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Jan 18, 2015

Conquered My Internet Addiction : Here's How?


Last summer, I was averaging around 3 - 5 hours a day on random websites like Facebook, 4chan, Digg, Reddit, etc. I desperately wanted to quit, but never had the heart to do it - I felt like it was connecting me to the world and giving me experiences and access to information I wouldn't have had otherwise, so it was hard to quit, and I didn't feel like I had to.

How I handled this:

At first, I deactivated my Facebook account. I was hesitant, because I figured I wouldn't be able to keep in touch with my friends - and it dawned on me, that most of the people on Facebook I was 'friends' with I really didn't care about, and that the people that mattered in my life would still be in touch with me. Problem solved, I deactivated Facebook. It was hard at first, but soon other websites took Facebook's place and I haven't looked back in 6 months. That was the first critical step for me.

I was still browsing the web a shitload, but didn't have Facebook to keep me glued to the computer as long, so it was a crucial turning point.

My addiction was still in awful shape, and I was still averaging quite a bit of time on the web. Over the next 3 months I kept closer tabs on where my time was going. I installed an addon in Firefox called blocksite ( https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/blocksite/ ) and began a process of blocking problematic websites, slowly. I would block about one website every few weeks so that I didn't feel like I was restricting myself too harshly or missing out on anything (which would have led to an easy relapse). After two months of this, I found the only websites I was spending my time on were Reddit, CNN.com and Twitter. This was a huge improvement.

The next turning point came when I started NoFap. After 3 or 4 days I had so much energy, way more than I've ever had before. This made me eager to look for ways to cut my internet addiction even further and finally conquer it. It gave me so much more focus, energy, and willpower, that I didn't feel powerless to my internet addiction anymore. I blocked all the porn tube websites with blocksite. Haven't been on one since.

Throughout this entire time, I always felt like I could never fully quit using the internet. I felt like having so much information in the world at my fingertips, I was going to be depriving myself of a colossal learning tool. This kept me from quitting much longer than it would have normally took.

The final solution came when I was at Barnes and Noble. For a long time I was figuring out a way that I could hit the final nail in the coffin, and squash my internet addiction for good. Luckily, I was looking around for books and spotted a book named The Power of Habit, and everything came together. It honestly just came together in my head, not just for cliche sake.

Instead of browsing the internet, I would read the book for as long as it took me to get bored and move onto something else. I would still be learning about important things, and would still get that 'me' time that the internet always gave me. It really inspired me, I bought it, and it was settled. I knew this was it.

I was raised on the internet. From the time that I was a young boy, I always had the internet in my room. It's been a centerpiece of my life since we got DSL when I was 10 years old. And now, I've honestly completely conquered my internet addiction. I log on to check the necessities like Gmail once a day, and use things like Netflix every so often, but it doesn't destroy my daily productivity like it used to. I usually average less than 15m a day and can say no if I want to, something I could never do before. The most critical improvement I made in this whole process was giving up fapping and porn. After that, everything else just fell into place and did the work by itself. I had tried to quit the internet so many times before, but nofap absolutely gave me the extra push I needed and never had in the past.

The entire thing sounds like a long drawn out process, and it was for me, but I don't think it has to be like that for everyone with an internet addiction. Stop fapping and watching porn and everything else will sort itself out - if you put a little effort in.

I hope this helps someone. Honestly, I don't think I could have ever achieved this if I didn't quit fapping and watching porn.

TLDR: Deactivate Facebook, slowly ween off other websites (don't want to relapse), Quit Fapping & Porn, replace would-be internet time with something constructive (ie: reading a book)... spread all of these things out over a period of time that's great enough so you won't be forced to relapse back into everything all at once.


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