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7 – Free me from internet addiction

27 October, 2011

don't bring your pc to toilet, especially when you have a ebook reader

Basically I am a good guy, with almost no vices or addictions. Like everyone I have a couple of bad habits, the worst of which is probably my attachment to internet.

I don’t know I managed, but until last Monday I didn’t have an internet connection at home. Nor that was my choice or that go to the hostel in front of my house or climb one flat of stairs to my landing to catch a weak wi-fi signal from a neighborhood house was a big hindrance, anyway I didn’t scramble to get a connection at home, because I knew the risks of how it will affect my daily routine.

Since I am working on this blog the need to have access to the net always available has become more pressing. And last Monday, back from my travel, with an ugly rainy day which suggest you not to step a foot out of your door and three articles to be published, I didn’t resist anymore. Because of bureocracy I can get only a portable connection, the ones with Usb modem using cell net that here in Colombia are still pretty slow and unreliable (like his people someone suggested me to add), but better than nothing.

Because of Murphy’s law, the same night my neighborhood informed me she finally activated the Adsl service I was waiting for two months. So Tuesday morning I woke up for the first time since July 20th, I didn’t need to leave my home to link my brain to the cyberspace. And guess how did I spend my day? All day stuck at pc, with breaks to use my iPod and when I couldn’t bear anymore, in bed with the kindle.

Yes it was a special day, in which not only I could enjoy internet at home for the first time, I really wanted to enjoy my home, after more than a week roaming around Colombia. But all the bad habits came back with dread ease: checking email and social networks compulsively, eyes burning, stinging and cramps all over the body, the sense of alienation with reality outside the one projected by my pc.

When I went to bed I was aware I had to kill the baby in the cradle, if I didn’t want to see vanishing the results of daily efforts in the last months. And blessed be this blog, with a new article to write, I focused Wednesday to reflecting on how to free me from this bad habits and act immediately, before the roots will grow strong and difficult to eradicate.

Let’s begin with the assumption internet is not a vice like smoking, which the only effective cure is simply quitting. Internet used properly is such a wonderful tool, its only limit should be separe good use from bad use. And how do you know? Each of us know inside when is wasting his time or make it worthwhile. There is no need to check e-mail or the message board where you wrote a message and look if someone replied you every fifteen minutes: two or three times a day are enough in 99% of the cases.

What to do then to avoid be a slave of your pc? The first solution is very easy: don’t stay at home. Make a social time also your time on-line. That’s why among the rules of my blog I set one in which I oblige my self to go writing and surfing in public places at least once between posts.

Another simple expedient is listen to your body. Every time you feel any kind of pain, stop whatever you were doing, get up, move, stretch, possibly don’t eat, since one of the dissolute behaviour associated with time at the computer is to feed you with addictive sugars.

To me the worst effect of being always on is fragmentation. Multitasking has been proved is bad for your brain and the more I am wired to the net, the more I start multiple activity without being able to carrying them on properly. So, go with the flow. When you advert the impulse to connect, ask if it is not better keep doing what you were doing or to begin something more meaningful. And once you are wired, do one thing at the time: shut down the browsers tabs you don’t need right now. Last, don’t take your pc to bed and let at least one hour pass from your wake up or before going to sleep.

And now you have finished this article, before doing the test and discover how big is your addiction, and learn few practical tricks for not taking bad habits, get up, go for a stroll and don’t come back for at least a couple of minutes.

how internet addicted you are? Try the test and tell me in the comments

Tools & tricks

Test your internet addiction According to this test my addiction is 65%. “That mean you area a person who like spend his time on internet and are aware of his great potential. It doesn’t seem you are at high risk to become addicted, but it’s better keep your eyes open and remember virtual reality shouldn’t be cultivated excessively, especially if that mean sacrifice real life!” How is your percentage?

Multitasking is bad for your brain. look here, or this one more detailed

Health software. Some programs that help you like Eyes defender or take your break or flux

Instant paper Pc backlight screen are very bad for your eyes. Instant paper allow you to save web pages and print them or transport them for reading in a much eyes friendly e-book reader.

Public places where I wrote
Café Lumao

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One Comment
  1. The test tells me:

    Congratulations, your score is: 50
    You are experiencing occasional or frequent problems because of the Internet. You should consider their full impact on your life.

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