Sane and Insane Ways to Quit the Internet

No matter how many hours you spend on The Internet, chances are, you want to spend less. Though it’s definitely easier said than done, but how exactly is it done? Let’s examine our options. 

While I am an ardent lover of all things social and media, I also know it can be challenging to find the right work/tech balance in our constantly mediated world. When I began to calculate the hours I spent on social media, I was rather shocked. Finding the will power to steer clear of social media during crucial working hours is something I’m constantly working towards, but I found that I was not just casually browsing the web and social sites, I just didn’t stop. Ever.

Last month, when I shared an infographic describing the costs of social media on our lives, some users said they were trying to “move out” which peaked my curiosity. How does one “move out” of social media? Sure, you can go cold turkey, but that’s no fun and sounds terribly futile. I know, I’ve tried.

After digging around I was surprised to find that there were a lot of resources out there for the internet-afflicted social consumers. Some suggestions were humorous while others just made the situation sound a lot more depressing than it already appears. They range from Pavlovian electric shock to cold turkey. I wasn’t ready to electrocute myself, but I was curious about all of the other ways I could “move out” or at least find some more will-power.

If you’re ready to “move out” check out my list below and share some ways  you’ve tackled your social media addiction.


The insane method:

The Pavlov Poke is a keyboard accessory and classical conditioning device that can send a painful electric shock to your hands if it reaches for Facebook (or any other website). The developers claim it is meant to be a bit of a joke, but there are DIY instructions online, so it’s as real as your Facebook addiction – which we know is a real problem.

Pavlov’s poke makers claim “the shock is unpleasant but it is not dangerous…”

The loud and angry method:

The makers of the Pavlov poke also has an open source program to get strangers to call and yell at you when you are spending too much time on the internet. You’ll need to shell out some small change, because the callers are found and paid via Mechanical Turk.

The get you sane method:

If you think you have a clinical problem, then the Japanese Ministry of Education has the proper solution for you – they are considering ‘Fasting Camps’ for children addicted to the internet. Expect real interaction with humans and help from real psychiatrists should your withdrawal become too much to handle.

The nature method:

For those who have neglected the real world, going to camp can acclimate you to living without technology. Get ready to trade in your tech gear for yoga, hiking, and Friendship Bracelets at Camp Grounded.

The not at all gradual method:

This website outlines a 7-day method for quitting Facebook. Begin on Monday by tracking the hours you spend online and eventually deactivate your accounts by Sunday. Sounds easy?

The apps method:

There are a lot of apps that can help you block websites and other apps. If you download all of them, you’re bound to be successful.

I’m actually trying this method, and personally, I think it might work. I’m  discovering that I needed access to some of those sites I blocked, so take note of your work duties. I was forced to use Chrome’s incognito window to do some work-related tweeting.

The cold turkey method:

Delete all of your online accounts using – I discovered this site a month ago and I think it’s amazing. You can go there to find links to websites that you want to disconnect from. lets you know how easy and where to do it. If you manage to rid yourself of all of your accounts, you’re my hero.

The nuclear method:

Embrace your inner luddite and quit the internet. You have to give up your smartphone so no more mobile games or weather apps. If others can do it, you can too!