Personal | Is Internet Deprivation Taking a Toll on my Mental Health?

We all know that being online too much can have a negative affect on our mental health. The constant bombardment of unattainable lifestyles, photoshopped models and internet drama is something we should all take a break from now and again. But is it possible that not having access to the unlimited super fast broadband that most of us are used to could also have a negative affect?

I mentioned in last week's post 'Let's Catch Up & Chat...'  I mentioned that I had been struggling with my mental health recently, and I believe one of the causes of that is not having access to home broadband. Now I'm not being deliberately obtuse, I know that that sounds a bit ridiculous and I don't by any means suggest that a lack of internet is the main cause but I do believe it is a contributing factor.

Top down view of MacBook on white desk with bullet journal and magazine

To begin with you might think it was just FOMO. When everyone else has an online presence it is natural to wonder what other people are doing at this very moment. At the beginning of this month it seemed like absolutely everyone was on some form of Disney Parks holiday and my Instagram Stories were chock full of character meets, drool worthy snacks and photos that made me heart-eye emoji.  Luckily I still had mobile data so I wasn't been cut off completely and was still able to live vicariously. Relying on mobile data has its (literal) limits though and I found it difficult to keep up an online presence when uploading images to Instagram and Twitter ate up so much data. 

"I felt less and less motivated each week.."


The lack of broadband also made it impossible to upload vlogs to our YouTube channel - When You Wish Upon a Vlog - from home. I scheduled vlogs for the first few weeks and made sure to find other places to upload from in the weeks that followed but it completely messed up my flow of editing, uploading, filling in description boxes and promoting each week. I felt less and less motivated each week and the view count started to fall. It's a shame because I love my channel and I love editing the vlogs. Having to edit so many in advance made me feel rushed one week and at a loss of what to do the next. Being unable to watch my favourite vlogs in return and having to limit my social media use also meant I felt disconnected from the Disney community that I've grown so fond of.

"..my mind has had more time to wander and it repeatedly takes me on a downward path."


You don't realise how much you use the internet until suddenly you don't have it anymore. In our new place we don't even have a TV aerial, so that means no Freeview, no Netflix, no Amazon Prime, no YouTube, no online gaming. Almost everything we usually spend our time doing we'd depend on internet for and, honestly, I need the distraction. I spend a lot of my time at home alone and that means hours upon hours for me to get inside my own head. Sometimes I'd compare myself to an elderly woman following the lives of people in soaps as though they were people she knew except my soaps were daily vlogs. I now have over 300 videos in my 'Watch Later' playlist and the TV Series Tracker in my Bullet Journal has been completely abandoned. Without having binge-watching as a fix my mind has had more time to wander and it repeatedly takes me on a downward path.

MacBook on white desk with bullet journal and magazine

I've written before about some of my struggles with mental health and self-care, and it is still true that there are good days and bad days, but I do think I've found it harder to maintain the balance recently and some of that is due to a lack of motivation and distraction that has come from not having internet. Despite this I have been trying to bring myself back up. I got involved in my first Twitter chats in months, I read up on SEO to try and improve my blog and I've written out weeks worth of YouTube content ideas for when the vlogs end next week. I've also been using any Wi-Fi connection I can get hold of to download content onto my phone so I'll be writing a post on some of the gems I've found that don't need streaming!


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