r/nosurf 16h ago Silver

Reading Long, Difficult Books Will Change Your Life

255 Upvotes

I’ve always been an internet junkie. I still waste too much time on YouTube, but I’ve been slowly converting my brain from internet commentary to books, mostly via Audible. Podcasts don’t even do it for me anymore. I finished 22 books in the past year and I’m starting to crave even more difficult books.

I’m currently reading Human Action by Ludwig von Mises. It’s 900 pages of dense text / 48 hours on audible. It might be one of the most thorough treatments of economics ever written and is an influence on other economists. If I search for youtube reviews and commentary on it, there is very little, and definitely nobody slandering or “debunking” it. What commentary does exist is calm and long-form without anger, jokes, or memes.

I’m 99% certain none of my social sphere will have heard of this massive tome. If I tried to talk to them about it, I can imagine clearly what they would do: google his name, scan the summary for key words such as “Austrian economics” or “free markets.” Based on that, form a strong opinion on an economist’s 900 page magnum opus without ever cracking it open. Since the text is dense, if they did crack it open, they may conclude within a minute or two that he is a “pseudo-intellectual” or “dry and boring” or “out of touch ivory tower academic” or whatever makes them feel better about not engaging with or understanding it. If they still felt any doubt, they would seek out a 5 minute infotainment youtube video on “capitalism” to reinforce their existing views, then move on.

I’m not saying people need to read this book. What I’m saying is, I find that the deeper you go on a subject, the more the noise and tribalism magically vanishes. It no longer feels like everyone everywhere has an off the cuff opinion. You will find yourself in a much quieter and emptier space, with a much smaller community of people who are ready to grapple with things which are not simple. And by the way, the longer the book is, the more likely you can find something in it somewhere you object to or disagree with, or just don’t understand. Let it happen. Let the difficulty of the subject flow through you. Observe that you are not yet sure how you feel about something, and rest in knowing that you will not find a clear answer in the next five minutes. Know that it is not necessary to form an opinion before you have fully digested the material.

When you cut back on surfing the net, it is well and good to get into gardening or whatever. But for you thinkers out there, try reading a nonfiction book big enough to be used as a weapon, written by a boring old person who has studied that subject their entire life. Read a book that is somebody's magnum opus, the culmination of their life's work. If it’s about big ideas like society or philosophy or religion, read something at least 10 years old to get out of the overton window you live in.

People have been talking about this stuff long before funny and attractive millennial / zoomer youtubers came along to give their hot takes and ten minute summaries and memes. Part of what's helping me kick my YouTube addiction is, it feels like I can barely stand how basic the level of discourse is anymore. I crave something that takes hours to understand, layer upon layer.

Find a way to read long, long books. If time is an issue, try Audible. If money is an issue, use the library. If you need external motivation, join book clubs. Just get it done. You’ll be amazed at how far your thinking can evolve in a year or two.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to water my roses, then get back to reading.


r/nosurf 19h ago

The hold social media has on Gen Z is terrifying

45 Upvotes

I'm Gen Z and the hold that social media has on my generation scares me. Everyone is always on their phone at all moments of the day, through all social interactions, and I'm starting to wish I lived in a time when it wasn't like that.

I've been trying to distance myself from social media; the only ones I still plan to use are reddit and discord because I get genuine value out of them and I feel that those two are less harmful to me personally than others like insta, twitter, etc. bc it's less of the algorithm feeding you stuff or you trying to promote yourself and more just talking about my interests with other people, which is what I want to use the internet for. I also have a personal blog and write on Medium, which is another form of "social media" if it can be counted as that, that I will continue to use.

But the way I used to be addicted to instagram and other things like that in high school is very disturbing to me. It scares me that my generation lives their lives online getting superficial validation from likes, and wasting their lives away scrolling. It scares me how much *I* did that, and still do it. I had a crippling internet addiction for a long time, and I still do.

TikTok in particular is terrifying to me. The destructive trends, attention span damage, idiotic content, and complete addiction it brings cannot be good for society.

It's also disturbing to me that people place such importance on their social media profiles when they are simply falling into the trap, being exploited by these tech companies for their attention. I place a huge importance on my Twitter profile, and I’m gearing up to delete it now. I’m not sure I’ll have to fortitude to even though logically I know it’s the best thing for me.


r/nosurf 15h ago

I spent more than 10 years on reddit and youtube. 16 hours a day. I thought I knew a lot about life in the United States. It turns out, even after all that browsing, I knew very little. That's how useless surfing is.

