Author Topic: Getting off the internets, again :(  (Read 2785 times)

rpr

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Getting off the internets, again :(
« on: June 08, 2017, 05:54:18 PM »
The first step is to admit that I have a problem.

I am an internet addict.
I spend too much time on the internet.
I need help getting off it.

My primary addictions (%ages are approximate guesses):
1. Forums (primarily this one) - 50% (includes surfing links posted on such forums)
2. Youtube videos - 30%
3. News websites - 10%
4. Other websites - 10%

I don't have any other accounts such as Facebook, Twitter etc. Also eye strain prevents surfing on phones.

What has worked to a limited extent in the past?
-- Focus and other control apps/extensions for browsers
-- Unplug and stay out of the house all day on a weekend
-- Joining in local activities and events

There have been some extended periods where I have been able to make the above methods work such as stretches of a couple of weeks. But I always end up coming back.

The plan:

Quote
-- For the first week, limit non-work related internet usage to a total of 1 hour  everyday.   
-- No internet after 8 pm every day
-- On weekends, stay off the computer all day Saturday.

Accountability:

Quote
-- Report total time spent on the internet to this thread every single weekday.

Anyone wants to join me. Any suggestions.

The challenge starts now.

SingleMomDebt

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2017, 06:55:52 PM »
No. You should stay on. I enjoy your presence on the forums. ;)

Best to you on reducing your time on the internet. I've thought about staying off after 8ish. To go read or something.  But that is the laziest time I have to catch up on internet stuff.

Who am I kidding, I am also on it all day personally for one thing or another.

lizzzi

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2017, 05:08:00 AM »
Getting a puppy helped me a lot--you have to get up and take it outside so frequently--plus the long walks that are more than just the potty walks--plus the endless dog games of tug/fetch/chase/keepaway--you'll find you can't spend nearly as much time on the computer. My yorkypoo Bandit is a good little friend and the best anti-internet solution I've found.

BTDretire

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2017, 09:09:24 AM »
Yep, same here. I get up push my mouse to fire up the computer and go make my coffee.
Then I check my mail, read the headlines on my homepage and maybe click a few.
  I go to the CNBC Futures page and see what direction the market will open. I have a REIT
guru I subscribe to, so I open his page, check for new articles and review any chat.
I'll check in on the MMM forum and maybe read a few threads, when the market opens I'll pull up my Google Finance page and see how my stocks are doing.
    I may have clicked on some links while on the MMM forum which often leads to surfing some
youtube videos, somehow I end up there, I've already watched about an hours worth this morning. Back to follow my stocks on Google Finance and check in on the chat from my REIT guru. My hit MMM again. Check, my hobby forums.
 And so now it's 10am, I drank my coffee and wasted the last 3-1/2 hours on the computer.
 But, It's not like it was a miserable time, I like what I read!
 I have not yet admitted addiction publicly, personally, well ya. :-)

runewell

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2017, 10:57:57 AM »
-- Report total time spent on the internet to this thread every single weekday.

You're just trying to bake in an extra excuse to be on the internet.
Please leave Dicey out of this! Have you not been paying any attention? Trolls are not welcome here!

rpr

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2017, 12:42:54 PM »
Chippewa -- Thanks for your kind words ;)

Ok, yesterday was a failure.

90 minutes on the internet thanks to watching BBC news following UK elections.
Only 10 mins on Youtube though.




rpr

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2017, 12:50:58 PM »
-- Report total time spent on the internet to this thread every single weekday.

You're just trying to bake in an extra excuse to be on the internet.

runewell -- you are on to my plan ;)

rpr

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2017, 11:05:10 AM »
Friday's report: Fail! 2+ hours on the internets :(

Saturday: Huge success. Almost completely unplugged except for minor direction checking on google maps. No surfing though.

Somehow it seems that after work, I use surfing as a way of decompressing. For example on Saturday, I was out pretty much all day walking to various places and in general having a good time. No decompression necessary.

@ spartana -- thanks for your comment. I'm  sure not having home internet access leads to not having so much time wasted. Unfortunately, for work reasons, we have to have internet at home :(

dreaming

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2017, 11:42:43 AM »
I go in streaks of a little or a lot of wasted time. At the end of the day, it is mostly me beating myself up before bed at the amount of time spent only to do the same thing the next day after vowing not too.  I like app games and Facebook (for blogger posts, I have hidden most people) and forums.  As I type this, I have already wasted 3 hrs this morning.  Usually on week nights it is a way to decompress after work and after the kids have gone to bed.  However, I have a stitching project I need to finish, and I find that relaxing, but for some reason, this iPad is a bigger draw.  UGH!  I need to think of ways to stay off.  Maybe I'll have my kids hide the iPad.  ;)

Lepetitange3

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2017, 12:04:36 PM »
I'm in...although not sure I want to report back daily because that will lead to me endlessly being on the forums ;)

I need to use the internet for work, and then just sort of keep doing random reading things.  Realistically, I'm trying to get off the phone in general  more so maybe I need to use the desktop or iPad for anything besides texts/calls. 

