Shortly after writing about Internet addiction, a photographer reached out and told us about a service that blocks the Internet from your computer. While you might pay a small fortune to access the Internet, you can block it for just a few bucks. Sounds too good to be true, right? So we had to look into it.
The site states Freedom is a “productivity application” that locks you away from the Internet on Mac or Windows computers for up to eight hours at a time. The company claims its product “frees you from distractions, allowing you time to write, analyze, code, or create.” At the end of your offline period, Freedom “allows” you back on the Internet.
Allows? Sounds very controlling, like Norton Antivirus, Kim Jong-il, or a jealous spouse. And you’re expected to volunteer and even pay for this? When you’re writing, coding or creating, it’s often those little ‘distractions’ that get you valuable information, tools, ideas and inspiration throughout the day. Plus, humans are no longer expected to focus on one thing for too long — that’s so 20th century!
Seeing Freedom in use wasn’t overly impressive. When our associate was locked out and needed to access a website, cursing ensued. We then gained valuable insight into how you can work around the application. It’s simple: you just reboot your computer. Our copywriters require constant fast lane access to the information super highway, so that would actually be counter productive, not to mention annoying.
Want ‘freedom’? You can download the app for $10, or kick its tires with a free trial. Get Freedom now.
Other Ways to Kill Your Internet Connection
If you’re not into Freedom or a 45-day, $14,000 Internet detox program, another option would be to go with the cheapest Internet provider in town, so your connection will be down half the time anyway. How about dial-up? Unplug your router? In fact, X Ways to Kill the Internet would be a fitting title and topic for The Oatmeal.
Maybe the onus shouldn’t be on vulnerable computer users. Perhaps social media sites should start being forced to feature warning labels, like cigarette companies.
Other Productivity Tools
Here’s a roundup of other app and resource lists to make your day go easier:
Mashable offers an extensive list of tools to help get your work done faster.
Socialbrite provides a range of sources, from academic research to wikis.
Smashing Magazine brings web designers 50 powerful time savers.