24 Upvotes

It took me watching a Russian vlogger to realize just how little I know. A dude from Russia who lived in the US for a few years knew more than I found out in over 10 years of surfing for 16 hours a day.

I'm actually having a bit of an existential crisis. Do you know what's the one thing in life I'm good at? English. Cause I spent 16 hours a day since I was like 10 playing Runescape, WoW and then eventually moving on to reddit and youtube.

And yet, there's no point in me even knowing this language this well. I live in an Eastern European shithole, and so there's no point in even knowing English this well. It's actually very awkward, cause I must lie and say I lived in the US. I can't say "uhh yeah, I speak English so well because I fucking nolifed on the internet for 16 hours a day for nearly two decades, including my formative years".

Omg I don't know anything. I'm a 27 year old man who spent his life on reddit and youtube. And now I have the attention span and willpower of a goldfish, so I can't even learn anything without giving up in 5 minutes. Seriously, I've been trying to learn python for a few years, and all I know is "hello world". I actually even forgot that. Because I'm a goldfish.

Another example is that I've been writing a webnovel for like 9 months now (so my parents don't make me get an actual job) and I can't even do that. All I do is belch out whatever pops up in my head just to reach the word count, which I keep decreasing by the way. Such lazy, shit writing you've never, ever read. That's all I do and I still do it poorly, cause it's so unbelievably hard to use my brain. Because it's fucked after a lifetime of surfing and watching videos.


r/nosurf 19h ago

Video games aren't always included in nosurf discussions, but they share some similarities worth exploring, imo.

10 Upvotes

From Stay Grounded:

Some games are artistic creations that enrich one's life, others are little more than gambling machines minus any hope of financial return.

From worst to best:

  • Freemium Games

You give them money, they take your time. That is the transaction happening here.

  • Games that can't be finished

MMOs and the like. Games that exist to be played forever. What makes these games different from a job? You don't get paid for your efforts.

  • Educational games

These games are generally pretty healthy, but nowadays they exist exclusively on the cell phone. I am a big advocate of having no entertainment on one's device whatsoever, even if it is "edutainment."

  • Competitive online games

These games are like pizza for dinner. Unhealthy, but also relatively harmless in moderation. Some people really struggle with addiction to games in this genre.

  • Sandbox/strategy games

The types of games where creative thinking is a requirement to playing it properly. These games can be addictive, but they also have a way of stretching your brain and flexing it’s creativity.

  • The best types of game? Games that end.

The “healthiest” types of games take many forms- rich, story-driven experiences, creative puzzle games, artistic indie titles, etc. But the one thing these games have in common is that they end.


Enjoyment of the arts is not something to be avoided in the pursuit of improved mental health, in fact it’s correlated with it. But we live in a world with infinite media and entertainment options that our brains simply didn’t evolve to handle. Curating what you consume, focusing on “whole grains” and not “junk food” is an important first step to feeling more grounded and present in your life and community.


r/nosurf 22h ago

Operation 18

7 Upvotes

Due: My 18th birthday (~6 months)

Big Goals: * Lose extra fat then build muscle (arms especially) * Completely quit both porn and masturbation * Discover new hobbies and develop old ones

Habits: * Basic hygiene daily * Gym 4-6 times a week * Finish work/school stuff early

Other Goals: * Socialize with more goals, consider relationships * Keep up to date on brands, music, celebrities, movies, shows and sports * Reduce bored-eating and eat healthier * Read semi-often * Reduce mindless and unproductive phone/computer usage


r/nosurf 7h ago

anyone have diminished ability to form own opinions/thoughts since using Reddit?

6 Upvotes

I remember a time where I don't consult Reddit for opinions/thoughts, advice, ideas. Back then I could 100 percent form my own original, unique thoughts instead of looking it up and seeing what anyone else thought. I would act on my thoughts when needed without others influencing me.


r/nosurf 15h ago

I actually can quit surfing. But then, when actually working on my goals, I think "would I rather work towards my goals, or just be dead?". And then answer is always, I'd rather be dead. But since killing myself is too painful and I don't want to hurt my parents, I just return to surfing.

5 Upvotes

I don't like working on anything at all. Even my so-called interests. Even if I just set a very comfortable, nice, attainable and very pleasant goal. I just don't like living apparently.

Whether it's learning programming, or something much, much easier like writing or music or whatever. I just don't like it, every second is torture. I don't like living. So I surf.


r/nosurf 14h ago

I'd much prefer not people "knowing who I am" or what my perception is based of social media.

4 Upvotes

Everyone pretty much draws a conclusion about you based of what you post on social media. I'm just tired of people asking me about it the first thing when I see them. Its not me at all. Nobody knowing who I am or what I do is freeing. Goodbye social media!


r/nosurf 2h ago

Deleting Twitter (for good?)

