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Jan 5, 2015

Quitting Addiction To Internet And Porn Entirely


This post is meant to be a public fleshing out of my thoughts, a public marking that tomorrow I start my hiatus from the internet entirely. I need some sort of ritual to signal to myself that I'm going to have a go at it.

A little miscellaneous info on me first. This is my 12th day of no PMO. I had just discovered this subreddit and the YBOP website prior to starting. I had previously tried to limit or quit porn in the past without being able to articulate quite why I wanted to. This lack of clarity ensured it didn't take. I know why I don't want it in my life now though, and plan on never viewing porn again.

I haven't experienced anything so grand just yet to be honest. I think my mind has been clearer, and I have more energy. That could be the placebo effect for all I know though. It feels like I'm in the beginning of a libido drop as some have described.

I really only think I had a somewhat minor addiction to porn. I certainly displayed some addiction traits of flying through image after image. I would have anywhere from 5-20 tabs up in firefox of incredibly hot babe pics. Sometimes I would binge and spend many many hours just downloading torrents of porn movies. A lot of them I wouldn't even watch a quarter of, it was more about the hunt and the collecting when it came to videos. Despite this and a few other signs of addiction, I'd still say I had a light addiction compared to a lot of guys here. My porn binges were irregular, not everyday by any means. I wasn't that intimidated by starting NoFap, in fact I'm fully confident I'll make it to 90 days my first go.

It was nevertheless a problem for me, a weakness, something that needed to be corrected. And I'm glad for having done this because, it helped me realize a much bigger problem/addiction. My addiction to porn may be relatively minor, but my addiction to the internet in general is pretty damn major. If I had not admitted to myself that I had a problem with porn, and embarked to ban myself from it, I might not have been able to realize and admit to myself that I am quite clearly addicted to the internet. I'm addicted to the endless novelty, to information, to quickly flowing content, to surfing.

For example, if I decide I need to buy a new vacuum cleaner, I'll fucking research everything there is to know about vacuum cleaners and the best models on the market. You can be sure I bought a damn fine vacuum cleaner, but I do this shit with everything. I read about the video game industry, watch video reviews, and listen to podcasts ten times more than I actually play games. I'll research upcoming games I really have no intention of buying. I'll waste time reading rumors of upcoming game consoles.

I'll follow politics, of all the useless things to do. I fucking hate politics and consider it a waste of my time, none the less it is 'interesting' in a morbid sort of way to vicariously watch the world burn. But not good for me.

Some new subject matter sparks my interest, I'll go read its Wikipedia page, then read the pages it links to. I'll gain some shallow knowledge that probably won't help me in life or stick in my memory long term.

If it occurs to me to read a book on a particular subject matter, I'll start reading all the reviews to many different books. When I finally decide on a book, I might not read or get through that book any time soon because of my addiction to internet novelty. Something else will hijack my interest.

And on, and on, and on. I spend the majority of my free time on the internet, bouncing around consuming bits of information. I rationalized this as being productive, of gaining knowledge. But it is very shallow knowledge, that I have really only been pursuing out of unconscious compulsion. It gets in the way of more meaningful and important goals. I've been doing this since the beginning of high school, I'm 23 now. Its difficult to admit this is a problem for me. I feel the urge to go info surfing even now, its consumed so much of my free time and life, I can't believe I am just now realizing that its a problem.

So I plan on "quitting" the internet starting tomorrow. Perhaps for ninety days, I haven't decided how long the hiatus should last. I may have to pay bills online, or check email, or check my work schedule over the internet.. But none of that was part of my addiction anyways, and I plan on using a watch to ensure I don't spend more than a few minutes to do these things. I'll have to at some point figure out how I want to reintegrate the internet back in to my life in a healthy and rational way once the hiatus is up.

So anyways, that is that. I started NoFap, which helped me realize I was addicted to the internet in general, now I'm starting No-Interweb tomorrow as well.

