A Week without Internet

By Alex Levin

I am writing this post from the math department computer lab, where I have spent the past hour catching up on email and web surfing. You see, I moved to a new place last week, and though my roommates and I ordered Internet soon after getting in, the service isn’t due to start until Wednesday. (I don’t know why we have to wait so long in this day and age; we already have the modem and should be ready to go.)

Despite the many inconveniences, there have been some advantages to an unwired life. Throughout the past week, I have been very productive at home. Without anything else to distract me on my computer, I have been thinking about my research and diligently writing down all my ideas (even the bad ones). For the past week, my room has in fact been my most productive work place.

The experience has gotten me thinking about how to set up my space once we get Internet. Perhaps I will get a dedicated desk for my computer and place it as far as possible from my main desk. This way, I will have to get up and move if I want to use the computer, which will hopefully make me think twice about hopping online for some idle task. I have seen this strategy employed in many professors’ offices.

What other advice do people have for controlling Internet distraction?

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