Marshall Bowers

Conjurer of code. Devourer of art. Pursuer of æsthetics.

Living Without Internet

Saturday, August 13, 2022
270 words
2 minute read

There was a time where I lived without internet.

That's a lie.

I wasn't completely without internet, but the internet was something that I only had access to when sitting at my desk on the computer. When I was hanging out with my friends or out around town I was completely detached from it.

Perhaps it was the naiveté of never having tasted unfettered access to the internet, but these felt like simpler times.

These days I find it hard to fathom not being online all of the time. I stream my music over Spotify instead of having a local iTunes library. Many of my conversations with others takes place on Discord or Telegram, not SMS.

Having a constant means of accessing the internet is a powerful tool.

When I visited Tokyo it was a rented mobile WiFi hotspot that made the trip possible. Having Google Maps and Google Translate at my fingertips allowed me to navigate the city with ease and overcome the language barrier.

Having readily-available internet access also feels like a curse.

I spend far too much time doom-scrolling on social media or news websites. There are vast expanses of the web just waiting to be explored and yet I frequent the same vapid haunts day after day with nothing lasting to show for it.

This small rectangle that lives in my pocket could be a crystal ball: something to gaze into to divine some meaning of the world around me. Yet all too often it feels more akin to a black hole that draws in anything that strays too close and never releases it.