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I seriously think I am becoming addicted to the internet. I live the life of a recluse. I work at home, I have my children at home all the time, and have little to no social contact. I use the internet for that contact.

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Get rid of your internet connection at home? Would that help? What you are doing isn't fair to yourself or your kids. Get your butt off the computer and do some activities with your kids. If you can't do this yourself, get help from a therapist.

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If it's really an addiction, you have to swear it off completely. Do your paid work, and then shut the computer off.

Or, if you want a little bit of time, set a kitchen timer for a half hour, and tell yourself that's it for the night. When the timer goes off, the computer gets shut down.

And shut it down all the way---don't let it go to sleep so you can just hit a key and wake it up again.

If you are using a credit card that you shouldn't be using, freeze it in a big block of ice. You can use a milk carton or juice carton to do it. If it's frozen in a block of ice, you can't use it. And you can't get it out quickly. (This tip is from Karuna, and I think it's a great idea as a temporary fix.)

Or give your credit card to a trusted friend and tell them you can't have it back until you have paid off your debt.

If you are in therapy, maybe your tdoc could give you some suggestions to help you with this.

olga

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I was that way until very recently. I found it helped to limit my time online to x-hours, however much you think is reasonable. Fill your time with other things, such as the activities you mentioned. You'll find that it's not hard. Once you're doing things in the real world, it's surprising how quickly you will forget about the internet.

What do you do with your kids? How about engaging them in some games, or helping them with homework. The possibilities are endless. The benefit of spending more time with your children will pay off in spades for both you and them.

Another thing that helps is not to turn on the computer until the evening. That trick helped me to be more productive during the day.

Every time I find myself aimlessly clicking away, I just shut the browser down and walk outside. Since I've been into gardening lately, I usually become quickly engaged in something else.

There's nothing wrong with checking your mail from the dating sites. I'm sure it gives you a certain amount of pleasure. The idea is just to limit your time.

Hope this helps. : )

(edited to fix smiley...)

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That's the problem, I work from home, so I cant just leave it at work. My children are also very young, 4 and 1 1/2, so they arent in school yet.

I definitely need to shut the computer all the way off. And I decided I'm going to try to limit my checking sites until after I've completed 15 reports or whatever.... that will help my production at least!

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That's the problem, I work from home, so I cant just leave it at work. My children are also very young, 4 and 1 1/2, so they arent in school yet.

I definitely need to shut the computer all the way off. And I decided I'm going to try to limit my checking sites until after I've completed 15 reports or whatever.... that will help my production at least!

That is definitely a start! You *have* to put your work first. Setting a goal for work productivity should be your first priority. Is 15 reports the minimum for your job? If so, up that - then give yourself an hour of internet time as a reward for being so productive. But only an hour (or two if you think that's reasonable). It's amazing what you can get done online in two hours.

I was the same way in Virginia when I was out of work and collecting unemployment. I was supposed to be looking for work, but instead, I was putting out x amount of resumes and surfing the net for the rest of the day and most of the night. I also spent way too much time online when I first moved to MS instead of studying. I try to limit myself to two hours a day - after I do my homework (which is online) - during the week.

I feel your frustration.

You can kick this... I know you can.

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I have a slight internet problem as well... I'm a member of at least 15 forums, two of which I co-moderate. Thankfully with work, I'm not on every day... but on my days off, it's at least three hours.

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I know what you mean... I'm currently unemployed and I look for jobs over the internet and I find myself checking the social sites that I am a member of. It is quite addicting. We're in this together, I'll limit my time on those sites as well ;)

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haven't done so well guys. I put my kids to bed at 8:30 at night and they are up by 10 a.m. I find myself sitting online until 6 a.m. and not getting ANY sleep. I'm getting nothing done around the house at all. I've gotta do something about this. I keep checking the different social network sites over and over again one after another. I have it hooked up to my cell phone and when I lay in bed when I DO go to bed, I sit and check them on my phone! IMing takes up a lot of my time too.

I used to be bad with forums like this and spend a LOT of time on those. But now I wake up and go straight to the computer chair and rarely get up unless I have to pee, cook, or get my kids something.

this is so awful. I never thought it could be a real addiction. I've been around addiction my whole life and struggle with food addiction. But this is completely crazy for me!

I know what it is. I don't socialize. I have no social outlet. I'm stuck home with the kids all day, I work full time at home, so I never see actual people and the social networking is a way to meet people and talk to them. I also hate myself physically and don't think I could ever date, so 'dating' online is a way where I don't have to be seen but can feel connected to someone.

Lame but true. ;)

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It's not lame. The Internet is an easy, convenient way to socialize. It can be hard to balance it out with real life, sometimes. Maybe you could start by doing some volunteer work, or join some real-world group. Perhaps volunteer at an animal shelter, look for a women's group that suits you, find a group on Meetup.com that fits your interests, join a book discussion group, help at a food distribution center/homeless shelter, or something like that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tell your friends that you IM with that you would like to get off the internet at a certain time every day. Make it at least an hour before you actually have to get off the internet. Have people yell at you if they see you online after then.

Leave your phone out of your bedroom.

I have a program called Workrave (it is free, I downloaded it; it's mainly to prevent repetitive stress injuries) that can set a daily limit on computer usage. It will just freeze your computer after the limit. You can make it allow you to postpone/skip the limit, or you can make it so that once it freezes the computer, there's nothing you can do but go away from it.

Also if you have a laptop, maybe try going out of the house to work a bit, like a coffee shop? Do you have anyone to take care of the kids if you go out?

Have you considered that part of the problem may be insomnia? I think when I am cooped up all day I would not be ready for bed at a normal time. I would not get enough exercise (this happens to me a lot, even if I do get out). So I would want to keep doing amusing things on the internet until late.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This was a tricky one for me because it was so open-ended, it was consuming my days and nights. One day I started setting very strict limits for myself on what boards/forums/threads to read and way fewer to post. I bookmarked or subscribed to a few key things rather than browse everything. So I kept it as a daily ritual, but altered what I decided was "complete." And I posted/PM'd that I had too much going on in my life and would barely be around, which felt relieving. Good luck to you.

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