There comes a time in every person’s life when they’re sick of the Internet and don’t want to participate anymore. That time may come after some particularly bad news, like the death of a beloved actor or the realization that the world is rife with war, poverty and misery, and there’s no way to stop it. Or perhaps you’ve seen an inexplicably popular meme and you realize that civilization is on a long, slow slide into oblivion. Either way, everyone needs to take a break from the online life every once in a while. Here are 21 strategies for coping with this process.
1. Try not to overreact when you reach the breaking point.
2. Rather than smashing your electronics, find an appropriate outlet for your anger.
3. Calmly inform the Internet that you’re stepping away for a while.
4. Tell yourself that you don’t need this nonsense in your life.
5. Hole up somewhere safe and plan your strategy for living an internet-free life.
6. Comfort yourself with food.
7. Find a new project to occupy your time.
8. Accept the fact that other things in life will still make you angry.
9. Then promise yourself that you will not seek out those things, because that’s the whole point of avoiding the internet.
10. Don’t think about how weird you feel not being online.
11. Make grand plans for improving your life and becoming a huge success/super genius now that you’re not wasting so much time on the internet.
12. When the internet calls to you, try putting a paper bag over your head.
13. Or hiding somewhere with no computer access.
14. Or just hiding in general — it’s a good way to pass the time.
15. Don’t push your friends away, even if they’re still using the internet.
16. And don’t be smug about your lack of internet use, because you know you’ll be back someday.
17. Just enjoy the brief, unplugged time that you have.
18. Don’t obsess over the things that you’re missing, because they’ll be forgotten in a day.
19. Recapture your childlike sense of wonder before it all ends.
20. Get started on the masterpiece you’ve always wanted to create, leaving a legacy that will last throughout the ages.
21. And accept the fact that someday, possibly very soon, you’ll be back to your old internet ways.