Jim Stolze asks the audience “can you do without the internet” which is addressed with a loud “NO” by the bloggers sitting behind me. As part of his research project he asked people what they would do without the internet.

Seth Godin said he would have to open a restaurant. Boris (The Next Web) said he would be a professional shoe shiner and still be the happiest man in the world. Patrick (The Next Web) would still organize the Next Web in 2010, with our without the internet.

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Jim completely went offline and unplugged for a whole month last December . It was the most fun thing he ever did, at least for the first week. He appreciated all the hand written letters people sent him. However after the first week of experiencing different kind of emotions some of the easiest things seemed very hard to do without being connected.

He reached a peace of mind because no internet meant no distractions. He was more productive and actually wrote the first half of his book in this period. The main question after December was, how to keep this ability to focus with all the online distractions?

The reason he had to go back into the “digital jungle” was because of his research project. The main research question is “Does the internet make you happy?” Previous research has shown that internet users are happier than people who don’t have internet (I wonder if the GDP has been taken into account.) Stolze wants to know in which situations the internet is a drive for our happiness.

3449412555 2fe6357257 Jim Stolze 5 ways the internet can make us happier

Jim Stolze poses five ways in which the internet can make us happier:

  1. Don’t take your Blackberry into the bedroom
  2. Remember there is more information on the web that you can read
  3. Rely more on social filters such as Delicous and Twitter
  4. Know the difference between online and offline (when do you send a text message/when do you just drop by)
  5. Charge 1 cent for every email (it will rule out spam!)

Be online and be happy.