My Internet Problem and Solution

The Problem

I just closed my computer for the night… Holy cow do I have a problem.

After a week of coming to terms with my online problem, I finally felt I could start to ease myself offline. And then half a Saturday wasted on the computer when I don’t even know what I got on for.

This is a problem.

I kid you not I spent 45 minutes researching books on why to ditch the internet. Why didn’t I just ditch the internet?

I’ll tell you why: I love being online. I love it. It’s so appealing, with everything I possibly want to know within reach. I like learning new things, or the illusion of learning new things. I like to read about other people doing cool things. Why don’t I just do cool things?

I feel like that’s one of the main draws of the internet for me. I can read about people leaving their comfort zone without ever leaving mine. I love it.

I feel like that’s one of the main draws of the internet for me. I can read about people leaving their comfort zone without ever leaving mine. I love it. I also hate it.

CLICK TO TWEET

I also hate it. I hate it deep down to my core. I feel it when I’m scrolling through Google. “This is killing me!” But hey, that link looks pretty cool. I think I’ll try it.

I feel it in my writing. It’s staccato. Lifeless. There are more scratched out words than unscratched words on this page. My handwriting is considerably worse than five years ago. This really is killing me.

It’s killing my mind, at least

But minds can be fixed, right? I think I read that somewhere, and I’m going to pretend like it’s a hard fact, so I won’t freak out.

And, as confused as all of this is, one thing’s crystal clear: I need a change.

A real change. Not the kind of change where you do something for a couple of days, burn out, then go back as if nothing happened. No, I’m for real this time.

That sounds familiar. Where have I heard that before? Oh, yeah. I said it.

I’ve said it probably 10 times. I take my SIM card out of my iPhone and put it in my Nokia dumb phone. I block all entertainment websites on my computer. I give myself a limit on TV watching time per week. Three days later it’s like nothing ever changed.

But now I’m serious. I’m doing this. I’m going to sit down and write out a plan, and I’m going to change my ways…

But I’ve said that before, haven’t I?

The Solution

Since I’ve tried this before, I’m going to need to do more than just ‘try to change’. I need serious action.

I need guidelines. I need actual rules, so I can measure how well I am doing.

The other night I sat down, and I wrote down a list of rules. Four rules, to be exact. I followed it with a list of exceptions because… I’m human. A human in college with homework to do, at that.

  1. No smartphone.
  2. No social media.
  3. Limited computer time
  4. Limited TV time.

Here’s my breakdown:

1. No smartphone.

I will put my SIM card in my Nokia, and use that as my phone. This will be a pain, but nothing else has worked. Extreme steps need to be taken.

I have been smartphone-less since April 2, and I must say it is not nearly as difficult as I expected. I find myself more engaged with my surroundings, and I haven’t really come across a situation in which I missed my iPhone yet. The only real pain is the absence of maps.

2. No social media.

This is a given. I will block all social media sites on my computer.

For me, this is the easiest. I have been somewhat social media free at various times ever since getting on social media back in 2013. I’ve been Facebook free and Instagram free for a while.

3. Limited computer time.

Computer will be used only for school or anything extremely urgent.

I am allowed 30 minutes a day to do whatever else I need to do on my computer, including type up and post to this blog.

4. Limited TV time.

I will limit myself to 4 hours of TV per week. This is referring to shows, movies, talk shows, etc…

Exceptions

  • Live sports can be watched, but within reason.
  • Anything I need to do for school work is acceptable.
  • I can access social media accounts only to post about this blog, or when it is absolutely necessary for communication.

It’s been a few day’s since I started this challenge. Some aspects have been easy, some have been extremely difficult.

The most difficult thing for me is the limited computer time. I never realized how many inane things I googled until I forced myself off of it. I find myself getting a massive urge to google the most random things, for no reason whatsoever.

Reminding myself who the 2011 Oscar winner was can wait. No, I don’t need to know who UCLA hired as their new basketball coach. Why do I want to google a book when I already have a great book in my hands?

But I will push on. I will continue in this journey, and I will keep y’all updated along the way.


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