Getting rid of my internet/computer addiction

Mortal SkyMortal Sky queer punkhedge witchRegistered User regular
edited December 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I know this is probably a topic you guys get every few weeks. Just hear me out.

For the last few months, I've had truly free access to my own PC for the first time in my life. I'm not liking the results. For the past few years, I've been pretty much an addict. Constant forum usage, always a download in the queue, always moving to the next youtube video. It's only gotten worse. I'll F5 multiple forums at once, just in the vain hope someone's maybe replied to something I was reading or even -ohgodhowIsubconsciouslyhopeforthis - quoted me. If I'm not doing that, I'll have booted up STALKER or a pirated episode of some old Gundam show in glorious HD. Hell, chances are by the time I'm finished typing this, I'll have opened a few new tabs just to check random bullshit like my facebook.

I've admitted this before, and I've made attempts to fix it. In the end, however, my muscle memory just calls for that keyboard.

I'm fucking tired of it.

These days, I'm probably using this thing for as many as eight hours a day, though I'd say most days it's more like six. I haven't honestly done my homework in weeks, just barely doing enough to survive the course. I bought myself a new skateboard in October and have only used it once since. I haven't practiced guitar in weeks. I'm in Japan for what might just be the one opportunity in my life, and I'm squandering it on forums and STALKER. I've gained about ten pounds in the last couple of months. I'm not actually overweight yet, but I'm getting too close for comfort. Not to mention I'm becoming more and more physically unfit. And if the rest of my life goes this way, I have no doubts I'll be obese by 50 and dead by 70. That's about thirty years shorter than I'd like to try and last. Not to mention the extra fifteen-plus years of my life spent doing stupid shit like this.

At the same time, I need to be able to use a computer to get my homework done and to get my guitar's digital amp system set up without succumbing to the urge of F5ing facebook and PA for hours. That's gonna be the hard part of this.

So PA, just give me suggestions. This is a tough addiction to break, but I don't want to be a slave to this keyboard any longer. Neither my grades, my health, or my life can afford it.

EDIT: Alright, I think this is gonna be my plan:
-Take out my ethernet cable
-shut down my computer when I'm not using it
-put a sticky note on my monitor reminding me that the computer is for guitar and MS Word use only
-actually doing homework, practicing my guitar, and taking my skateboard out. Erry day.
-Reading and writing. I love writing, I love reading. I haven't done either in forever.
-Take a walk every day
-try and meet new people (subcategory: get a girl)
-If I must check my facebook or GMail, use the PSP. Once a day.
-No forums after tonight. Cold turkey.

Mortal Sky on

Posts

  • noobertnoobert Registered User
    edited November 2010
    In the morning, make a list of everything you hope/need to do that day, use a pad and pen for this. (So you don't sit down at your computer)

    Do not turn on your computer until you have done all those things.

    Easy.

    Example of one of my lists (this was for Sunday):
    Ride 25Km
    Revise chapter 7 - 8 Oracle
    Pre cook chicken
    Finish user documentation (tenants, owners)
    Facebook aaron, jasmin, abby

    Note that the computer related tasks are last, and the one that WILL distract me is very last. Things I actually really don't want to do are first.

    noobert on
  • Mortal SkyMortal Sky queer punk hedge witchRegistered User regular
    edited November 2010
    I'm writing that one down, Noobert. That is some good shit right there.

    Mortal Sky on
  • zatarzatar Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    My suggestion would be to setup two accounts on your computer, one administrator and one user, the user account get's locked down, not allowed to install anything (other than what you need to work / homework) and whitelist of sites / webpapges the user account is allowed to visit, and only allowed to logon between certain times of the day.

    I am not sure if this is doable with windows 7 /vista home edition, it might be doable with the local computer with the professional edition, and I can't go into specifics, because I don't know everything you would need to do to get this working. :)

    And of course let a friend you trust change the administrator password and keep that safe.

