Aziz Ansari gave up using the internet for reading books, and we can get behind that
If you follow Aziz Ansari on Instagram and wonder why he never posts, it’s probably because he’s over the internet.
Ansari spoke to GQ about his new data-free life philosophy. Ansari deleted all social media apps from his phone, including the internet browser app. If he’s at dinner and nobody can remember the name of so-and-so actor, he can’t just google it.
Ansari explains how he came to this decision to get off the grid.
"Whenever you check for a new post on Instagram or whenever you go on The New York Times to see if there's a new thing, it's not even about the content," he tells the magazine, "It's just about seeing a new thing. You get addicted to that feeling. You're not going to be able to control yourself. So the only way to fight that is to take yourself out of the equation and remove all these things.
“What happens is, eventually you forget about it. You don’t care anymore. When I first took the browser off my phone, I’m like, [gasp] How am I gonna look stuff up? But most of the shit you look up, it’s not stuff you need to know. All those websites you read while you’re in a cab, you don’t need to look at any of that stuff.”
So what’s he doing now that he’s not relying on clicking around the internet for an hour every night?
"It's better to just sit and be in your own head for a minute. I wanted to stop that thing where I get home and look at websites for an hour and a half, checking to see if there's a new thing. And read a book instead. I've been doing it for a couple months, and it's worked. I'm reading, like, three books right now. I'm putting something in my mind. It feels so much better than just reading the Internet and not remembering anything."
That sounds beautiful. Replacing Instagram likes for pages of a book.
However, when pressed that his internet-free lifestyle might make him uninformed, he replied, “I don’t think me reading the news is helping anything. I think it’s hurting me. It’s putting me in a bad state of mind. And I could see how someone could hear that about me and be like, ‘Oh, you’re ignoring what’s happening in the world ’cause you don’t want negativity in your head. That seems very selfish.’ Maybe it is. I don’t know. It’s not like I was reading it and then, like, immediately taking action in a way that was helping to fix problems. I can still cut checks without reading the articles. I cut my checks, man!”
Not reading the news or scrolling through social is an interesting stance to take in 2017. While some of us can’t afford to unplug, or our jobs rely on our ability to be current with all sorts of news, we have to admit that while Ansari’s lifestyle is a luxury — fully unplugging does sound quite dreamy.