Of course, I've used the World Wide Web for bits and bobs.Checking my email, blogging (not enough, my apologies), watching the Graham Norton show on BBC iPlayer... But for the most part, very little internet for me. In what my friends clearly identify as a fit of madness, I deleted all my social networking accounts five months ago.
Despite my friends' insistence that I am "trying to live ten years in the past" (I'm not, promise), I have noticed a few interesting things since departing from social networking sites.
1. For starters, I'm happier. Of course, quitting Facebook and Twitter is not the only thing that's changed in my life over 5 months, but it's incredibly liberating not having to think about everyone I've ever met, all of the time. And long gone are the days of dull admin tasks, like organising a party and trying to cajole everyone to confirm that they're coming on tedious 'Event Pages'. If I want to meet up with friends, I give them a call or drop them a text, and it's all far more straightforward.
2. I'm more focused. I'm in the final month and a half of my A levels, and not being on social networking sites has really let me focus on my work. It's pretty obvious really - without the constant 'drip drip drip' of the internet to distract me, I seem to get a lot more stuff done.
3. I'm more grounded. I've found that it's a lot easier to know where you are with people without the internet getting in the way. Yes, the internet can be a fantastic tool for communication at times, but things get misinterpreted, and little conversations online can often get blown up into silly dramas that really aren't worth thinking about. These days, I'm finding I actually get on with people a lot better. Only talking to people in person makes things, well, more personal, and grounded in reality, rather than silly things that happened over Facebook.
4. No need to document everything in my life! On the internet, it's pretty easy to feel you have to make your life look like a kerraaaazy roller coaster of constant high jinks and wild fun. But offline, there's just no need to compare your life with everyone else's. As a result, it's far easier to live in the moment, and enjoy things, rather than thinking about how to make it look like you were utterly wild at that party.
I don't want to give the impression that I hate the internet! Even a technophobe like myself will admit that the internet is a fantastic media, and it has truly changed the world. But these few months of sabbatical have been amazing. Life is so much simpler.
It may seem like going into hibernation from the world, but trust me, getting offline has been one of the best decisions I've made this year.
P.S. I've written a short story that I'm quite proud of, called 'Useless'. It's about a woman in an abusive relationship, and I've been working on it on-off for a few months, so please check it out and let me know what you think!