Paul Miller’s Ted Talk: Quitting the Internet for 1 Year

Do I use technology mindfully? No, in many cases I use technology solely for entertainment and a placement for boredom. Paul Miller must have thought the same thing, because he gave up the internet for a whole year. He explained that his life, ever sense he was 12, was consumed of technology and the internet. He felt overwhelmed in life, while occasionally having a desire to get stuff done! He found himself not being productive online. This I can relate too. If I am not on Facebook checking out gossip, I am stuck on Pinterest pinning about my dream wedding or ideas for my future home. Now some can argue that Pinterest can make you really productive, and I agree, but with me it really is just a time filler. Paul Miller made a great point of which many people are being distracted by the internet, and lose track of what they really want to do in life. I hate to admit it, but I more often then not I get on social media as a procrastination tool for homework. It’s pathetic I know, but I cannot be the only one that does it!

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PhotoCC: gstam_78

I found it really interesting what Paul Miller found out on his journey of not using the internet for a year. At first, he realized that he was starting to have deeper conversations with his friends and family. This was interesting to me, because if you think about it the less that is on your mind, the more ideas are able to be filled in. A little later in his journey, Paul found himself a new hobby, which was video games. This necessarily wasn’t a good thing. Paul found himself bored a lot of the time, and realized that video games were a great time filler. Later in his experiment with no internet, he started to feel disconnected with his social circle. This makes sense because the only way I know of events coming up or movies that come out is by the internet. Paul started to feel like he was building up loneliness. That kind of surprised me.

When Paul’s one year without the internet was over, he realized many things. First off, when he got back on the internet, he was very overwhelmed. This is understandable, can you imagine not checking your email for a whole year? Also something that Paul realized after he got back on was that leaving the internet is not going to fix your problems. This was kind of an eye opener for me. I always thought that if someone just eliminated social media and the internet all their problems would be solved. That was not the case although with Paul. What people need to do is find a healthy balance between the two. The internet can be so useful and beneficial in one’s life, but not if it is not used realistically and sparingly.

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PhotoCC: Richard Liu

I also realized another important aspect of using the internet while watching this Ted Talk. Multi-tasking is never really the answer. I believe that you truly can never be fully present when trying to be online and trying to do something else. I especially don’t like it when someone is trying to talk to me and they are distracted by their phone. That is why we all need to learn to find a balance.

I really enjoyed this Ted Talk. It made me think of ways that I could balance my life how it should be. Here is the video below, please watch!

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11 thoughts on “Paul Miller’s Ted Talk: Quitting the Internet for 1 Year

  1. barnardeducationblog says:

    I really liked the TedX video with Paul Miller? It actually sparked a lot of questions for me. I wondered, would it be harder to start with technology or to come back to it? He sounded like it was very stressful to come back to, as it would for me as well!

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  2. ashlynhansondiglit says:

    I also enjoyed learning about Paul’s experiences as he ‘quit the Internet’. A year seems like quite a long time to go without something that we use on a daily basis, but I bet that once he got started, he found it easier to be without. Although I would not be able to completely quit the Internet due to my homework requirements, I have considered dropping all social media a couple of times. Even though I have never followed through, it has made me become a little more mindful of how much time I spend on the Internet. As you said, balance is key! The Internet is a great thing as long as we don’t let it control our lives.

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  3. mollyecarrollblog says:

    Fun blog! I agree with Paul that the internet could be overwhelming after leaving it for a whole year. I find social media makes me anxious, which is why I not longer have any platforms besides what it required for this class. I agree that finding a balance is important for success, but I am wondering how we are going to teach our future students the balance when everything was moved online.

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  4. Alyssa says:

    I love that he points out that leaving the internet isn’t going to magically fix your problems or change you as a person. You have to be dedicated to doing that yourself. Also, while I can’t fully relate to being disconnected for a full year, I stopped paying for wifi at my apartment, so I’m limited in how much social media time I have and how much I can interact online. I can’t binge-watch Netflix or youtube like I used to. I don’t get more homework done (because we can still procrastinate without the internet) but I have been reading and writing a lot more. There are definitely benifits to being limited on your online time.

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