guarantee that while it may be hard at first, it becomes much easier after a while:)

  7. lifeofangela November 10, 2017 / 5:19 am

    It’s true that the internet can definitely be a time sucker. I wind up one site, then all of a sudden it’s the end of the day and I’m still online haha. Taking a break in general is good. I like to stop and go outside to stop my ‘bingeing’ habits, whether it be the internet or watching shows I have stored up in my hard drive. It’s nice to look at other things than a screen every now and then 😀

    • whatismaria November 10, 2017 / 7:19 am

      Yes I can totally relate to this – I go on the internet to do one thing and it ends up spiralling out of control lol. Going outside is definitely my favourite thing to do during a digital detox!

  8. Dippy-Dotty Girl November 10, 2017 / 5:45 am

    Thoughtful points, Maria. I take breaks often for days and hey I love it when I am back. I just pick up the threads from where I left. Blogging can tend to overwhelm your life if you don’t step aside once in a while. Here’s to the occasional detoxes girl. xx

    • whatismaria November 10, 2017 / 10:21 am

      Yes I can agree that I definitely enjoy being on the internet much more after a break! It’s definitely important to find balance and not to allow something to overwhelm you, no matter how much you may love it xox

  9. Laura @ Feast Wisely November 10, 2017 / 5:59 am

    Great post Maria and very well written. At home we typically have a no internet / checking phones rule after dinner (ie from 6pm) – a great to way unwind and helps with sleep too 😄

    • whatismaria November 10, 2017 / 10:22 am

      That’s such a great rule to have! I sleep so much better if I stay off my phone before bed, so it’s definitely a good habit to implement 🙂

  10. mirifederica November 10, 2017 / 9:34 am

    You are so right! I can’t imagine my life without internet, and I’m aware I (and a lot of people of my age but also elder) have a big addition with Internet! I guess I should take a weekend off, but what if I miss an important e-mail? What if something be happens in the world and I don’t see it? But I know I totally have to do it, because I waste lot of time on Internet and because my already low-vision is becoming worse! By the way, thank you for shaing your interesting thoughts about this contemporary topic!

    xx Federica | https://federicasdreams.wordpress.com/blog/

    • whatismaria November 10, 2017 / 10:24 am

      Oh yeah I totally forgot to mention that my eyesight definitely doesn’t benefit from staring at screens too much! Good luck with your break if you ever choose to take one – it definitely gets easier after a while 🙂 thank you very much for reading!

  11. Amielle November 10, 2017 / 10:27 am

    Sometimes, I take internet breaks too just because I feel like what I’m seeing on the internet is mostly toxic and I just have to stay away from that. It’s true that you’ll get to be with your loved ones more and you’ll discover that there are a lot more other things that you can do that isn’t internet related. 🙂

  12. Siyana November 10, 2017 / 12:56 pm

    I absolutely agree with your points! But at the same time, if you use the internet carefully, you wouldn’t need to take a break from it. Unfortunately I’m super busy at the moment, and rarely have time to sit in front of the computer and I feel like I’m missing quite a lot 🙁 How silly does this sound haha!

    • whatismaria November 10, 2017 / 2:12 pm

      I definitely think that it’s important to find a balance with it and use it constructively! And I feel like that as well quite a lot when I am busy but I think it’s important to remember that there will always be time to catch up and keep up to date when we have more time on our hands:)

  13. hell0chloe November 10, 2017 / 1:03 pm

    Oh your posts are just absolutely my favourite, this was so beautifully written as always and I love your photos. I needed to read this today, taking time out is always so important .xx

    • whatismaria November 10, 2017 / 3:26 pm

      This comment made my day!! You are genuinely too kind ❤️ I am so glad you liked this post, and I couldn’t agree more that at times unplugging can be so beneficial xox

  14. madison November 10, 2017 / 3:57 pm

    i agree with every single point! i love the internet, but there has been many times i feel as if im wasting my time on here and i hate it. i feel like theres so much more to explore in the world, i just don’t know where to start …cues me going back online to find places lol

    • whatismaria November 10, 2017 / 4:44 pm

      Ahh I am so glad you can agree with what I am saying, and I can totally relate to the feeling of not quite knowing what to do with myself when I am offline, but the best that we can do is try as many options until we find ‘the thing’ 🙂

  15. The Style of Laura Jane November 10, 2017 / 4:52 pm

    When my phone broke last month, I was forced to take a mobile detox and it actually helped me cut back on the internet and using social-media. I can relate to the mental health side and improving wellbeing. I do feel much better about not missing out and I usually less stressed when I cut down. xx

    • whatismaria November 10, 2017 / 9:28 pm

      I think that taking time off my phone, whether intentional or unintentional, is always super beneficial because it seems to be my biggest source of time wastage. And the mental health side of social media detoxes is definitely one of my favourite things about them – I am so glad to hear you managed to benefit from it! xox

