Earlier this week, comedian Louis C.K. made headlines, and no, it wasn’t for sending another scathing indictment of Donald Trump to his mailing list. This time, his decision to quit the Internet has spread just as quickly as the viral videos he’s avoiding.
It has been widely reported that he quit the Internet because it was having a negative impact on his relationship with his daughters. In addition to increasing his quality time with the fam, he’s traded lengthy Google searches for real human interaction, and he’s started reading again. It’s a bold move that seems to have some really positive results. I’m with you Louie, but I don’t think I can actually quit the Internet.
Perhaps what he really means is that he quit the useless aspects of the Internet. Photos of police officers with kittens and Justin Bieber’s new face tattoo shouldn’t take the place of time spent with the people we love. I totally agree.
But if I quit the Internet, I wouldn’t be able to work. 90% of what I do for a living takes place online from networking with new clients to booking assignments to running this blog. For me, a life without the Internet wouldn’t lead to a more productive lifestyle. Instead of Version 2.0, it’d be more like Version 0.8. I mean, if I didn’t have the Internet, what would I do? Go work at a newspaper?
Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) or Problematic Internet Use (PIU) is actually a thing. There are people out there who are really suffering from too much time spent online. In fact, PIU is commonly linked to depression and low self-esteem. So in a sense, I get why placing limitations on Internet use can be important.
Like alcohol and chocolate (among other vices), the Internet should be consumed in moderation. Too much of anything has negative effects whether it’s physical or digital. We may not need to follow in Louis C.K.’s footsteps and quit the Internet altogether. I mean, how else are we supposed to watch reruns of Louie? But we can scale back. If you’re spending more time with your newsfeed than your spouse, it’s high time you recognize this problem and make some changes. Maybe one cat video a day instead of 12?