How To Heal Internet Addiction
Are You Spending Your Entire Time Online?
Internet addiction is an obsessive desire to use the Internet and incapability to go offline. Some elite places of public write on signboards in their premises: “We’ve got no Wi-Fi! Talk to each other!”
An Internet addicted family may spend Christmas time together in the living room, but each member ought to be using a computer/laptop/tablet/phone of their own. They greet themselves for the holidays on the social networks. An Internet addict once confessed:
“My Internet stopped. I met some very cool people. They said they are my family!”
There are some wonderful jokes about Internet addiction and how ridiculously we spent our time online. Here’s one of my favorite:
So I have been trying to make friends outside of Facebook and thought I would try applying the same practices. Today I go outside my building and just start walking down the street. As I pass by people I let them know what I had to eat, how I feel right now, what I did last night, what I will do later etc… I thought it would be interesting to hand out pictures of my family, my dog and me doing some of my favorite things. If they were talking I would stop to listen to their conversation and then give them the good old “thumbs up” and let them know I like them.
So it actually worked!!!! I already have four people following me: two police officers, a private investigator, and a psychiatrist.
Basically, that’s the condition a lot of young people nowadays are in. Some of them realize it robs them of real experiences, others are so anti-social, that this is their only way of communicating. In any case, most of the people would love it if they could spend their time doing more “real stuff.” But how to break the spell of Internet?
I did research and it turned out Internet addiction is not much different than other regular forms of addiction – like smoking, coffee, or using excessive amounts of salt, or even pot. One of the ways to fight it is to introduce some rituals. Whenever you feel the urge to browse say Facebook – get up from your chair and walk around it or drink a glass of water. Find some activities to replace screens with.
You need to do something tangible:
Enroll in a dancing class, paint, cook, read, play an instrument. Schedule events for yourself that are offline. If you do mindless things on the web, use it to find a book to read or research. Learn a new language or basic greetings on any of the languages.
However, most people in marketing must be spending an awful amount of time online. But we do not call Internet addiction in this case – it is learning.
Still, 12 hours online is really bad for your health. You have to be disciplined and find other activities – maintain your home, or your body, or spend time with friends…do something new each week. Re-join real life. Go outside: hang out, try something cool in real life. Learn of something DIY and create stuff. Read books, help out your family, take care of your aging pet. Be sure to maintain a lot of offline activities.
Any activity that you use to gain pleasure and to escape reality can become an addiction – something you are so emotionally and psychologically attached to, that it prevents you from interacting with others. But how is one to get rid of it?
Try spending less time on Internet every day.
Ask yourself: “Is this necessary for me now?” All the information overload, the surfing, the cyber-relationships?
Make yourself busy. Do not sit idle. Indulge in sports and hobbies. Try meditation. Make a schedule and stick to it. Help everybody out. You need actions, movement, life. Don’t stand in one place – just go!