  16. mutzii November 10, 2017 / 4:58 pm

    im loving this outfit! and the i cudnt agree more with the post! once in a while i see to it that i have a vacation from the online world, most esp at times when i don’t like what’s trending lol. but eventho, it’s really hard to take a vacation from internet nowadays. first, it’s part of my job as a social media manager and a blogger. second, it’s the easiest place to go when we need something like what youve mentioned in this post. Always a good read from you! x

    mutzii • http://www.theshoenazi.com

    • whatismaria November 10, 2017 / 9:29 pm

      Ahh I am so glad you like this post and the outfit:) I can totally understand that it may be very hard at times (even when I am preparing for exams I need to use it for research and it’s hard not to venture into twitter lol) but I think we just have to do our best to take little breaks here and there! Thank you so much for reading:)

  17. Sabreendiaries November 10, 2017 / 11:50 pm

    I am so glad you shared this! Such a well written post. You look lovely in all the pictures. Love reading your posts.
    I just started following you on instagram ☺️

    • whatismaria November 11, 2017 / 6:37 am

      That means so much to me! Thank you so much for reading and for your lovely comment:) will follow you back on IG asap ❤️

  18. hudapervez November 11, 2017 / 12:18 am

    Such a well written post! I couldn’t agree with you more. This post just made me realize how much time I waste mindlessly scrolling on Instagram each day that could be spent doing something productive! I am definitely goung to try switching off my WiFi while working on blog posts or uni work! xx

    • whatismaria November 11, 2017 / 6:40 am

      I can totally understand that it is so easy to waste time on IG/social media in general and switching off when working on something important can make a huge difference! Thank you so much for reading xox

  19. Lorelie Joy November 11, 2017 / 11:11 am

    This post inspires me to unplug from social media! Might need to do just that this upcoming holidays. Great post
    Ljoy x

  20. J | thenellybean November 11, 2017 / 7:26 pm

    I desperately need an internet break but I always somehow get distracted by something else! usually something social media related or whatever my latest obsession is at the time… I needed to read this xx

    • whatismaria November 11, 2017 / 7:52 pm

      Social media is definitely something that’s hard to get away from but it is definitely worth it and gets easier after a while – good luck with your break if you end up taking one! Thank you so much for reading xox

  21. lululovesxx November 11, 2017 / 8:50 pm

    I will definitely be taking some time off at some point!

    • whatismaria November 12, 2017 / 6:47 am

      Good luck with it when you do! Xox

  22. Thistles and Kiwis November 11, 2017 / 9:31 pm

    Here am I catching up on a week of blogs, with the ironing board set up ready for me to get to work…..yes it is distracting, but as you say, also a, for me who lives miles from family and friends, a wonderful way to easily keep in touch with people. Great post!

    • whatismaria November 12, 2017 / 6:50 am

      Yes I can definitely agree that the internet can be an amazing way to keep in touch with loved ones (most of my family still lives in Russia so it’s the only way to communicate with them) but we have to keep a balance between constructive usage and stuff that simply wastes time. Thank you for reading!! ❤️

  23. hopelesswonderer November 12, 2017 / 6:18 pm

    It’s weird to think that the one thing that can break your mental health is also the one thing that can destroy it, Regular breaks from the internet are definitely important!x

  24. Sunaina Das November 12, 2017 / 11:26 pm

    So true , we should take some break and I’m been thinking a lot about it, thanks for the inspiration babe

    • whatismaria November 13, 2017 / 5:47 pm

      I am glad this could be an inspiration! Thank you for reading xox

  25. sylvielois November 13, 2017 / 9:52 am

    Very interesting article, I like your dress, by the way, it is super cute. xx

    • whatismaria November 13, 2017 / 5:50 pm

      I am glad you like it! And thank you very much:)

  26. Bento Momentos November 13, 2017 / 2:07 pm

    Great reminder post. I think our generation has grown up to be so reliant on the internet, and the next one even more so…. crazy!

    • whatismaria November 13, 2017 / 5:51 pm

      That couldn’t be more true – it is definitely possible to have too much of a reliance on the internet. Thanks for reading x

    • whatismaria November 15, 2017 / 8:07 am

      Yes it definitely can do! Thank you very much for reading:)

    • whatismaria November 15, 2017 / 8:08 am

      A break can be beneficial to all of us for sure from time to time:) Thank you for reading and I am glad you liked this post!

    • whatismaria November 15, 2017 / 8:08 am

      Yes I am glad you agree! While its not necessary to eliminate the internet from your life completely, balance is essential. Thank you for reading:)

  27. Yiota November 14, 2017 / 12:11 pm

    Taking a break once in a while is really important and I try to do this myself every now and then. I also didn’t had internet access when we moved to a new house two weeks ago and I think I handled things well 🙂

    Yiota
    PinkDaisyLoves

  28. Patricia November 14, 2017 / 4:00 pm

    This post is amazing!
    Beautifully written and I couldn’t agree more with you 😀
    Also the pictures are all fabulous, you are gorgeous!
    Wish you a lovely day
    xx

    https://naturallyfreesoul.com/

    • whatismaria November 15, 2017 / 1:29 pm

      Aww that is so nice of you! Thank you so much for reading and for your lovely comment ❤️

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