Could you go a whole week without the Internet? PAH! Neither can I, but this was a challenge the people at Currys/PC World had asked of me, along with several other brave bloggers.
It seems like such a long time ago since we lived without the internet but I was determined to try and resist the clutches of social media, the world wide web and more importantly my third arm. No, get your mind out of the gutter, I mean my phone. Naughty sausage.
The challenge is in partnership with ASUS and I was given a pre-paid card to use over the two weeks. The tasks were as follows,
Find out what the weather is doing over the course of the week
Check your bank balance one evening at home
Book tickets to go and see a film that has just come out
Keep on top of the week’s news
Plan and meet your friends for drinks after work one night.
Go to a new restaurant or a bar that you’ve not been to before and get there and back without using a map app or your computer
Find out what the scores are for a sports match e.g. football or Wimbledon
Now the first week was definitely tough for me, especially as I panicked the night before, about all the things I use my phone for but even so, I gave it my all.
Check the weather
The first task on my list was to check the weather. Now normally, small things like this can be done so easily on my phone. A quick Google search would be able to show me the day’s weather no matter where in the world. But instead, I had to watch the 10pm news in order to see my local weather.
I actually enjoyed watching the news as it’s really something I no longer do on a daily basis. We have so outlets in which we’re able to get the information quicker, that the traditional ways of watching a weather report have become almost obsolete.
I did get a bit nostalgic though when the ITV news came on because when I lived back home, the news was always on when we sat down as a family to have dinner. So it’s definitely something I didn’t think I’d miss.
Checking your bank details
With online banking on my phone, I hardly ever have to walk into a bank. It’s crazy to see how reliant we become on our gadgets especially when it comes down to our apps. Normally checking my balance would take seconds but as I had to do this without the Internet I decided to call my bank’s telephone service.
At first, I was pretty nervous that I’d be put onto a real human being and they’d ask me a million and one security questions that I’d made up several years ago like ‘what’s the postcode of your second address in Aberystwyth?‘ and I’d have no clue and sound like a fraudster. However, it was pretty simple as it was an automated service. I had my balance within a few minutes which was a lot quicker than I initially assumed.
Booking tickets to a film
This one was pretty difficult because normally I’d just book theatre and film tickets online. Myself and my housemate Sean planned to meet up near Leicester Square for a bite to eat and we then headed to a nearby Picture House cinema. We’d never been before so it was a new place to explore. We booked the tickets via the box office and picked the film from what both myself and Sean had seen over the past few weeks. Spiderman: Homecoming was one Sean was desperate to see and as a Marvel fan myself, we went with this one.
Keep on top of the week’s news
As a regular commuter in and out of Central London, the daily newspapers are free and are the best way of getting the rundown of everything happening in the world. For me, this was probably the easiest of all the tasks, considering I tend to read the Metro every now and then when I’m not socialising on my phone.
I think this was also a task in which I noticed a lot of people attached to some sort of electronic device. It made me feel pretty sad to see so many friends and couples not engaging in conversation and both myself and Sam are also culprits of this. If anything, this has definitely made me be a little more attentive to others in social scenarios because admit it, no one likes taking second place to a piece of technology!
Meet friends after work
Meeting friends out is definitely a task for Google Maps especially when I’m in an area that’s new and I have no clue as to where I’m going. I did get a little lost en route, but we managed to find our way successfully to our friend’s place of work.
I think what I got from this challenge was how awkward we can be with paper maps, I mean it’s not difficult to navigate but we’re so used to that little blue pointer guiding us from A to B that we’ve sort of lost this navigation skill that was taught to us when we were kids.
Go to a restaurant without using a map app
Again, being in London we did have the advantage of having so many different places to choose from, so we had no difficulty in not picking up Google Maps. We went to a steak house and celebrated Sam’s Master’s degree in style, ordering up a bottle of fizz and chomping down on some delicious sirloin steak.
It was great to have a bit of a blow out meal and with having no use of the internet, it stopped both myself and Sam from picking up our phones and instead we engaged in actual conversation. Go us!
Catch up on the sports
For the sports (and for anyone who knows me, I’m not that much into watching or keeping up with any kind of sport), I thought my dad could probably help me out with finding out some scores. Also, with Wimbledon going on, I did actually watch it during my lunch break. So another simple task but like most could have been found a lot quicker with just a simple search on Google.
For the second week, I was given the ASUS Zenbook 3 to try out and to do all the tasks again after being back with my good old friend – the internet. This week was much easier although it was slightly strange having access to everything again. I noticed that I was a bit hesitant to check my social media which is possibly a positive reaction as I do spend a lot of time glued to my technology. The guys at Currys/PC World and ASUS wanted to know how I coped without the internet and how I managed with it after going cold turkey for a week.
At first, I was pretty nervous. I realised there was so much I used the internet for that would make it more or less impossible to do without it. One thing that I just couldn’t do was not checking my e-mails. As a semi-there full-time blogger, I needed to make sure I was checking my emails daily because of working on ongoing campaigns. This was something that I just couldn’t avoid.
Throughout the week, I had to stop myself from clicking on my social media apps and I certainly noticed people’s addiction to their phones. I completed the tasks well but they all took a little to a lot more time than it would have done if I had the use of the internet. Living in a fast paced city means my time is limited and we’re constantly looking for ways of saving time. I think in some instances, the internet would have aided the tasks but in others, it might not have made a difference.
Using the ASUS Zenbook 3 was very unusual especially as coming back to having the internet, I’m used to working on my MacBook. The Zenbook 3 is smaller, more light weight and is so quick! I loved the little travel pouch it came with and it’s so much easier to carry it around with you on the tube and on public transport. I’m not a big fan of Windows 10 but overall this little zenbook packs a punch.
Emotionally, I’m definitely happier in myself, having taken some time away from the digital world. I think it’s important to step back from social media because a lot of it creates this intense and often false lifestyle that we are all trying to make happen in our own lives. However, it can be pretty damaging to our mental health and monitoring your time on the internet is not just something kids should do, it should be us adults as well.
Do you think you could do a digital detox? Let me know how you think you’d get on, in the comments below!
*Disclaimer – This post contains PR samples and is a collaborative post with ASUS & CurrysPCWorld. All words are my own.