27 August 2009

My Internet Addiction


I think it's safe to say that I have a pretty heavy internet addiction. So bad in fact, that often times BC calls my laptop, 'My Boyfriend'. I really was not aware of how bad my addiction was. I mean, I check my email a few times a day, update Facebook and now write a blog; but I surely was not addicted! Then I took a hard, long look one night as I was surfing the web. I had no less than six tabs open at the same time. They were in a specific order. There was a rhythm to how I was sorting through the tabs. I had a system. First Gmail, then Facebook, then this blog, and then three other tabs for the other blogs I peruse on a daily basis. Slowly cycling back and forth, so as not to miss a single post/comment. Commenting on said blogs, reading what others wrote. Checking to see who else was online. Who updated. Making sure I did not miss a single keystroke.

I would repeat this process multiple times throughout the day. If my computer was on, I needed to be checking something. Anything. It made me realize that there was a reason my house was not always picked up, why LN whined whenever I would sit down in the Big Green Chair (my preferred surfing spot) and why the BC would roll his eyes whenever I picked up my laptop. (Which incidentally is named Chelsea, so obviously she can't be my boyfriend...HA! Unless I'm living out some deep hidden lesbian desires, which I'm sure BC would love to hear.) So I decided that something needed to change. I needed to step away from the computer and take a look at the life that was going on around me.

I took a self-imposed two day hiatus from the internet.

Some friends called me brave, another her hero. The internet is our link, sometimes the only sanity saving device in our daily, hectic lives. But for all of the sanity saving it was making me stressed. There was this need to know what was going on 'out there'. Who was doing it and what they did. Once I turned off the laptop, put it on the shelf and focused on doing this here and now, I felt something inside wind down. Stretch out, breathe. The first few hours it was hard. I wanted to know 'what I was missing'. What were people up to? Was something happening that I needed to know about? I started to feel, as I assume LN feels at nap time, I can't go to sleep because I know that you are doing something cool and exciting! But after a little while, that need quieted down too. I accomplished tasks. Projects that I had been planning to do were completed, dinner was cooked and the laundry done. LN whined less, we played and laughed and danced. Those errands that I've been meaning to do? They were ran! Nary a thought was given to what the rest of the world was doing, I was living my life presently.

Now, that's not to say that all of a sudden everything was all rainbows and sunshine. Nah, my house is still messy, LN still whines and BC will always roll his eyes when I pick up Chelsea. But you know what? It was nice to be unplugged for a bit everyday. The flow of my day became more manageable and much less stressful. So, with those feelings in mind, I put in place three new rules:
  1. I can check my email/Facebook/blogs while I drink my coffee in the AM. But only before and up to 9AM.
  2. During nap time I will write a blog post, check my email/Facebook.
  3. After LN goes to bed I can troll through my daily blog reads, do any commenting necessary, research and generally surf it up...but only until 9PM.
All the other time when my laptop would be on and I would mindlessly surf the web? It's off, on a shelf and unplugged. No quick peeks at FB, no glance to see what's in my inbox. It's just waiting there, ready to fill me in on what everyone's been up to. I will always be addicted, some days will be better than others and that's ok. I just hope this doesn't mean that BC or anyone that stops by will expect the house to be clean...because that may never happen. But who knows, stranger things have.

Do you have an internet addiction?
If so, how do you control it?
If not, what do you do with all of your 'free time'?

3 comments:

  1. I was kind of feeling the same way for awhile when I started staying home with the kids, the internet was kind of like my other "adult" to hang out with. Then I realized I'm not missing anything even though things DO go on when I'm not there. Besides kids grow up WAY too fast and I didn't want them to think anything was as important to them. Now I do the same thing, the computer is only open when they are sleeping! Besides isn't it more exciting to hit refresh and know something is going to change since it's been hours and not minutes!? :)

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  2. I totally agree with you here. I love your last question, too... what do you do with your freetime if not go online! I don't know! :)

    I find it very hard to concentrate and like to check my email multiple times, and blogs, and all the rest that is out there in the big WWW. For example, here I am, commenting on your post at work. Shame on me! :) But I agree, I should set better boundaries... and like Laura said, it is more fun when it has been awhile and more is waiting for you when you hit the refresh!

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  3. I agree with you both! It's much more interesting to read a list of email/FB updates than waiting for someone to post something. Plus, I can't believe how much more I get done! :) It worked well yesterday...we'll have to see how it goes. Wish me luck!

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