Notice: This entry was published 5 years ago and may no longer reflect my views today.

In my two weeks without wifi, I had to make do with my phone’s data. Most of the time, I’d surf on my phone, but once in a while, I’d hook it up to my laptop through USB tethering and I can get online from there. With a 10GB limit between me and four other people, I had to be very careful with my usage not only to stay below our data cap but also so as not to deter my family’s usage.

Images are the heftiest parts of a webpage, so I decided to disable them. I also blocked Javascript to make the most of my data limit. I was essentially surfing the internet in text-only mode. It was easy enough to do. I use Chrome, and from there you can simply go to Settings > Show Advanced Settings… > Content Settings, and choose not to load images and javascript.

The present web as text-only leaves much to be desired. With the popularity of animated GIFs, fullscreen image backgrounds, and the ever-growing state of Javascript as a platform, many websites implement heavy images and fancy scripts to differentiate themselves from the rest (whether they succeed is another discussion altogether). You can only do so much to pull off the “wow” factor before resorting to hi-res pictures on parallax scrolling.

I took screenshots of a few of my frequent sites during my embargo. Some fared fine, others not so much.

tumblr no js

Tumblr is a huge offender. Naturally, you can’t see any photosets but you can’t even post or reblog anything. I was hoping to post a little blurb while surfing without all the bells and whistles, but I couldn’t. I was hoping Tumblr had a more browser-friendly textarea. I mean, I guess it’s cool how the post box fades and then stretches to load the posting widget, but it would do just fine without the snappy effects too. I also had some issues with random code popping up all over the page when I’d go through my dashboard, but it seemed to fix itself when i moved to another page. Tumblr will tell you that Javascript is required to view their site. Viewing is fine, really; it’s posting that’s not. text-only

That said, my own tumblog isn’t any better. Without funny photosets and Masonry, it looked very bare. I’d say it’s still functional if I also allowed images. My posts just won’t “stack” right. I checked out some other popular Tumblrs as well. Of note is how a lot of the pretty themes seem to break when JS is disabled. Something to think about when you’re developing a theme. text-only

This blog turned out okay, although it’s glaringly obvious how much I rely on images. I’m very careless about providing alt text too. That’s something I should definitely change. I did take a look at all your other blogs too, and everyone was fine. No worries there!

google text-only

Here’s Google without any script or images. Works great! Same for Gmail, but it will ask you to switch to an HTML version before loading your mail.

reddit no js

I was surprised that Reddit also worked just fine. Disbaling Javascript also meant disabling all my add-ons, so RES was a no-go. Fortunately, it didn’t impede my browsing at all save for the lack of night mode.


I decided to check my data usage on my laptop during my little exercise, and AT&T was completely broken. Oh well.

And of course, through all of this, Motherfucking Website worked perfectly. :)

(P.S. I have internet now!)


  1. Bah, I can’t imagine having to use all of your data plan to surf the web :I. My tablet is limited to 1GB soo I know how the whole “ration everything” plays out D’:.

    Tumblr and Pinterest would be the sites that are really heavily image-based. If only there was a legit mobile mode for Tumblr.. Unless you use the app? I know the only image(s) on my blog are the ones from my post and banner :P. Reddit barely has any images except for the ones on posts. So it’s pretty much easy to surf on there XD.

    And after all of that, woo! You got internet now ^__^

  2. It’s good you have Internet now! I’d go crazy if I didn’t have it for so long. My phone data is 2GB a month, but luckily I never reach the limit, even with the surfing I do (of which I do not disable anything), which isn’t as much as some people, but on some days, it’s busy! The most I ever got up to is like 800mb or so. I just try to get on wi-fi as much as I can and save my Internet data, my 4G/3G, for when I am unable to get good wi-fi.

    And this entry reminds me of how I should make my blog mobile friendly. I’ve been meaning to do it, but I haven’t had the time or mental energy to tackle it. I will soon, though! I’d like my own blog to be mobile friendly!
    Tara recently posted…Gyeongnidan FoodieMy Profile

  3. I’ve noticed that we are all dependent on technology these days. Especially the internet. I’m glad that you have your Wi-Fi back. It does suck not having your Wi-Fi, to the point of not being able to do much. When I purchased my Android Samsung Galaxy S3 phone, I had 2GB to myself. My boyfriend’s grandmother purchased a smart-phone and was using up all the DATA! I was not happy about this. The first time I used it up was simply by accident and I paid for it. The others was the grandmother as she didn’t know. I and my boyfriend kept trying to tell her. Until a while back when I learned that they can’t charge you for using your own WI-FI on your smart-phone (duh). So now the data hasn’t been used that much. If it has, it was me when we didn’t have Wi-Fi due to power being out.

    This blog really makes me want to have my blog mobile friendly. I do have a plugin that allows it to be mobile friendly, but I’m still not there yet as to how code my own mobile friendly theme. Unlike Georgina and others that I know.
    Jamie recently posted…Things I Miss : Going to Grandma’sMy Profile

  4. I remember having to use my data plan when I didn’t have internet for a while in uni.

    It was a nightmare. I go on Tumblr frequently, as well, and for a while I thought, “What is the point in life?”

    At least you have internet now – back to the GIFs, we go!
    Chynna recently posted…The Month of Turn UPMy Profile

  5. using data plan to browse sucks so much and it’s not just about the credit, it’s also about the speed. when on data plan, all i do is just browse google and read stuff like video game wikis or basic articles. never did any tumblr-ing or disabled the image/javascript too.

    it’s frustrating when my modem / router refused to work, almost like the world’s ending so yeah no wifi equals to constant sulking and not doing anything else. better not browse than browse with super slow speed.

    i think i’m most stingy with my ipad data plan. i registered for monthly subscription but always try to find free hotspot whenever possible haha
    Alice B recently posted…It’s not arrogance, it’s preferenceMy Profile

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