Could you live without the internet for a week?

28 Aug 2017

From instant messaging friends to booking our next beach holiday, we use the internet every day to complete a whole host of tasks. Surprisingly though, 32% of us believe we could easily cope without access to the web!1 That’s an incredible 22 million Brits claiming they could go offline at any time.2

 But is spending a week without the internet really as easy as we think? We asked two brave millennials to give it a go.

 Meet Natalie and Ed



Natalie is a 24-year-old receptionist from London, who uses the web for everything from arranging meet-ups to managing her blog. Ed, 32, a full-time blogger and tech whizz, uses the internet almost 24/7 in all areas of his life.

Natalie and Ed didn’t just have the challenge of spending a week without the internet. They also had to carry out a number of challenges most of us do on a day to day basis. These included finding out the weather forecast, checking their bank balance and navigating their way to restaurants they’d never tried before.

The next week, Ed and Natalie had to do the opposite - spend 7 days relying solely on the web to complete the exact same tasks. So, how did their two weeks compare? And which lifestyle did they prefer? Let’s find out.

Week one: Living internet-free

On day one, Ed and Natalie decided to start with the easy tasks first - or so they thought. To check his bank balance, Ed had to walk to his local bank, then wait 30 minutes to be seen. “It nearly took up my whole lunch break! The queues were ridiculous.”

 As the week went on, meeting up with friends proved just as difficult. Natalie tried to meet a friend after work but it didn’t quite go as planned. “I didn’t realise I relied on Google Maps so much. Getting lost a couple of times drove me to almost checking my phone for help. What was a short walk from work turned into a 20-minute challenge.”

As for Ed, unable to check for films or showing times, he and his friend “rocked up to the cinema to see what was on, only to have to wait two hours to watch the film [they were] interested in”. Who knew a trip to the cinema could turn into such a horror story?

By the end of week one, both Ed and Natalie were stressed out, missing the net and eager to give their online week a go. 

Week two: Life back online

Armed with internet access and a trusty Asus Zenbook, both participants went about the same challenges. Checking the weather took Natalie a mere 30 seconds. Ed took less than a minute to get a full overview of his bank account.

Organising an evening out with friends was about 50% easier, according to Ed. After spending about 10 minutes browsing the Time Out website, he found the perfect venue for a nice get-together with friends. Natalie co-ordinated a trip to the West End and dinner at Steak & Lobster in minutes. What’s more, Natalie didn’t get lost once, and Ed found it a breeze to find cinema times that fit his schedule.

The verdict

What a difference the internet makes. Once you add up the time spent on all the activities, Ed and Natalie saved a whopping 4 hours of their lives with the internet. That’s the equivalent of eight visits to the London Eye, two HIIT classes and a flight to Malta. Over a year, it adds up to more than 200 hours – or enough time to watch all 28 seasons of The Simpsons back to back!

 The stress factor

Getting more time back wasn’t the only upside of their week with the internet. Both Ed and Natalie found it was a huge relief and significantly boosted their mood. Ed said, “Friends, family and the world – I felt so cut off without [the internet].” Natalie confessed, “There was a definite disconnection whilst I could only using calls to connect with others.”

For Natalie, while switching off every now and then is a good way to spend more quality time with those she cares about, she admits her internet-free week was “harder than expected”. Ed, on the other hand, admitted he felt “much happier and less panicky” with the internet back in his life. So despite almost a third of people thinking they could live without the internet, it seems a life offline isn’t as easy as we think.

So what about you? Think you could spend a week without the web?

Do you, like Ed and Natalie, rely on the web to stay on top of your life? Then check out the full ASUS ZenBook range at Currys that help you get on with your everyday more efficiently than ever.

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