Tips for Overcoming Internet Addiction
(Disclaimer: I haven’t fully overcome it either and make no claims to spending all my time as industriously as I
It’s a widely-accepted premise that the most successful individuals are those who have the necessary self-discipline to make the most of the their time. Putting this to practive is obviously not as easy as it sounds. I mean, how many times have you caught yourself getting absorbed by a TV show you know is utter nonsense or video game your 3-year-old mastered before he saw the light of day?!
Personal Suffering and Dreams Wasted
According to addictioncenter dot com, as of 2019, some-21 million Americans suffered from some kind of an addiction and approximately 300 million individuals worldwide were addicted to alcohol. According to this article, internet addiction has been on a steady incline since the early 2000’s and will overtake the above numbers in the near future.
It states, amongst other things that:
Every day, 9-15 million people in the United States use the internet. Every three months, the amount of use goes up by 25%. Greece identifies that 8.2% of their population is addicted to the internet. They indicate that most of these are male video gamers and users of internet cafés.
11% of South Korean school-aged youth are considered at high risk for internet addiction. In China, 96% of teenagers use instant messaging and 10% of teenagers can be classified as addicts, specifically to instant messaging.
The Recovery Village dot com, a site that offers a series of treatments for various addictions, writes:
Children between the ages of 8 and 10 spend an average of 8 hours a day using various kinds of electronic media, with the internet increasingly dominating that time. Children ages 10–18 spend an average of more than 11 hours per day using electronic media. The effect of all this screen time on the developing brain is currently a topic of intense research.
Self-Blame: Worse than Addiction Itself
The self-blame many individuals not able to overcome addiction place on themselves is, in many cases, worse than the addiction itself. Popular philospher, professor, clincial psychologist, and political commentary, Jordan Peterson recently came out with an extrodinary claim. In this video, he puts together an argument that the greatest indicator of intelligence is one’s feeling of guilt over time lost. It’s an interesting point to be made when you consider just how harmful addiction can be.
Some time ago, I posted about overcoming internet addiction. I made the following points:
- If an activity doesn’t help you progress on a personal/career level, there’s no reason for engaging in it…If you know that you have a short attention span and get carried away with destructive activities, that, may be in itself reason enough to at limit Internet consumption…
- Internet addiction is a problem that has evolved in recent years to take center stage as one of the relevant—if not primary addictions facing teenagers in both developing and first-world countries.
- Internet addiction shares common features with other addictions so it makes sense that clinicians have used existing treatment models to help patients overcome their predicament. Like drug and alcohol addicts, Internet addicts flock online to flee reality.
- (Possible solutions) include: setting reminders for when one intends to cease their online presence, filling in the vacuum created once a patient has ceased his/her addictive behavior with healthier, more productive activities and simple but complex abstinence whereby the patient undergoes a period similar to drug or alcohol detoxification.
A long-term solution entails recognizing the extent of the problem and overcoming it accordingly – not plastering it up with a temporary way out like anti-depressants.
As functional humans, we’re the ones in control of our lives. While there are plenty of factors we do not control, when it comes to those we do, it’s imperative for us to do our utmost to A) Recognize the existence of the destructive behavior B) Do everything within our power to overcome it.
Here are a 2 things I’ve tried out that have proven effective:
- Going “cold-turkey”: Making a steadfast decision to do away with an addiction is probably the best way out. It might sound simplistic but if you – not a doctor – decide to do it, chances of success increase exponentially.
- Getting a helping hand from family & friends: There are plenty of online tools that allow friends to monitor each others’ online activity, holding one another responsible for staying away from porn, one of the biggest evils of modern society that’s destroyed hundreds of thousands of happy homes and driven others to suicide. There are also ones like K-9 that allow you to simply block ungainly sites. Some people have addictions to far less harmful albeit just as difficult to break activities like gaming. This includes not only casino games, but “smart” apps like online chess and math puzzles. These games are played mostly on smartphone platforms, so a valuable solution is blocking your phone from downloading apps via PlayStore and asking a friend or spouse to not provide you access to the password “no matter what.”
When it seems beyond your power to overcome an addiction, I suggest envisioning “it” as an “evil power” seperate from you that you’re trying to overcome.