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Cooler x O’Neill: Maria Pizzeria leaves the internet

Cooler x O’Neill ambassador and online queen Maria Pizzeria left the internet, which came as a bit of a shock to all of us. Until we found out that it was only for a week and as part of a super interesting project…

interview by Britta Burger

What was #NoInternetweek all about?
#NoInternetweek was a project by Mother London for the annual Internet Week. It was basically five internet addicts all getting off the internet together. We all have different jobs and hobbies and we got filmed every day to give an update of how our lives were without the internet. The internet is taking over our lives and society and this was about how it would be without it.

Why did you decide to take part?
Because I am addicted to the internet and I would say almost everyone around me is as well. But then obviously it’s on different leveles from person to person. I thought it was a really interesting project and I’m really proud of taking part, I thought it would be a fun challenge!

How did you manage to do it, considering you’re a social media expert and make your money by being online pretty much 24/7?
I wasn’t offline all the time… But I came up with solutions how to not use my own personal accounts. I update three social media accounts every day at work so I had to be online, I stated that at the beginning of the challenge. So for me it was basically a ‘almost no internet week’ because I created a new facebook account where I didn’t have any friends, just the accounts I update, I had to do my job. This is maybe cheating, but for me who is constantly online and has 3000+ friends on facebook it was still pretty much being dead.

Was it tough, did you have withdrawal symptoms?
Yeah, the first days were a bit hard because I talk to my friends loads online, but it was just a matter of texting and calling instead. It was pretty nice to not care about that the battery of the phone might die and I got used to not holding the phone all the time.

What did you miss most about the internet?
Talking to my friends and scrolling through my kind of shit facebook feed.

Did you do stuff you never normally do?                                                                          Not really, I did read a book but I am trying to do that anyways, even if I have internet.

Did you have more time to have fun or less?
It was kinda the same, but yeah I spent more time on cooking food and just relaxing without my phone.

How strict was it, like did you not even have google maps? How did you not get lost?
It was up to you. I didn’t use google maps because I just went to work and home. I did go to some events but it was just a matter of having my friends take care of where to go and what to do, otherwise it’s always me that knows all of that because of Facebook events.

Did you find out things about yourself and the way you rely on the internet that you hadn’t expected?
Not really, because I did kind of cheat sometimes as in asking friends to look up stuff for me. Of course , it’s like with phone numbers, I don’t even know my own number, I mostly get in touch with people on facebook or email, which is pretty scary if something would happen!

Do you think you’re online persona is different from what you are like IRL?
I’m pretty much always positive online, and who’s that IRL? Some people say that my selfies are always super fab, but come on who puts up unfab pics of themselves? Haha.

Did you feel more or less yourself without your internet platforms?
I felt less myself because sometimes you meet people just for a few minutes and don’t have the time to show them what you do and think, giving them your instagram or so gives them more time to figure it out, not that it really matters but you never know where it can take you for future jobs or collabs or just friends!!

Shooting for an online publication

Would you recommend a no internet week to your friends? 
Yeah but I’m not sure, to be honest. If I just did this myself without Mother it wouldn’t really help me that much, thanks to Mother I got interviewed every day and had questions to answer and I had to dig into myself and document my feelings. I learned the most by the interviews and meetings with the other participants! If you want to do it, I would recommend to document it properly and get together with friends and talk about expectations and evaluate the stuff for real!

You told me you’re thinking about lectures about the subject, how come this little experiment you got so interested?
I would love to do this expriment with other people and maybe hold some lectures about it. I expected people in my group to have the same feelings as me but it turned out that I was the one who thought a life without internet would totally suck when some others thought it would be amazing. For example, I would not have grown as much as I’ve done, I would not have the job I have today, I would not have met my best friends from the other side of the world and I would not have done this interview!!! I love the internet BUT I believe in a balanced life!

Maria with her friend she always talks to online and, err, Drake

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