    Does that setup sound like what you are needing?

    zatar on
    Playing as Tvisling Draygo on Europa-Farstar
  • Mortal SkyMortal Sky queer punk hedge witchRegistered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Maybe. I just want to form habits, not so much limit myself for limiting's sake, if you get what I mean. If I don't have good habits, then the next time I get a full access computer all I'm gonna do is revert. Trust me, I was limited for three years (EDIT: By a system my dad set up) and never formed any habits relating to outside efforts, and all it did was make me lust for more.

    Mortal Sky on
  • edited November 2010
    I think noobert covered it, really.

    You don't need to disconnect your Internet or anything; what you need to do is get your priorities sorted.

    You're obviously aware that your addiction is harmful so you have a solid foundation for action against it. So yeah, make a list every morning with all the difficult items first and don't even touch the computer until they're done.

    Willpower, my friend. That's all it is. There's no point cutting out the things you enjoy - and, clearly, you enjoy teh interwebz - you just need to moderate them.

    AdamBomb on
    I'll be back for breakfast.
  • noobertnoobert Registered User
    edited November 2010
    Good luck! They say it can take up to 3 weeks to form a habit, but if you can manage it with the lists, you'll find you're achieving so much more.

    What's even better, when you have assignments and what not, you'll be working on them WELL before they are due, and hopefully finishing them totally stress free and ahead of time.

    I call it the Get Shit Done™ method ;)

    noobert on
  • noobertnoobert Registered User
    edited November 2010
    I just read your edit. Don't try and change too much at a time. Start small and work up to your overall goal. The key is consistency.

    Try and get something like this done every morning:
    - Walk: 4Km (or 8 or 60 mins or whatever)
    - Shower
    - Breakfast
    - Guitar: 45 mins
    - X chapters of Book Y

    Then just continue you with your life as normal.

    noobert on
  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    zatar wrote: »
    My suggestion would be to setup two accounts on your computer, one administrator and one user, the user account get's locked down, not allowed to install anything (other than what you need to work / homework) and whitelist of sites / webpapges the user account is allowed to visit, and only allowed to logon between certain times of the day.

    I am not sure if this is doable with windows 7 /vista home edition, it might be doable with the local computer with the professional edition, and I can't go into specifics, because I don't know everything you would need to do to get this working. :)

    And of course let a friend you trust change the administrator password and keep that safe.

    Does that setup sound like what you are needing?

    If I were going to try this I'd probably do a slight variation on it.

    a 'Work' user, and an 'Admin' user. Work user is limited, admin is not, but I'd have the passwords to both.

    Just log in to work user until all my work is done then swap over once I'm done to let myself dick around on the internet once I've 'earned' it.

    Wezoin on
  • harry.timbershaftharry.timbershaft Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    It honestly sounds like you're obessive-compulsive and it is manifesting itself through the use of your computer.

    harry.timbershaft on
  • Draco_AuricDraco_Auric Registered User
    edited November 2010
    It might be helpful to find a new hobby that requires you be somewhere you can't access a computer. Joining some kind of club would also help with meeting new people, and a physical hobby would help out with the health goals.

    Draco_Auric on
    brick2jv6.jpg
  • Glass.CannonGlass.Cannon Registered User
    edited November 2010
    I did this all the time in college, and I'm not even particularly social on the net. I ended up spending far more time on YouTube and similar sites just because it was an easy distraction when I didn't want to do school work for a few more minutes (which quickly became hours). I noticed that in the rare cases when I actually had nothing to do I spent more time with other things than usual. I don't know if this is the case for you, but you might want to try getting all your work done ahead of time and see if the subconsious desire to distract yourself is still there.

    To elaborate a bit, whenever I had work to do I'd tell myself that I'd do it just a little later, then surf the net some more. I kept doing this instead of going out because I knew that at some point I'd have to get around to that homework. I couldn't actually go out anywhere because I knew I had work to do, but I wanted to avoid doing it for as long as possible, so I'd distract myself for most of my free time until the last possible moment. With the work out of the picture, you might find that the desire to surf goes with it.

