For me, my time is no longer defined by the fact that it’s spent without the internet. It’s simply my time, and I have to fill it. The luxury that no internet has afforded me is that I feel like I have more time to fill, and fewer ways to fill it. It’s the boredom and lack of stimulation that drives me to do things I really care about, like writing and spending time with others.
Using the “the-iPhone-is-the-cigarette-of-this-century” analogy, Paul quit smoking and now he can breathe better and exercise easier, etc. We all need time to let our mind be bored, and I think the iPhone is one of the biggest enemies to that. But it’s not the iPhone’s fault — it’s our own fault.
What Paul is discovering — and he admits this: “‘Disconnecting’ and ‘disconnected’ are two very different things” — is that going on an Internet sabbatical is not the way we make time to do other valuable things (like having face-to-face conversations, reading those books you’ve always wanted to read, and writing more). Rather, we make time by making time and then having some self control about it.
(Also, we can all see and chuckle at the irony that Paul’s update about being offline was posted to the Verge website, right?)