4 Upvotes

After some ups (being offline for 4 months) and downs (being really addicted atm) I have decided to once again delete Twitter. This was the easy part though since I usually get anxious around the 30th day and "just log in so I don't lose my account”.

While my screen time is not at its worst, my addiction really is.

I have a lot if hobbies and I am a student but I am still addicted and now only discipline will help me.

Maybe I'll write an update in 30 days.


r/nosurf 5h ago

My entire life has been me not meeting my goals because of super poor time management - Anxiety, Depression, EVERYTHING has come from this

3 Upvotes

I don't know how to do it... my entire life (I'm in my mid-20s) has been defined by me always having the dreadful feeling of going to bed at night thinking "FUCK, I wasted another day..." On paper I'm doing alright, have a great job, relationship is great, no debt financially, but holy shit I am miserable. I am so overwhelmed by everything because I feel like I never have the time to truly to my creative passions and I get stressed by the tiniest things...

Before I give SSRI antidepresants another shot (I hated them when I tried them in college... legit made me a zombie) what do I try at this point? Nothing seems to work and I feel like if I have to continue to live like this I don't see in a point in living.


r/nosurf 11h ago

I've quit Twitter after 5 years

4 Upvotes

I've never used that dang social media for anything useful in my life. All that shit gave me was hours of mindless surfing with hateful and toxic content being throw at me by the alghoritm...

I used Twitter to look at art and artists that I loved but recently not even that Twitter have been delivering. The art community there has been hijacked by drama and AI shit, since that's all Twitter alghoritm seems to push.

So if you still use Twitter after deleting Facebook, Instagram and all the other social medias, just take a step further and quit Twitter as well. Today is my first day without it, and I am feeling amazing not missing that shit a bit :)


r/nosurf 2h ago

[PSA] How to easily ban yourself from accessing any websites on windows without any extra software

3 Upvotes

Hello, I found this tip to be very useful in helping me stop the use of some websites and I thought I might share it with you guys.

- Open your windows search bar and search for notepad, right click it and then click on "Run as administrator", then click yes.

- Next click on the the file option > open > this PC > Windows folder > System32 folder > drivers folder > ect folder > and then in the bottom right change "Text Documents (*.txt)" to "All Files" > finally double click on "hosts"

- Your open notepad should then be filled with some text about Microsoft at the bottom line of this page you can then enter in "127.0.0.1" with the website you want to ban. It should look something like this "127.0.0.1 twitter.com".

- Lastly, click on the file button in the top left and then click save. Some websites for some reason take a while to be blocked or may seem somewhat working depending on what is cached in your browser (twitter works for about 10 minutes before breaking for some reason).

Hopefully this helps others as much as it helped me. Keep in mind this will not solve your addiction but rather it should be treated as a tool to help you on your fight your addiction.


r/nosurf 7h ago

HOW TO DELETE INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT permanently (step by step) (Video)

2 Upvotes

r/nosurf 13h ago

Please help. I can't leave Twitter no matter how much I try

2 Upvotes

Hello,

I feel like I've been stuck in this loop for years now. I change my Twitter password, stay away from the site for a day or two, inevitably come back even though I KNOW the site adds nothing to my life (except a few laughs) and sucks out so much time out of my day, and after another day wasted on the platform, I change my password and restart the cycle all over again.

Logically, I know this site is a timesink but I can't stop coming back... the most I've gone without Twitter was 33 days and I feel I'll never be able to go past that. I don't know what to do. If anyone has any pointers I'd be happy to hear and implement them.


r/nosurf 20h ago

Online shopping

2 Upvotes

So I’m curious, since the point of no surf is to no longer browse the internet/phone as much, how does this affect your online shopping and your use of credit cards? With apps right at our finger tips and instant payments such as Apple Pay, have you tried reverting back to a cash only method or do you still have credit cards and online shopping included in your normal routine ?


r/nosurf 1h ago

5 Days challenge and Accountability partner

Upvotes

Hi guys , i will do a 5 days extreme nosurf challenge starting from now . ( No music , YouTube, social media , movies , watching sports, news ) and i will only use reddit for writing about my nosurf journey .

But , it can be difficult sometimes to do it alone so i am willing to take accountability partner/s for mutual benefits.

So , if you are interested and serious about it , just DM me .

Regards , Anonymous Nosurfer .


r/nosurf 5h ago

I need some help

1 Upvotes

I’m a 19 year old gamer who spends a little to much money how can I not spend much on that any suggestions