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Internet Detox 2011

Updated: Apr 30, 2021

I unearthed this unpublished blog, which I wrote 15 March 2011. I didn't realize how addicted I was to mobile games 10 years ago...

"Everytime I fly, I get free internet access in my room being a cabin manager. This helps me survive being locked-in a hotel room during long layovers, especially during winter. I would order room service, turn on the TV (wouldn’t even care less if it's in English), and be online the whole time. On one of my flights to Manchester, there was a hiccup in the hotel’s internet system. I was debating if I should pay 15 UK pounds, for a 24- hour access or try to survive my 36-hour layover offline.

I’m sure all of my fellow OFW’s would agree that the internet is our lifeline. I feel suffocated just thinking about NO Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo! Messenger or Skype. Although SMS is an option, I don’t know why having an internet gives me a different level of security — knowing maybe, that my family and friends can track me or buzz me anytime. So that layover in Manchestor, was a real big challenge. If only I could sleep the whole time. But, there was a need to force myself to get out of bed after a few hours, so I could manage to reset my body clock for my flight back home. Mind you, my sleeping record is 17 straight hours (no pee break!). Still I fear that when I wake up, the dilemma of not having internet would be looming at the back of my head. I was trying to control myself from having an anxiety attack. I was battling to control my thoughts, and avoid feeling lonely and isolated. It may not be a big deal for others, but for those who experienced living alone in unknown territory, away from all our loved ones and outside our comfort zone, they'd know what I’m talking about.

After deciding to detoxify myself from the internet, the challenge begun…

I sat infront of my laptop, organized my files and updated my journals. I brought out my painting materials and laid them out. I created a 'there's so many stuff to do' look and feel around my room. I browsed on some files, and got entertained a bit. I brought out a book, which I stopped reading half way through. It was an Aha! moment, when I saw all these in front of me. I realized how much time I was wasting on the internet — scrolling through Facebook, feeding my dog in Pet Society, harvesting my crops at Farmville, fixing my house at Yoville, running my diner at Restaurant City and fighting with girls in Sorority Life.

It's true that technology plays a vital role in connecting and reconnecting people. However, the experience taught me that we shouldn’t forget the old, enjoyable and valuable things that used to occupy our time. We should always remember how to prioritize, and grab every opportunity to create worthwhile experiences. Time wasted is time lost. When I turned 40, that was when I said, "Ma and Pa are right. Life is indeed too short." There are so many things that I still wish to do. And it seems that a lifetime won’t be enough for its realization, especially if I let myself get carried away doing things that don't add value in my life.

I started this year with a promise. No! I’m not going to throw my laptop out of the window and revert back to snail mail. I'm also not going to delete my Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo! Messenger and Skype accounts. And I’m going to make the internet my ally — a significant partner that I can use and spend quality time with. Months ago, I was significantly able to cut down on my usual internet gaming fancy. That's a win!

It’s my dependence, or worse, addiction to the internet, that makes me feel an unworthy citizen of the universe. Maybe for you, it’s something else. It is important for us to pause, pray and examine ourselves on how we sometimes carelessly spend our time. Rich or poor, we all have 24 hours a day. Use it wisely."

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