I remember when I first encountered the internet, in my first year at university in 1994. The university had its own message board - kind of a cross between a BBS and Facebook (bet they wish they’d monetised that one!), and then they rolled out the Mosaic browser for us to use and explore the WWW.
Ever since then, I’ve spent a heck of a lot of time on the web. Not so much the Facebook/Twitter thing - I have limited use for that - but message boards and just browsing the web. It’s like being in the world’s biggest library but there’s always the feeling that there’s more to read and that you’re constantly missing out on something.
It does make my work suffer at times, as it is rather easy to get distracted with everything ever in the history of mankind right there on your computer. And when you find yourself clicking one more link at 3.30am rather than going to bed which you were going to do four hours ago… (and no I don’t mean that sort of link). And yes the SDMB is a big part of it - there’s just so much to read even here, dammit!
Anyway, the point of this rambling - has anyone else felt this way and decided to cut their internet usage drastically? I don’t mean totally - I’d still have to use email for work, etc, but social surfing, timewasting etc. How did it go? (I assume it didn’t go all that well, seeing as you are here reading this post…)
I’ve tried. And failed. It honestly feels very addictive to me, and I spend way too much time online, but I’m not sure how to make myself stop. I don’t think it’s a particularly constructive force in my life. Yet here I sit. Bah. I’m signing off now.
There are a lot of places I go regularly that have no internet and I have no problem. And if I’m doing something I usually don’t want to go on the internet, at least for very long. But if I’m winding down or tired or depressed, I get that whole ‘just one more page’ itch and then I’m screwed.
I think I’m totally addicted and I know it’s not good for me. I guess the first step is admitting it, but I’m not ready to give it up. Much of my internet usage helps me socialise with friends, such as playing online games with them and discussing it via email (cricket management game in this case), or communicating with distant friends via Facebook. Plus I work in television so the internet is the only real way to keep abreast of news and trends which I’m expected to do as part of my job.
So this addiction will keep on growing.
In a way I think this is one of the reasons I’m on the dope, because at least I can learn something along the way.
A couple times when I moved, I couldn’t get Internet service hooked up right away so I had to go a few days without. And no TV or phone either. It was torture. And don’t even make me think about the times the power went out. AND that meant my car was stuck in the parking garage too, so I couldn’t even travel to civilization.
I did actually. My particular addiction is news, but I knew I needed to stay completely away from the web to break the cycle. So I stopped going to any websites (except to check on banking and pay bills). Lasted for 3 weeks, and I’m still doing pretty good on keeping my news consumption down. Its certainly not where I want to be in terms of time wasted online, but its a whole lot better than it was.
to be more specific: I was on vacation around Christmas for 2 weeks, and I was able to completely avoid being online over that entire time. That made week 3 really easy when I went back to work. then in week 4 it started crumbling.
Last week I was in a place with no internet, in fact no computer at all, and no phone reception. I enjoyed it a surprising amount. Usually I spend most of my day near enough to a computer to be bothered by email, and most of the evening messing about with the internet. Instead I read, and watched movies, and walked, and looked at the world. It was good.
I’ve tried many times. I know I’m on the computer in general WAY too much and that it’s cutting into time I could be spending with my daughter. Unfortunately, one of two things happen when I try going cold turkey. I get a lot of anxiety, and am at a complete loss as to what to do with myself. I have no clue how to entertain myself and I’m constantly thinking about the computer/internet. Or, I get super depressed. Sadly, the internet is pretty much my only source of socialization and if I’m not able to interact with people daily, it kicks my usually dormant depression right into gear. So…I just gave up trying. Better to try and just cut down my time on the computer than to quit it all together.
If I have something else to do I want to do more, then it’s not hard to cut out the internet. The hard part is when I don’t have anything higher on my priority list. So if I’m on vacation doing stuff? Okay without it. Want to spend a weekend reading an intriguing book series instead? Yup. But just a normal day when I get home from work? Straight to the laptop.