Our four weeks of no internet

Apparently a year of monthly challenges burned us out. We haven't even thought about attempting a challenge since June. Our current theory is our month of no sugar completely took it out of us, and we haven't been quite the same ever since...

Fortunately, we feel our challenge-tank filling up and in the new year we are resolving to begin anew and get back on the horse. But in our 5 month hiatus, we found our time in Brunei unintentionally forced us into a challenge similar to one on our list we probably never would have mustered the courage to actually attempt: Unplugging from the internet/technology for 30 days. Due to a number of reasons, since arriving in Brunei we have accumulated 4 total weeks without internet in our home. (We actually made out far better than some, we know at least one family who waited 5 months for internet.)

In those weeks we learned at least two things, here they are:

Lesson #1: The internet makes life better

Before this challenge, we held the view I'm guessing at least some of you do: If our lives were simpler and contained less technology, our overall quality of life would improve. And perhaps in this post you came expecting thoughtful reflections on how Nicole and I talked and connected more, found joy in the simple things, or gained a new hobby like knitting or cribbage...

Nope. None of that happened.

What did happen is we realized how many good things in life come from living in the age we do. Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Instagram, Snapchat, Skype, and the like allow us to share more of life with the people we love. Netflix, Pinterest, ESPN.com, Spotify, Youtube and any number of other websites expose us to the collective creativity and beauty displayed by the billions of humans on this planet. But most importantly of all, not having internet crippled Nicole and I's fantasy football teams this season (shout out: Nicole did earn herself a #2 playoff seed).

Ultimately we've come to believe the world's technological advances developed the way they have because, while they do have carry some negative consequences, on the whole they drastically make our lives better. Thank you internet. Or Al Gore? (If you're like me and didn't get this joke for the longest time go to 0:52)

Lesson #2: TV > Books

For the past three years on December 31st I asked myself "what books did I read this year?" The list always falls well short of my perceived threshold to qualify as "cultured" in our society. Thus each of the last three years I have resolved to read more books in the new year. I now know why I fail each year:

Television is better than books.*

My sister turned us on to the Hunger Games copycat Divergent series by Veronica Roth (read the first 100 pages free here), and after reading the first one together during car rides, we were hooked (in case you are wondering, Nicole is Amity, I am Candor). Though we enjoyed them immensely, while reading we found ourselves wishing we could fire up Netflix and burn through some Prison Break or catch up on Parks and Rec.

To put it simply, books consistently require more work for less reward, and while they are an excellent side dish in our entertainment buffet, we reserve the main course for television. Lesson learned: there's just no better way to relax for 43 minutes than TV.

*In all cases save for Mr. Potter. Potter is King

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