We shall see.  Thanks for starting!  Hopefully this will help me cut back down and enjoy more "real" life!

rpr

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2017, 02:25:48 PM »
@ dreaming -- Indeed I'm constantly beating myself up for this as well. Just like others (ab)use other addictive substances, I feel I use the internets in a similar way. 

@ Lepetitange3 -- Welcome to this channel thread. Do whatever works for you. Indeed, internet is absolutely required for work. And then you get distracted. Some people have policies that they will read and respond to emails at a certain time of day. My work activities are so varied that it is difficult for me to stick to rigid schedules. Maybe that is the problem.

The weekend was reasonably good. Was off on Monday. Did a lot of activity, walking, hiking even though it was really hot outside. But at least I was away from the computer.

Sunday: 2+ hours
Monday: almost 6 hours (mostly youtube)

powskier

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2017, 12:00:08 AM »
Something that helped me is reading a great book called "Irresistible, the rise of addictive technology and the business of keeping us hooked by Adam Alter.  Just reading about how this things work to hook us made it a lot easier to manage. This is not a self help guide but just information about how things are made to work.

When trying to quit a negative behavior I find it helpful to replace it by something else, e.g instead of web surfing between 6 and 9pm I will go for a walk an dread a book or I will read 1 book per month,etc

Has anyone found a good timer that will install on computer and you can preset for lockout/warnings/etc?

marty998

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2017, 05:32:26 AM »
My primary addictions (%ages are approximate guesses):
1. Forums (primarily this one) - 50% (includes surfing links posted on such forums)

This is embarrassing. I spend about 95% of my online time here.

2Cent

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2017, 05:42:08 AM »
My problem is that if I stop browsing the web, I will find something else equally unproductive to do. My solution is to do things together with others. Even in work the temptation to check the news, or even this forum is quite strong. Working in a pair helps so much.

skip207

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2017, 05:26:39 AM »
I would say I spend at least 4 hours just "surfing" each day.

However, I don't think that's a bad thing as a lot of it is educational, watching DIY videos on Youtube etc.

I probably watch <2hrs TV per week. Rewind 10-15 years and that time would be watching TV.

So personally, I think its a good thing.

I don't do faceballs or snapchat etc though.  I don't see much value in that.

obstinate

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2017, 10:00:33 AM »
It's interesting how we all have our own bad internet habits. For most websites I use, using it decreases my desire to use it for a while, and the effect is self-limiting. For a few, it takes too long for this to happen, and I end up spending too much time.

For me, Facebook and Twitter are the culprits. I have zero self-control, to the point where I recently reinstalled the Facebook app on my phone after realizing that having removed it just made me use the website through Chrome. D: So, yeah, I have a problem too.

I happened to stumble across your thread, having independently started taking steps to curb my own use of these sites yesterday. Here's what I've done:

- Uninstalled FB and Twitter from my phone.
- Logged out of both sites on all my devices. The idea is that the additional friction of logging in and getting my two-factor authentication token should give me enough time to realize that I'm doing something I ought not be.
- On my work device, blackholed these hosts in my /etc/hosts file, along with Google Plus for good measure.

See, I have no self-control. I can't just do a little of a thing. So I've decided that nothing is preferable to my default, "too much" amount. My intention is to stop going on these sites entirely, although after a few days I will log in to Facebook once to post that I won't be on Facebook any more.

That said, I do want to still show pictures of my son to my friends, so I'm allowing myself to stay on one social network, Instagram. For me, this network has never caused that self-sustaining addictive feedback reaction, so it seems safe enough to keep it.

I wish you the best in your journey!

rpr

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2017, 04:42:28 PM »
Reviving this thread.

obstinate -- Thank you.

My update: Staying away worked for part of the time. Initially it worked fairly well but more recently I've been spending way too much time on the internets.

This is what I find:

1. If activity is interesting and engrossing (get into flow), then stay off the internets.
2. If activity is boring (chores), then go to internets
3. If activity is too difficult (or even perceived to be so), then escape to the internets  (Procrastinate)

I think Cases 2 & 3 is what happens a lot of the time.

So how to manage this issue and stay away from the nets. It is not easy. I do not have will power when it comes to the internets. But how come I have will power to save and not spend money. Willpower in one area does not translate to will power in another :( Puzzled.

I read somewhere in a book that Willpower resource for each person was finite. So maybe I should reallocate the Willpower?

How do people retain focus?

Problem is difficult, no easy answers.

