Okay, this ages me, but for the sake of this article I’ll tell you. I remember a time without internet. I remember getting letters in the mail, calling from a landline, and making fun of Facebook. I even remember when I sent my first email. But nowadays, internet addiction is the norm; the idea of living offline or without the internet seems a foreign concept.
I’m a writer that depends on WWW to communicate with my editors, set up interviews, and research my articles. In my free time, I check Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. I get news updates from Twitter. But after reading about Paul Miller, a 26-year-old tech writer who gave up the internet for a full year, the idea seems more and more appealing.
For Miller, he sought a break from the internet to solve larger issues like a lack of focus and time wasted. He wanted to write and read books, meet friends in person, and get out of his apartment. In the end, going offline didn’t solve all of his problems, though his editors did say his writing was more focused and he did lose a bunch of weight.
Whatever the issues that plague him, they did not simply go away from switching email to snail mail or choosing a paper map over Google. But Miller did find space to take a closer look at himself and his habits. For me, that’s a great start and motivation enough to take a closer look.
Do you Have an Internet Addiction? Ask Yourself These 4 Questions:
1. Do you often realize that you’ve been online longer than you meant to be?
2. Do you choose to spend time online rather than with other people?
3. Do you use your smartphone in awkward social situations rather than just talking to those around you?
4. Even when you have stuff to do, do you find yourself connecting to the internet first?
If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, maybe it’s time to take a few steps back from the World Wide Web. And that doesn’t mean you have to give it up for an entire year to feel pleasantly disconnected.
Here are 4 tips for facing your internet addiction:
1. Add an internet free day to your week. Maybe it’s a weekend day when you don’t have to check email. In fact, leave your smartphone at home.
2. Have certain allowable times for checking email, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social networking sites. Maybe once a day or once every other day during a certain allotment of time.
3. When you’re out with friends, do not take your phone out of your pocket or purse.
4. Call instead of email at least a few times per week.
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