GLEN ALLEN (WWBT) - Just how important is the internet in your life? Could you completely cut yourself off? We put one local woman to the test, unplugging her from the web for 48 hours, to find out just how hard it is to be "off the grid".
Ana Kamal lives her life on the internet.
"I wake up to email, I go to sleep to email," she said. "I use my phone for music at the gym."
In fact many people know her better by her twitter handle @anarva.
"I'm going to miss twitter, it's my newspaper," she said.
Ana estimates that she spends 14 to 15 hours a day on the internet. From her laptop, to her phone, to her desk at work- where the internet is literally part of her title as a "digital advocate" for social media marketing firm, Fahrenheit Technology.
"It will be interesting to see the projects I can work on without technology," said Ana.
And with that- we unplugged @anarva from her digital lifeline. It was like sending her essentially 20 years into the past.
Quickly the urge to connect set in.
She kept us up to date with short video recordings.
"The thing that is bothering me the most is that my email inbox is already at 17 unopened emails," she said shortly after being unplugged. Ana, rarely let's an email sit unopened.
She documented her inability to complete tasks with a wall of post it notes, and even penned, with an actual pen, "paper tweets". She even started to read a book, with paper pages and a hard cover.
"I've been meaning to read this for a while, but haven't gotten the opportunity," she said as she picked up the book "Groundswell" by Charlene Li.
We caught up with her midway through her second day, where she shared a frustrating story.
"I had to locate the yellow pages, look up my doctor's name and call him through a landline."
Would you even be able to find the yellow pages? Ana couldn't either.
"On Google, I would've been able to do that in 5 seconds, it took me a whole 20 minutes to schedule appointments with people."
But it wasn't just frustrating for Ana.. Kendall Morris is her boss at Fahrenheit and felt the impact of her employee's digital distraction.
"You can't really do social media without technology," Kendall said. "And it is causing us a little stress"
Work was one thing, but Ana's personal life is pretty internet dependent too, from planning her upcoming wedding, to even the times when she was supposed to be asleep.
"I woke up in the middle of the night around 2:30 and reached for my phone to check my email and I caught myself, and realized I couldn't do that," she recalled in one of her video diaries.
Finally after 48 hours, Ana was reconnected.
"I feel like I am being let out of rehab."
And she had plenty waiting for on the other side.
"It is a long list of emails."
113 to be exact, her list of things she couldn't do was close to 40 post it notes deep. Her life, for 48 hours was universally different.
"Checking the weather, checking the news, checking the schedule for the gym."
But it wasn't all bad.
"It was freeing," she said.
Ana certainly learned the benefits of the connected life, but also found that unplugging from time to time, isn't necessarily a bad thing.. But not something she is able to do for too long.
"I think completely cutting myself off, might be a bit of a stretch for me right now."
And we documented Ana's plight on below. Check out the full list of everything she went without for 48 hours.
We want to know if you could go 48 hours unplugged. Log on to our facebook page and take our poll.
Ana's 48 hours without Internet
Check Twitter or Facebook
Check into places on Foursquare
Stay up-to-date on the news
Check the weather
Send or receive text messages or DMs
Listen to music
Research anything online
Watch live-streaming TV shows
Use a credit or debit card
Update/look at my calendar
Look up phone numbers and addresses
Contact friends without having phone numbers
Share pictures or videos online
Read or write blogs
Do client work online
Plan events without email
Monitor online activity for clients
Check gym class schedules
Check credit cards/bank statements online
Check TV schedule on show updates
Look up recipes online/share with friends
Upload pictures to Instagram
Share my frustrations with the world
Organize my to-do list
Do any wedding planning
Stream movies online via Netflix
Use Facetime/chat or IM
RSVP to events
Connect with people to LinkedIN
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