The Internet is a wonderful thing. It has revolutionized our world by allowing instant communication, connecting people across the world, and democratizing the flow of information. However, there are some times when the World Wide Web can be a bad thing. The Internet can sap our time and energy, leading us to pour hours of each day into it with little return. Although this is true, most of us find ourselves dependent and addicted to this necessary and wonderful evil. We can sense our dependency anytime the Internet decides to stop working. In this list, we propose 25 different things you can do when the Internet unexpectedly goes out.
Barring the possibility that the Internet’s downtime is a sign of the end of the world and you should begin panicking (it’s not…probably…so best not to worry), the items on this list can help you be more creative, more focused on your goals, and even help you feel more productive. Some you can do with friends, while others are moments for personal time and self-reflection. Some can give you a tangible product to show (or sell) to family and friends; others can make you feel healthier and happier, and others still can expand your mind and push you further along the constant journey of learning and self-discovery. Let us know which ones you like most and will try from this list of 25 Creative Things To Do When The Internet Breaks.
Have a conversation
Though we’re more connected than at any point in history, the internet is making us more socially inept than ever before. When the internet breaks, spend some time out with your friends. Go to eat, to a bar, or for a walk around the city or nearby nature. You’ll discover new things about both the places and people around you.
Psychology has shown there are a host of benefits reaped by keeping a journal, from boosting memory to improving your communication skills to helping you achieve your goals. Set aside 10 minutes to journal each night before bed and see the rewards flow in.
Build a chicken coop
…then fill it with chickens! Best if you’re living outside of a dense metropolis, raising chickens can be a great stress reliever and can save you money by keeping you constantly supplied with fresh eggs. The average chicken lays about five eggs per week, so keeping two or three around can make sure you’re always stocked with enough for you and your friends.
Catch up on sleep
Ever been browsing the internet or watching cat videos at 11PM and promise yourself to shut the computer down at midnight, only to look up from the screen and the sun is rising? If time online passes you by like this, consider setting a hard time to shut down and catch up on sleep. As you’re probably not getting enough sleep already with the mix of a social life, school/work life, family life, and general adulting, take a nap if the internet goes out.
Rather than going to a restaurant with friends and ignoring everyone by scrolling through your Instagram feed, order food for delivery and put on a movie – you know, like it’s 1995.
Reminisce about an old trip
Remember the 1,762 photos you took on that trip to Laos in 2014? Well, have you actually looked at any of them since? Take some time when the internet breaks to look back and reminisce on past trips.
Clean something out
Over the years, we keep adding to our browser bookmarks, filing cabinets, kitchen cupboards…the list could go on forever. Take the day to clear out unnecessary clutter and simplify your life.
Train your pet
Do you get annoyed when your pet jumps on the table to grab food or is aggressive with house guests? Use your new-found, Internet-free time to teach your pet some tricks or good behavior.
As society spends more time indoors glued to our screens, we’ve grown more and more unhealthy and sometimes obese. Take time when the Internet is down to go for a run, get in the pool, or hit the gym.
Have a party
In places where natural disasters are prone to hit, people often turn to parties to lift their spirits after a storm. For instance, in Miami, locals throw a “hurricane party” when the storm knocks out power in the neighborhood. Most of them are spent drinking beer under the now-visible starlight and eating as much of what’s left in the fridge before it warms up and spoils.
Learn something old-timey
No, not like gunslinging – more like sewing. Since most high schools don’t teach useful skills like woodworking, cooking, and sewing anymore, find someone (potentially an older family member) who can teach you. Though it seems like we might not use many of these skills anymore, you’ll be shocked to discover how often you start using them once you realize what you can make.
Read a book
This may seem overly obvious, but when was the last time you read a book cover-to-cover? Two years ago? College? High school?!
Do you text someone when you’re outside of their house rather than just knocking 1999-style? Take a trip into the past by calling up an old friend you haven’t heard from in 10 years. You could even *gasp* go for a walk around the neighborhood while chatting away.
Backup your computer or phone
We often forget to back up our devices until it’s too late. Use the time when the Internet is down to backup your computer or phone onto an external hard drive. (If you back it up to the cloud, you’ll have to wait until the Internet returns.) This way, if your device breaks or is stolen, you’ll be able to renew your files with ease. Try to make a habit of backing up, such as the 1st and 15th of each month.
Let your mind wander
Our minds are so overloaded with information these days it can be hard to process it all and sometimes to fall asleep at night. Take time to sit down in a quiet place – maybe outside on a grassy knoll looking at some clouds – and follow your thoughts wherever they take you. You should be able to nod off easier with less of a cognitive load pulling at you.
Join a production crew
Whether it be for film or stage, acting touches the essence of who we are as humans when we weave a poignant story. If you’re not sold on the idea of being an actor, there are a host of other positions available. You’ll laugh, cry, and grow with your crew and create art that’s sure to impact you and the audiences which see it.
Learn another language
If you were raised outside of the United States, chances are you already speak more than one language. If you do (or if you don’t), use the Internet downtime to pick up another language. With our rapidly globalizing world, multi-linguals have a sure-fire advantage when it comes to jobs and relationships.
Write your will
As with backing up our devices, we rarely plan for the worst-case scenario, seeing it as too distant and unrelatable. But, once you own anything more than a Play-Doh set, it’s time to write a will, however simple, to let the state know who will receive your possessions if the worst were to befall you.
Fix up that broken appliance
Things seem to break in our houses and apartments more often than not, so why not spend an afternoon when the Internet breaks to fix the broken hinge, clear out a clogged pipe, or clean up your yard?
Start a garden
The loss of our beloved Internet is a great time to start preparing for the end of the world as we know it by starting your own food supply. Your small garden also means you’ll raise healthier food which is pesticide and chemical-free. If you’re looking for something to get started with, tomatoes, spinach, and cucumbers are notoriously easy to grow.
Bake some bread
If making bread seems like a lofty goal only attainable by Julia Child or a mustached Italian baker, take some time to see how easy it is to make yourself! Beyond rye and rosemary and even focaccia, you can also try your hand at making homemade cheese with just a bit of milk and vinegar if you’re really adventurous.
If you’re in a relationship and working or studying full-time, chances are intimate time can often be rushed and less-than-satisfactory. Try really getting to know your partner when the Internet breaks – your relationship will be stronger because of it.
We’re all unique, influenced, and molded by our diverse backgrounds. Chances are you’re a heck of a lot better at some things than other people are. Rather than just learning from others as in #15, teach your skills to anyone around you – from your niece to your friends to a class at the local community college. You could even earn some money on the side.
Host a sleepover
Yes, those things pre-pubescent boys and girls do with their friends downstairs in their sleeping bags. Not only are sleepovers a great way to connect with friends and feel like a kid again, you can also pretend the power is out and use a dim flashlight to tell ghost stories while nomming on Cheetos and IPA’s.
Besides making you feel better, taking some time when the Internet is down to volunteer also helps your community. Whether it be picking up trash in a city park, playing with animals at a local shelter, or teaching English at a new arrivals center, volunteering is one of the best ways to improve the world around you – no Internet required!