What’s the first thing you do when you open your eyes in the morning? Personally, I go straight to Reddit.
Checking social media became like a ritual to me. It’s the last thing I do before going to sleep, and the first thing I do when I wake up. At some point, I felt that it got so addictive and I wanted to take a step back.
I asked myself: “Is it possible to survive offline without dying of boredom and loneliness?”. To figure that out, I decided to do an experiment.
I started going offline every Sunday. No mobile phone, no laptop, no Internet. To be honest, my first Sunday was a disaster. It started with a simple innocent thought: “It’s okay, I’ll just open Twitter for a couple of minutes then go back offline”. Two hours later, I was still on Twitter.
That’s why I decided to make a plan. I made a long list of things that I can do offline so that I can have fun with my time. Some of these things worked, and some of them didn’t. That’s why I decided to cherry pick the best ones and share with you some good ways to survive offline.
Shouldn’t it be easy to survive offline?
Since the dawn of humanity, we have lived every single day with no Internet connection. We hunted for food, worked in agriculture, built civilizations and even created amazing machines. We never needed the Internet to survive from day to day, but why did that change?
A couple of decades ago, with the invention of the web, our lifestyles started changing dramatically. Advances in technology played a huge role in shaping our lives, and the Internet became deeply rooted in our day to day activities.
A lot of people rely on the online infrastructure to make a living: online businesses, blogs, remote workers, etc. Taking the Internet away from them means leaving them with no source of income.
Our entire communications are also dependent on the Internet: being offline means no email, no social media, no online messaging, …
That’s why this article isn’t about surviving weeks with no Internet: that would require major changes in the way you live. Staying offline for extended periods isn’t easy, even though our ancestors used to do it. Our times are different, and trying to live against the flow means you have to adapt and overcome so many challenges.
Unplugging from the Internet for a day or two, on the other side, isn’t that hard. As a matter of fact, I think it’s necessary to do it from time to time. Ever since I started my “Offline Sunday” ritual, I was able to start my week with more energy.
Let’s go now over some of the things that will help you kill your boredom if you decide (or you’re forced) to go offline.
1. Interact with other humans
It’s true that online communications made us more connected, but there’s nothing that can replace real face to face interactions.
Instead of texting your friends or looking for a date on Tinder, why not go out and enjoy the real world outside?
You can make some plans with the people you already know, or just throw yourself into the world and try to make new connections. You can do that by going to an event that interests you, visiting public spaces where people like to hang out, etc. You never know when you could meet someone who may change your life.
2. Read a book
This one may seem like a cliché, but being offline can be the push you need to start reading some of the books you like.
I consider myself a books lover, and I enjoy collecting them. However, since my days at college, I found myself barely reading any book at all. I’d just buy them and place them on the shelf next to the other books I never read.
I always thought it’s because I don’t have enough time to read, but it turns out I was just investing my time in the wrong places. Instead of surfing social media for hours, being offline made me realize that I can use that time to read a bit more.
3. Learn a new hobby
Another tip to survive offline is to learn a new hobby. I’ve always been a fan of spray painting, but it wasn’t until recently that I started learning how to do it myself.
What I do is that I usually watch some tutorials during the week, then try to apply what I learned during my time off. I’m still super bad at it, but hopefully it’ll get better with time.
One more suggestion is to learn a new musical instrument. For example, you can talk to a friend who plays the guitar and ask them to teach you something every week. You’ll both have some good time together!
4. Take care of your health
Our lifestyle these days is a disaster. We sit more than we move, and that’s a big problem for our health. It’s necessary to do some exercise or at least take some walks from time to time in order to stay healthy.
Take this time offline as an opportunity to get away from your computer. Go outside, take a walk, or try to do some workout. Your future self will be really grateful if you do it.
5. Go on a road trip
One thing I never get bored of is road trips. Whether alone or with some friends, they help me relieve some stress. From time to time, I like to get in my car, turn on the music and go wherever the road takes me.
You don’t need google maps to guide you. Follow the road, and enjoy the journey rather than the destination!
PS: Unless you have an old-style paper map that can guide you back home, make sure to keep google maps around. You may not need it for the trip, but you’ll need it to get back if you’re lost.
6. Take a nap
You’re halfway through the day, you’ve already done many things but now you’re feeling tired. Well guess what: the best thing about being offline is that you can sleep without worrying about the notifications on your phone!
Uninterrupted sleep is a luxury you can’t afford during a busy day, so take advantage of this chance and embrace it to the fullest!
Even more than that, a lot of people suffer from sleep deprivation and its bad consequences. That’s why taking a nap can be really beneficial if you’re one of these people.
7. Clean your room
I hate it when my room gets messy. Do you know what I do about it when that happens? Nothing. I’d rather live in a messy room than force myself to clean it.
But when you have no Internet, any task no matter how tedious it is becomes a good escape from boredom. That’s why being offline is the perfect opportunity for me to do the things I wouldn’t otherwise feel motivated to do.
Now you know how to survive offline, so why not take some time off?
Sometimes you wake up in the morning and you find out you don’t have WiFi. You’ll feel as if you were sentenced to prison, disconnected from the world and unable to do what you usually do every day.
However, being offline doesn’t have to be torture. You can survive being offline while actually enjoying it, and use that time to relax and have some fun.
I’d like to invite you to try this challenge: take a day offline every week and see how it would affect your life. I’m already on week 7, but I’m enjoying it so much and I don’t plan to stop it any time soon.
Give it a try, and let us know how it goes in the comments below!