JLee

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2017, 04:48:37 PM »
I should probably do this. I get enough down time at work that I really don't need to be on the internet while I'm at home.

gerardc

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2017, 05:49:21 PM »
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat_Park

"Alexander's hypothesis was that drugs do not cause addiction, and that the apparent addiction to opiate drugs commonly observed in laboratory rats exposed to them is attributable to their living conditions, and not to any addictive property of the drug itself."

aka it's not the internet fault, your life just lacks excitement :D (I'm the same)

JLee

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2017, 06:53:39 PM »
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat_Park

"Alexander's hypothesis was that drugs do not cause addiction, and that the apparent addiction to opiate drugs commonly observed in laboratory rats exposed to them is attributable to their living conditions, and not to any addictive property of the drug itself."

aka it's not the internet fault, your life just lacks excitement :D (I'm the same)

My work lacks excitement lately, so...yeah, that seems reasonable!

rpr

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2017, 07:28:11 PM »
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat_Park

"Alexander's hypothesis was that drugs do not cause addiction, and that the apparent addiction to opiate drugs commonly observed in laboratory rats exposed to them is attributable to their living conditions, and not to any addictive property of the drug itself."

aka it's not the internet fault, your life just lacks excitement :D (I'm the same)

My work lacks excitement lately, so...yeah, that seems reasonable!

Thanks for that link.

I do agree that it is not the internets fault. The internet addiction is more of a symptom than the root cause.

There are two things: Work and Life.

In both of these, there are periods of excitement, drudgery, and stress. How do you stay focused during your moments of drudgery and stress  without seeking escape? That is the question. Some people say that you just got to work through it. I don't think it is so easy. But maybe these muscles needed to overcome the escapist attitude are weaker in some people and don't get trained.

Maybe we need more excitement via play time. But you can't force excitement.   

Still working on this.

gerardc

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2017, 08:44:24 PM »
It's interesting. There seems to be 2 kinds of people who overcome an addiction:
1- Those who build willpower, resist and power-through the urges;
2- Those who move, change their environment, FIRE, get social, etc. (the Rat park)

The two mechanisms are related and reinforce each other for sure, i.e. use #1 to kickstart a change, then add #2 to solidify the change. But if #2 is not possible due to an overly-constrained life, then #1 will become exhausting, and probably not even healthier than relapsing anyway. #2 is really the long-term cure.


In both of these, there are periods of excitement, drudgery, and stress. How do you stay focused during your moments of drudgery and stress  without seeking escape? That is the question. Some people say that you just got to work through it. I don't think it is so easy. But maybe these muscles needed to overcome the escapist attitude are weaker in some people and don't get trained.

Maybe we need more excitement via play time. But you can't force excitement.   

Still working on this.

The only thing we can do in the meantime, is reduce drudgery or become more efficient at it, relax, then use will-power and stop being a baby that wants everything right now. Spot when stress is too high and let go before shit hits the fan.

rpr

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2017, 11:53:12 PM »
gerardc -- Thanks for this discussion. You make good points.

I recall reading that addiction treatments such as AA are successful if environment is changed (#2). The same is also true for other habits i.e. food. Need a clean environment.

The problem with the internets is that it is always present. With my work I just can't avoid it. All work requires remote connection.  So how to do #2. Solutions of will power  (#1) invariably fail. Maybe remove the browser from the computer?

   

gerardc

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2017, 12:22:31 AM »
gerardc -- Thanks for this discussion. You make good points.

I recall reading that addiction treatments such as AA are successful if environment is changed (#2). The same is also true for other habits i.e. food. Need a clean environment.

The problem with the internets is that it is always present. With my work I just can't avoid it. All work requires remote connection.  So how to do #2. Solutions of will power  (#1) invariably fail. Maybe remove the browser from the computer?

Maybe allow it at work but quit internet at home.

Personally I don't think it's possible to avoid coping if you can't change your environment. You need to find a way to escape. That's the beauty of FIRE and freedom in general, you can optimize for what you want/like. With a cubicle desk job at a computer, I don't think it's possible. All office workers end up gaining 15 lbs, or drinking alcohol, or cigarettes, or porn, or internet/TV to "decompress" at night. They all do; they just have to. That comes with the crappy life. You need to FIRE, and escape, and meanwhile, preserve your health/sanity as much as possible.

For proof I'm saying the truth, take a few weeks off work, quit your addictions and watch the fog lift.

rpr

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Re: Getting off the internets, again :(
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2017, 12:50:58 AM »
gerardc -- Thanks for this discussion. You make good points.

I recall reading that addiction treatments such as AA are successful if environment is changed (#2). The same is also true for other habits i.e. food. Need a clean environment.

The problem with the internets is that it is always present. With my work I just can't avoid it. All work requires remote connection.  So how to do #2. Solutions of will power  (#1) invariably fail. Maybe remove the browser from the computer?

Maybe allow it at work but quit internet at home.

Personally I don't think it's possible to avoid coping if you can't change your environment. You need to find a way to escape. That's the beauty of FIRE and freedom in general, you can optimize for what you want/like. With a cubicle desk job at a computer, I don't think it's possible. All office workers end up gaining 15 lbs, or drinking alcohol, or cigarettes, or porn, or internet/TV to "decompress" at night. They all do; they just have to. That comes with the crappy life. You need to FIRE, and escape, and meanwhile, preserve your health/sanity as much as possible.

For proof I'm saying the truth, take a few weeks off work, quit your addictions and watch the fog lift.

Thanks. Most appreciated. I'm going to do a test run.

-- No internet at home.

I have about 10 days off at Christmas. I will do an internet free stay-cation.