I’m Going on an Internet Detox

Don’t worry, Persephone is definitely on the safe list.

For some time now I’ve been aware that my Internet reading hasn’t always been of the type most likely to bring about a good mood. Part of this is that I’m somewhat sleep deprived and without my usual resilience. This is also a more sensitive time of year for Mr. Juniper and I. In short, I’m not dealing particularly well with the considerable bullshit that the Internet churns out. Whilst Ben & Jerry’s have helped to a degree, I’ve realised I need to take responsibility for what I’m reading.

Image of a container of Ben & Jerry's Phish Food.
Yup, I’m a Phish Food girl.

For a while I considered just not visiting the sites that are proving too difficult. But in the end I decided it was simpler to have a “safe list” as opposed to an “ignore list.” I felt that, for me, I’d manage the former far better than the latter.

So here it is, my safe list:

  • Persephone Magazine
  • Email
  • Facebook
  • BBC News
  • Bank/utilities
  • Shops
  • One parenting forum
  • Dictionary/encyclopaedia

There is one entry to that list missing: my get-out clause. And the clause is as follows: I will read blogs/articles that are linked by friends on Facebook or in Persephone articles. My reasoning behind this is that my friends aren’t twits (though you know what they say, if you can’t see the twit in the room…) and that if they’re sharing something, then the odds are good that it will be interesting.

Facebook isn’t entirely off the hook, however. Whilst my friends aren’t twits, there are some “liked” pages I have that I’m beginning to think may be better off not showing up in my news feed. Other “likes,” on the other hand, are very important. Facebook is how I tend to keep up to date with the latest news from mental health charities and other organisations, like our local council.

In some ways, my list feels huge. If I had that big of a problem with what’s on the Internet, shouldn’t I just leave it behind altogether? Except it isn’t that simple. I need to do Grown Up Business, I need to do grocery shopping, and to get things for my boys. I’m including one parenting forum because I find it a support and also a great parenting resource. The BBC News site made it onto the safe list because unlike online versions of broadsheets and red tops alike, the BBC site doesn’t go in for sensationalist journalism. And, frankly, I enjoy being informed about current events. I just don’t enjoy the arseholery that many news sites go for. As for Persephone, well, of course Persephone Magazine made it on to the safe list.

In place of the time I’ve previously spent reading sites that didn’t make it onto the safe list, I’m planning to be kinder to myself. To enjoy our boys. To put more effort into making the next few months a little gentler for Mr. Juniper. To give our house the love and attention it needs. And to perhaps, just perhaps, get a little more sleep.

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Juniper

Rarely to be found without herbal tea nearby. Team Unicorn. Often in pyjamas. Also: TEAM KATNISS!

3 thoughts on “I’m Going on an Internet Detox”

  1. I recently realized I’m addicted to tumblr. I have installed a chrome extension called StayFocusd, and I’ve blocked tumblr during my work hours, and even after hours it limits me to 30 minutes. There’s even a “nuclear” option to block an entire site for 24+ hours. It’s been really helpful in curbing my addiction.

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