How to Overcome Internet Addiction
Most of our morning routines consist of spending 10 minutes looking at our social media, another 10 minutes replying to unanswered messages from drunk friends or annoying exes, and another 5 minutes looking at your Facebook page before realizing you checked it already. There go 25 minutes of your morning – more than enough time to take a shower and get dressed – doing basically nothing. According to Pew Research Center, 77% of Americans visit online pages daily, and 26% of them are constantly checking their devices for to access the internet.
Of course, there are certain parts of our lives that are reliant on the internet, e.g. ensuring that you can complete your errands by checking in internet to find when banks, shops, and other establishments are open for business. But honestly speaking, we’re most likely spending our time online for unimportant reasons. If you find yourself throwing time out the window by repeatedly checking your social media, you can follow these easy tips to use the internet more productively.
We probably have a list of websites we frequently visit while sitting in the classroom or passing time at work. If those sites help you in your studies or work, good on you, but we highly doubt that that’s true. The first thing to do is go cold turkey and ban yourself from accessing those sites that waste time. Apps like FocalFilter, Freedom, and Focus are designed to help people use the internet more wisely by blocking sites that you define as time-wasters. It can be painful to do but think of how much time you’ll have for other activities.
Have a Dedicated Work or School Computer/Laptop
This requires a lot of dedication and discipline, but the concept is simple – use one computer for being productive and finishing tasks while another serves to play games, stream movies, and install other distracters. Whenever possible, leave the gaming/streaming device at home when you head to work or school. That way you’re not giving yourself the ability to access unimportant websites (you can use the aforementioned site-blocking apps on your work-only device as well).
Turn Off Notifications (with Exceptions)
People usually tend to reach for their phones or tablets as soon as their devices beep (email, message, someone left a comment on your wall). The problem is that as soon as our phones are in our hands, we have a hard time putting them away, leading us to open nonsensical websites just because. If your phone is on silent or you turned off your notification beeps, you’ll become less antsy about receiving texts or emails. Just make sure your work-, school-related, as well as family-related, notifications are still on.
Ask Someone to Be Your Boss
If you can’t do it yourself, let others help. The previous points mainly talk about being accountable for yourself, and we’re much more lenient when punishing ourselves for our own faults. If you can get someone to manage your addiction – a wife, husband, brother, sister, even a teacher – then you can trick yourself into being frightened of whatever punishment they have in store for your time-wasting behavior.