When comedian Louis C.K. takes a cynical stance against technology, his musings tend to go viral. His November 2011 visit to Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk show revealed a deep-seated hatred of Twitter (“People get mad at me because I don’t follow anybody… but why do they care?”), while a September 2013 appearance included a rant about society’s addiction to cell phones (“You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not do something—that’s what the phones are taking away”).
Now he’s revealed that he’s quit the internet entirely.
“It’s been about a month. I haven’t googled anything, I just walk up to people and ask them questions and stuff—which is more fun, too.”
He first mentioned swearing off the internet on May 2, during an appearance on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and a few days later, went on Conan on TBS to explain how his kids were the motivation behind his decision to unplug. “I think people should know that it has an impact on your kids,” he said.
“I started reading books again, and I was on vacation with my daughter and I read Pride and Prejudice.”
The comedian pulled out a hand-written note from his 10-year-old daughter and read it aloud: ”I’m really proud of you for cutting yourself off from the internet and reading an awesome book. I want you to know that what you did means a lot to me and I really enjoy seeing your pleasure in not constantly being on devices. Also, thanks for the trip to Mexico, I really needed that.”
Science supports the theory that cell phone usage could be harmful to relationships, and there’s evidence to support that there are additional health benefits from staying off screens, such as improved sleep and decreased stress.
It remains to be seen just how feasible it is for C.K., who recently created, financed and starred in a new web series available only on his own website, to last without the internet.