Aziz Ansari quit the internet - and explains why you should too

Joe Vesey-Byrne
Thursday 03 August 2017 15:30
Picture:(Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images For Netflix)

In an interview with GQ Style the stand up comedian, writer, and director discussed how ridding his life of the internet, was a great decision.

Obviously, this is odd advice from an online only publication, but you can always get a friend/your Nan to print out indy100 articles for you to read. And you can argue with other people on public transport instead of using the comments section.

Studies have shown that internet addiction share some neural features as addictions to cocaine and gambling.

The hegemony of the internet is such that it's created a counter culture, and according to the BBC 'digital detoxes' are regularly undertaken by millions of Britons.

Aziz Ansari has broached the topic of how the internet is ruining love before.

In his stand up he's talked about 'dick pics', 'ghosting' and all the other horrible parts of courting that contemporary technology has made possible.

His Netflix show Master of None frequently places a smart phone as the enabler of the worst habits of Ansari's character Dev.

In the show it's all pervasive. Restaurant reviews and Pinterest boards spoil lunch, by spoiling Dev with too much choice when all he wants is a taco, or when his character sends out a mass invite for a gig ticket, so he can then choose which affirmative response to turn down.

So it's little surprise he's eschewed the online world in his real life, outside of the web obsessed universe in Master of None.

Ansari told GQ Style about how he’d deleted his internet browser from his phone and laptop. He also got rid of his e-mail.

Whenever you check for a new post on Instagram or whenever you go to on The New York Times to see if there’s a new thing, it’s not even about the content.

He continued:

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.

For some nerds, one of the best thing about smartphones is looking stuff up, but Ansari points out that most of things you Google at the dinner table weren’t questions that needed an answer right there and then.

But what on earth does he do without the likes, the upvotes, the push notifications, the Trump tweets? Ansari explained to GQ Style:

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.

One of Ansari's (rare in the last twelve months) posts to social media:

He doesn’t reserve his disavowal of the internet for social media, or ‘fluff’. Ansari also has a critique of news online. Essentially, the stuff that really matters, you will hear about it. The rest is noise.

I was reading all this Trump stuff, and it doesn't feel like we're reading news for the reason we used to, which was to get a better sense of what's going on in the world and to enrich yourself by being aware. It seems like we're reading wrestling rumors.

It's like reading about what happened on Monday Night Raw. When you take a step back, it all just seems so sensationalized. Trump's gonna get impeached! No, he's not. None of that sh*t's happening. But you are going to read all the articles. So if you take yourself out of it, you're not infected with this toxicity all the time. Also, guess what? Everything is fine! I'm not out of the loop on anything. Like, if something real is going down, I'll find out about it.

He summed it up in ten words.

I'm not choosing ignorance. I'm choosing to not watch wrestling.

Shame. That’d be a perfect Tweet.

HT GQ Style.

More: You need to watch Aziz Ansari’s SNL monologue on Trump and racism in America