No Internet For One Year: Tech Writer Tries Life Offline


Socializing Without the Internet

Patel, who is also a close friend of Paul's, also tells me that conversation, and not just focus, have been strengthened.

"With Paul, we have to wait until we see each other and then we spend a long time catching up on everything that happened, instead of getting a real-time stream of what's been going on." Not having the constant stream of instant messages, Twitter updates, or text messages has changed the interaction.

The level of interaction is deeper, and that's something Paul noticed as well. "I communicate with a lot fewer people, but when I do communicate and spend time with someone, it is for a longer period of time and it's more quality time."

Not having a smartphone at all times has also changed face-to-face interaction. "In social situations I would look into my phone all he time and it was not because I was blowing up, it was because I was avoiding talking to people, because I am awkward in social situations," Paul admitted.

"But now that I don't have that option, I have grown out of that and I talk to people a little more."

Daily Life Without The Internet

I was curious, when I sat down with Paul, how he does all the little things for which many of us rely on the web. How does get around a city or new place without Google Maps? How does he look up an address or a store's hours of business? How does he pay bills? How does he get his news?

It might just be that he's an easygoing guy, but he says none of that has been a problem. Sure, it been a bit of an inconvenience, but he says it's been part of the experience.

He has bought maps -- paper maps -- to get around new cities and he says he follows his nose more. He has two newspaper subscriptions now -- to The New York Times and Wall Street Journal -- to get his news, though he admits that he knows he is a little behind because he has to wait for the morning paper.

He also got a post-office box to communicate by mail with some of his fans and followers. He gets a lot of mail, but hasn't been the best about responding. He showed me a number of Postagrams he has gotten: Postagram is a service that lets you send Instagram images on a postcard. Even those offline can experience social photo sharing.

As for entertainment, instead of playing online games he plays board games. He and his roommate also make music together. (You can listen to some of their music in our video about him.)

But while he's found some good alternatives, Paul says there are things he misses about the Internet.

"There is a ton of stuff I miss. I miss playing 'StarCraft,' I miss Twitter so much, I miss hilarious time wasters like animated GIFs on Reddit. But I don't regret leaving it behind."

And although it has only been three months it's easy to see why. "I am definitely coming back to the Internet, but my goal is to be a little more in control and intentional in how I approach it."

You can keep up with Paul's offline writings here. ABC News will continue to follow Miller's journey off the Internet.

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