— The Verge’s Paul Miller is three months into a yearlong sabbatical from the Internet, and he’s feeling fine:

For me, my time is no longer defined by the fact that it’s spent without the internet. It’s simply my time, and I have to fill it. The luxury that no internet has afforded me is that I feel like I have more time to fill, and fewer ways to fill it. It’s the boredom and lack of stimulation that drives me to do things I really care about, like writing and spending time with others.
The other day I was at my coffee shop, about to make an order, when I got into a conversation with another regular. And then, a few minutes in, I felt a familiar internal tug. A chime inside said it was “time to get back.” It’s one of the last vestiges of my former mental patterns. I get a vague feeling on occasion that it’s been a little while since I’ve looked at my instant messages, checked my email, scrolled through Twitter, or refreshed The Verge front page. “Someone on my computer must miss me,” it seems to say. It’s a combination of a fear of missing out, and a hope of being missed.

But nobody on my computer misses me anymore. I let out a small sigh. It hurts to be inessential. And then I was back in the moment. We were discussing reverse-engineering the Starbucks Frappuccino recipe, and he had some ideas. It was a good talk to have.


Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.