Coping With Internet Addiction

All right, I’ll go ahead and say it: I have an internet addiction.

It used to be that I would read a lot of blogs. (Which I still do.) Or that I would read the New York Times for work (which again, still do.) But then, when I got home and finished my work, I would be able to turn off, do chores, or write my own damn blog post, or read fiction, or watch TV, or something … anything.

And yet lately I find myself spending more and more time doing nothing online that I can really call anything other than dicking around on the internets.

I would like to blame Facebook for this.

Or Dave for spending all his time in front of a computer.

Or life for making it impossible to really unplug.

But the fact of the matter is, when it comes down to it, it’s on me.

I have large medium-sized any ambitions with my life. I would like to put my photo albums together. I would like to watch The Wire (no I haven’t seen it. Yes I know it’s the best thing ever made. Shut up already.) I would like to read some good books. Hell, occasionally I think about writing my own book, although I’d settle for blogging regularly. But these things aren’t going to happen if I waste my life on the internet.

So I need some boundaries. Some rules to follow. It’s difficult when you can’t just completely cut off — unlike some addictions, I can’t just give up the internet full stop.

But I need to be able to shut down and get other stuff done.

Suggestions?

6 responses to “Coping With Internet Addiction

  1. Hear ya, sister! If I stop reading one category of things on the Internet, I am sucked into another. Heck, I should be closing down my computer right now. Actually, I am going to do that! Right after this comment. I have a friend who sets a time. 10 minutes on Facebook. Off. 5 minutes on Twitter. Off. And 25 minutes for checking blogs or whatever. I may try that. I have been sticking to the idea that I only am on the computer certain times of day but that hasn’t been working so well. Anywho, shutting down. xo!

  2. Ha! I cancelled my FaceBook account. The thing that pushed me over the edge was when certain family members discovered it and suddenly it was no longer a place to hang out with friends, but rather a place to be harangued for whatever transgression I had committed recently.

    But the truth is it was really just a place to make small talk with people who treated me like shit in high school, and really, what’s the point? I still do WAY too much other internet shit though. I work online so it’s pretty hard to just not turn the computer on, but I have to make rules for myself about turning it off when work is done.

  3. Washington state was the first place in the US to open an Internet addiction clinic. Probably a lot easier than going to South Korea where lot of work is going in to helping those afflicted with your condition. However, until your child starves because you spend all your time raising your virtual child I think you might not need to check yourself in, but keep an eye on it.

  4. Holy crap, an internet addiction clinic??? I had no IDEA!

    Anyhoo, similar to what green bean mentioned, time limits. I’ve heard that one way to be more productive at work is to check your email, say, for half an hour three times a day (or something), and the rest of the time, do other actual work. Now. I hardly ever do this because a) I’m productive ENOUGH at work, thankyouverymuch and 2) work is where I get all of my blog reading done so that I can semi-unplug at home. However, I would think that saying, I’m only going to peruse the interwebz from 8-8:30 tonight would do a world of good. I mean, who cares if you’re not always checking your twatter feeds? And those emails will still be there tomorrow! Promise.

  5. GB, time limits are good. It’s weird. I just realized that I want to cut down on my Internet addiction, but I don’t want OTHER people to cut down. Otherwise, no one will read my blog!!

    EcoCat, yes sometimes I think about canceling my FB account. At this point I still feel the good outweighs the bad, but I take it day by day.

    Bailey, you crack me up. Also, my tomagatchi says hello.

    Kimberly, heh. This is why I don’t twatter. One less thing to waste time on.

  6. I typically take one day off every week. Vacations are also a good time to truly unplug and the longer the vacation, the harder it becomes to get back into the plugged life.

    Also, I read lamebook which keeps me from being addicted to facebook.

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