i changed my life so that internet was difficult to access i’ll try to give a condensed history to provide some context on how it went for me:
2007-2009: left college & moved into intentional community (acorn, in va). internet on common computers was always available, but with 1-3 dozen other like-minded people always around, computers weren’t really used for leisure except for the odd movie night. this got me off my high school/college trend of checking fb compulsively & browsing my way to distraction. i cannot overstate the awesomeness of having a pool of like-minded humans around every day (working/living in common, so you’re not all running off to ‘jobs’)
2009-2014: began my own off-grid homestead in missouri, as part of a community land trust. i had no electric, and so only used internet 1x/wk at a neighbor’s place or at the ecovillage down the road. i was fully focused on survival, improving my shelter, growing food, raising animals, and just basically living. some of that time was intensely lonely, but it did give me the space to get through a lot of trauma-related stuff. one year in here i was elsewhere, waitressing & saving money so i could come back and afford a lease on the land. i was working enough that internet just couldn’t take up much space.
sometime in 2013 i had a phone line put in (basically because of the insistence of my neighbors in community. i didn’t want it). during my last two months on the homestead, i had cable internet put in so that i could do some research before moving. it was during this time that i deleted my entire facebook history (going back to my senior year in high school, 2005, when fb came out).
2014-2016: lived off grid in the upper peninsula of michigan, transitioning from a farm homestead to a life focused on hunting & gathering. this is when i started living full time with my honey, Jon. we installed a small solar panel system (& eventually a small wind tower). i could charge my laptop 1x/day most of the time (except the middle of winter), and because i was working part-time in town (25 miles away) to pay for building materials, i used internet while in town. internet use was never convenient, but i continued to blog about what we were doing, sharing photos & stories.
2016-2017: we moved to the interior of alaska, had no power through the summer, got a small generator in autumn so we could have a little bit of light through winter. so we could watch a movie a day (vital for sanity in winter). we used internet ~1x/week at the home of our one neighbor (no one else for 60 miles), who had terribly laggy, low-data satellite internet.
and then my last post picks up in spring of this year. so… i Could have been using internet more, but it was always in either a public space, a cafe, or someone else’s home. so basically i made it uncomfortable to do through my living situation, and not very efficient compared to the daily tasks required in my life. i’ve tried to push forward into a life of rewilding as actively as possible, even though it was often clumsy, awkward, slow, or lonely.
i’m a creature of convenience, and so i try to take the most aggressive steps possible to force myself into the situations i actually want. for example, if you give me an apartment with a couch, netflix, and money to buy ice cream with… i’m done for. i sink into depression very easily. i really have to force myself to get out, forage, hunt, get those hides tanned that i scraped and dried, etc. now that i’ve had steady internet for a few months, i’ve been trying to do all the research i wish i could have done in the past, gather data, and bolster myself with the proof of how much this culture of rewilding is spreading and gaining traction. i try not to do frivolous shit (most of the time i succeed). and i try not to let it Reduce the amount of time i’m actually outside doing things, but i’m not the best at that.
i desperately wish i could just move into a physical community/area of rewilding folks that was decently remote and fucking do it, as much as is legally possible. i’m sick to my core of trying to do it without friends. and i don’t want to be online any more.