    Glass.Cannon on
  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    A lot of what you're experiencing, I wager, is depression and isolation from your study abroad experience. Especially if your language skills aren't that good, you probably feel cut off and are not making friends well. I think this gets mislabeled "culture shock' by a lot of the study abroad secretariat. That's part of the story, but it's also that you don't know anyone at all in a strange city. I struggled with the same thing when I was abroad - the czechs were so hard to know that I withdrew to the internet part of the time or said fuck it and hopped on a plane to italy to visit this milanese girl I was dating.

    You need to force yourself to socialize and to approach people at school or wherever else you can get away with it or you'll feel like you wasted your time there and regret it in perpetuity.

    kaliyama on
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  • MugaazMugaaz Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    I haven't seen many people have success with this sort of thing. It's not realistic to say you are just going to take out a 6-8 hour part of your day and replace it with NOT doing that thing. It's way easier to instead become interested in something else and pursue that, then naturally it fills that time that was occupied before.

    You can't exactly go home and go "Ok, for the next 8 hours I'm going to not use my computer. Ready, set, GO!". What now?

    Mugaaz on
  • [Michael][Michael] Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    If you use Firefox, you could try using Leechblock on top of all the other suggestions, just kinda like a last line of defense against...yourself, I guess. You can limit the time allowed on any site you want or block them entirely or block them during specific times of the day or lots of other options.

    My settings currently allow me 30 minutes per day on YouTube, PA Forums, gmail, and news sites (total, not each) because I lose track of time really easily. In order to get around it, I'd have to type a 64 character long alphanumeric string, which is definitely enough time for me to realize "no, I really don't need to see that video right this instant" or if I really and truly have nothing else to do, I can just take it off (which has been like twice ever).

    [Michael] on
  • RadicalTurnipRadicalTurnip Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Not to go all biblical on you...but the advice fits. Flee from temptation.

    Everyone else has pretty well covered advice (at least, they thought of a lot better stuff than I do) but I've always noticed with myself that if I'm tempted to do something and I just sit around "not quite" doing it (but not distancing myself from the possibility) Then I eventually give in and do it anyway, and then I feel like crap and just wasted a whole bunch of time (not to mention willpower) not-doing it.

    So, I guess my advice is when you know that's what you want to do, make it hard/impossible for yourself to do it. The going on a walk/run is a great idea, if it's possible. If not, call up a friend and hang out, or even grab a book (whatever type you like. If you don't enjoy reading, then grab an informational book) and head outside somewhere to read.

    RadicalTurnip on
  • warbanwarban Who the Hoof do you think we are? Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    So PA, just give me suggestions. This is a tough addiction to break.

    If all else fails... And this isn't really the advice you should listen to / try first but you could take your addiction mobile by getting a smart phone. Most of the internet addicted crap I used to do circles around is now on my Iphone and I spend a lot less time stuck at the computer because of it. Granted this doesn't fix your problem but it gets you off the computer. Which is half the battle.

    warban on
    ACE ✰ PONY ✰ DETECTIVE!
  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    You could try a complete disconnect. Cut yourself off from the internet/computer/mobile competely. A bit drastic but try it for a week and see what you do with your free time. If there is video games around get them out of the way as well.

    darkmayo on
  • PaperPrittPaperPritt Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Ah Mortal Sky, i really feel for you. I've been there. I'm still there, mostly :D but i managed to lessen my usage a bit. Here's how :

    1)No more downloading off the internet. I want something, i buy it, no exceptions. That will drastically reduce computer usage.
    2)No more than 3 different forums. You really don't need them in the first place, and you'll quickly realize that you won't miss them.
    3)When browsing, no more than 3, 4 tabs. Close them as you read them. Also, limit your time! After one hour on the internet, that's enough. Take a break.
    4)Facebook. That can be a huge problem. But make a point of not checkin on everyone everyday. Close friends maybe every 2 or 3 days, and the rest once a week maybe.

    Finally, and this is important : find something to do while you're not browsing. Anything. Preferrably away from the computer.

    PaperPritt on
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