Kicking Internet addiction to the Curb!

So last time we talked about how the Internet is addictive and how that is bad for your mental health and relationships. What can be done, in order to kick internet addiction to the curb? This depends on the severity of your addiction. This blog post will have two parts to it. 1) How do you know you might need help from a professional (that would not be me) and 2) If you think your addiction is manageable, how to make your internet use healthy and balanced.

  1. How do you know if you might need help and where to find it?
    1. Your internet addiction is affecting your life in a negative way, you don’t get any work/homework done.You lose track of time. It stops you from spending time with those who are close to you. You feel guilty about it and like you need to defend your actions. When you do use it feels euphoric (Like getting a hit from a drug would feel, I suppose) Internet overuse may lead to strained vision, sleeping issues, carpal tunnel syndrome ( the nerves in your hand are overused and get damaged due to overuse of the computer/phone)
    2. Where to find help? There are many programs and different types of therapies to go to, that can help. (For more information link at the end of the blog) If you are not from the USA then you will have to do more research but similar treatments are available all over the world. It will be good to mention about you struggles to someone, either a parent or maybe a school psychologist. There is always a solution.
  2. What to do if you think you can handle it?
    1. Figure out why you want to stop overusing internet. Because your mom said so won’t be strong enough reason for you to change your ways. Analyse what harm it causes you. Does it make your relationship strained? Or maybe you never achieve the goals you set for yourself because you just have to scroll the Instagram feed for 3 hours (even there is nothing new)
    2. What times does using social media bother you the most? Start eliminating that usage first. It might be in the morning, you hate waking up and seeing all of your emails. (You should eliminate using your phone for the first hour of the day anyway.) Maybe you really shouldn’t go on the phone after school, if you want to do some school work. See what the times are and make sure to turn off the phone for that time. And before you say but I have an alarm on my phone, you can invest in an alarm clock or you can turn of your phone after the alarm rings. Make a timetable to when you are “allowed” to use the internet for fun.
    3. What about the full cleansing? How can you stop wanting to spend time on the phone/computer? Well, time is going to help, if you will get used to not being on the Internet all the time. Some apps might help you when you are working to get rid of social media use. But what about the long-term use? Make sure to do other things during the times you would otherwise be online. Read a book, be with a friend who will hold you accountable maybe download an app that will tell you how much you actually use time on the phone for nothing. (Trust me, you will be shocked.
    4. Once in awhile just force yourself to put it away. Even if you grab it you can still put it down or if its an internet page you can close it. When going out for a walk, you don’t need your headphones and music every time. Just listen to the birds. When studying you don’t need the phone in your room. If you otherwise will go a get it, leave it with your parents. Tell them not to give it to you until much later.

Believe in yourself and you can make it. Internet and social media are great tools and they have a lot of fun things to do in order to amuse you. It is important though to understand where the fine line between healthy and unhealthy use goes.

As always thank you for reading and hope this was helpful. Leave a comment below of how you overuse internet and why you want to change it. If you have any questions do not hesitate to ask.

Sources: 

Internet and Computer Addiction Treatment Program Options:

https://www.psychguides.com/guides/internet-and-computer-addiction-treatment-program-options/

Carpal tunnel syndrome: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpal_tunnel_syndrome

-Alisa

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