Wish me luck, although sorry I won't be coming back to read any comments on this because it might trigger another time wasting session. Fuck that, tired of doing that shit.

Is it right that we vilify porn, yet have almost nothing to say

I understand that every once in a while someone posts here about internet addiction but I am beginning to wonder whether the vast majority of us fapstronauts don't also have a concurrent internet addiction to go along with our porn problem. Both work off the same premise: unlimited novelty leading to overproduction of dopamine which real life can't compare with. The reason I think PMO addiction is so much more accepted as a problem for us is because it has manifested itself with physical (sexual problems) as well as mental issues whereas internet addiction is all mental. I just feel like we are all doing ourselves a disservice by addressing one issue while ignoring(relatively speaking) the other even though the two go hand in hand and our probably both contributing considerably to what ails us.

What do you guys think? Should we be promoting a more balanced approach here in terms quitting porn use AND drastically cutting down on our time online?

GUY 2)

Great point! Porn addiction and Internet addiction DEFINITELY go hand in hand. They are very very related for me at least. Both are a huge time drain.

Rocky92 makes another dead on observation that society (western 1st world society) has an info/entertainment/stimulation addiction. No one can seem to go 5 minutes without checking their phone/Facebook/email.

What will it take for people to just spend time with themselves or each other?

It all makes me sad.

GUY 3)


The ability to access everything in the universe instantly definitely has an effect on our brains. There is so much instant gratification available to us in the form of information, or of course porn, that there's no question that there is a negative effect.

Granted, unless you're wired to have propensity for an addiction to information and over stimulation, the dopamine that we get from googling something or imdb'ing an actor we saw in a show is quite low. It's still there, and it still will have an effect on our brains.

Maybe cutting down the 75% of the internet that is pornography is a good stepping stone to cutting down (or out) our use of the internet, but for most of us "the issues are in the tissues."

It's an important question that each of us should think about, though.

GUY 4)

I believe our entire society has an addiction to entertainment/information/distraction. Especially that of the electronic kind. The internet, television, gaming, smartphones, etc. We have so many ways to escape boredom. Its crazy how much information the average individual is being bombarded with at all times. I find that personally, I get cravings for the internet. Yes, I crave it. Recently ive been trying to distance myself from all of this distraction as much as possible. Trying to get into a more natural way of being. But nature and natural ways are too BORING and slow!! My mind craves that period of zoning out over a screen, and always having new info and interesting things to dwell on. I tried replacing my habits. Ill take up lifting and going to the gym instead. But when I get back...fuck. When im with friends, or doing something exciting with my day I do not crave these electronic distractions, but every single time I get home I feel an urge to look shit up or flip on the tv. It, for me anyway, IS an addiction. And I always feel like shit after I spend an hour or more on the internet. I would have felt SO much better to have done something, anything else. Or god forbid...just sit there and relax. But nowadays it seems like the only way people can relax is to flip on their screen of choice. Come home from work, on goes the tv, off goes the brain. Aaaaaah....

I think this way of life is beginning to affect the modern mans mind. For many, it seems hard for them to just sit in nature anymore. Natures pace is EXCEEDINGLY slow. Kinda will make you go crazy after awhile. But I think that's what many of us need. It seems were all desperately chasing an endless line of distractions. These distractions, which set off slight amounts of dopamine, are leading us farther away from nature, from our own nature. Like a drug, we crave dopamine. Are we all chasing the dragon, in the many different forms it takes? Great post OP. Sorry for ranting for so long.

TL;DR: electronics are crazy. They're making your mind so distractable that you cant even read a big block of text anymore.

GUY 5)

You nailed it dude. I really think that all this technology is changing our minds for the worse. We are training ourselves to focus on things for seconds at a time before moving on to the next piece of information. I have been trying to cut back on my internet usage for a while now but like you said years of over stimulation has made the real world seem boring and I always find myself coming back for that dopamine rush. Oh well, nothing to do but keep trying.
 
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