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Writer Can't Blame the Internet for His Problems

At 11:50 P.M. on April 30th, 2012 technology writer Paul Miller started his yearlong commitment to live without any contact with the internet. So he unplugged his Ethernet cable, shut off his Wi-Fi, and exchanged his smartphone for a dumb phone. He said, "I wanted a break from modern life—the hamster wheel of an email inbox, the constant flood of [worldwide web] information which drowned out my sanity. I wanted to escape."

On May 1, 2013 he wrote an article titled "I'm here: back online after a year without the internet." Miller started by saying, "And now I'm supposed to tell you how it solved all my problems. I'm supposed to be enlightened. I'm supposed to be more 'real,' now. More perfect."

But Miller realized that the deepest problems in his life weren't related to something outside himself—like the internet. Instead, the real problems in his life resided in his own heart. Miller concluded:

What I do know is that I can't blame the internet, or any circumstance, for my problems. I have many of the same priorities I had before I left the internet: family, friends, work, learning. And I have no guarantee I'll stick with them when I get back on the internet—I probably won't, to be honest. But at least I'll know that it's not the internet's fault. I'll know who's responsible, and who can fix it.

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