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Dec 22, 2014

Addicted To Porn Or Maybe Addicted To Internet



There have been a number of posts fapstronauts who found that they have an internet addiction as much as they have a pornography addiction. I can certainly relate.

But I had an epiphany in the gym today. Excessive fapping is just a symptom of a much larger problem I have: wasting my life. I fuck around way too much. If I'm not fapping, I'm clicking through stupid pictures of cats or memes, or watching a stupid tv show, or refreshing my email, or browsing facebook, or half-watching a youtube video while scrolling through an article on CNN. Not to mention all the fatty foods I'm stuffing my face with at the same time.

This is wasting my life.

At the end of a day wasted on the internet, I feel miserable, depressed, anxious, and restless. I fap to get that drowsy feeling that puts me to sleep.

However, on days when I go to the gym, or go to a party, get some meaningful work done, eat clean, go out with friends, etc. etc., I feel uplifted. I feel vibrant. Like I'm sucking the marrow out of the bone of life. Fapping is literally the last thing on my mind.

So I'd like to suggest a new approach to r/NoFap. Instead of obsessing over nofapping streaks, or watching your progress on chains.cc, try to get off your damn computer and go out and do something. Go to the gym, go to a class, join a club, meet people, talk to people, fuck people, read a good book, eat a good meal, take a road trip with some friends. I guarantee you won't even be thinking about fapping. Replacing youporn with quickmeme is not a solution.

"Make each moment an occasion to live deeply, happily, in peace." -Thich Nhat Hanh

Many people truly believe that the internet is making them smarter, since they have access to such a huge amount of information - but it really doesn't. I highly recommend to read "The Shallows" by Nicholas Carr, he references many studies to show amongst other things that:

  • Internet browsing makes you better at skimming content (hands up who here skimmed to here without reading the entire way down) but worse at actually absorbing information.
  • Even the presence of hypertext ruins your ability to absorb information, even if you don't click them because your brain needs to decide not to click on the links. Believe it or not studies have shown this has a huge effect on how much you take in.
  • Some have suggested internet browsing is better than reading books because it uses more brainpower. It's true that it does but it also leaves less brainpower for deep, critical thought. The extra brainpower is just used to choose to ignore ads and hypertext.
  • The average time spent on a web page is under 30 seconds.
  • Neuroplasticity means that these changes effect you even when not online, reading books becomes harder due to the desire to skim and not read linearly, and concentrating is harder because you're simply not used to having to stay on the one topic for so long.
  • Some also have said that not having to remember as many things (because we can just Google them) leaves our brains more "processing power" to do other things. Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that Long term memory doesn't "run out" like working memory and long term memory is what allows us to connect different ideas and is a huge part of creativity. By relying on the internet to remember facts and things, you're not doing yourselves any favors.

Just like I don't think masturbating isn't something inherently "bad", I don't think internet browsing is. But just like with nofap, we need to break the addiction before we can browse moderately and healthily.

Here are some ideas for cutting down/eliminating internet browsing:
  • No computer AT ALL within the first hour of free time you have - whether it's when you first wake up, travel, or after work. You'll find when you do other things you'll find the cravings to use the computer subside, and if you fail you'll be very conscious of how much of an escape you've let it become.
  • Make it hard for yourself to browse: use browser addons or other software to block sites, turn off or even hide your modem and/or computer, get a plan with no data for your phone.
  • Specify a certain time limit to your browsing and stick with it. Just like with nofap, distract yourself!
  • There's a reddit sub /r/nosurf. I am aware of the irony of it, but they have tips and tricks and links to website blockers and whatever.
  • Try only allowing yourself to have only 3 tabs or windows at the one time.
  • When you use the internet try to stick to self-improvement type subs/sites

Some common responses:

"But I need the internet to study, for work etc etc."

That's fine, but don't use it for anything else when you're using it for these things. The internet is an avoidable thing now, but doesn't mean we have to let it have a negative effect on our lives anymore :)

"But I would just find another addiction to take up my time."

Find some new hobbies! Don't just replace it with watching TV.

"But I rarely use the internet, so this post doesn't apply to me."

Then I'm not sure why you read this post :)

TL;DR If you seriously skipped down to the TL;DR then this post really is for you!!

Challenge yourself to no computer use for the entire weekend. Good luck!

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Source: A Combination of two posts


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