Living in the 21st century means that we are glued to the internet on our computers or phones. We are checking our social media accounts, the news, playing games, surfing the web, etc. By learning how to overcome our internet addiction, you will be able to expose yourself more to the world outside of the screens and have real experiences.
Emotional Health Linking to Addiction
In order to treat your internet addiction, it is important to understand why you feel so glued to the screen. It could be that you are feeling lonely and have trouble making friends in the real world that it is much easier for you to connect with others online. If you do not acknowledge that you are having a problem such as anxiety or depression, it will be hard for you to get past your computer or phone screen. That way when you go for treatment for your internet addiction, you will be able to treat yourself for your mental health as well.
Turn Off Notifications
If you get notifications on your computer or phone about any new updates or new comments you receive from social media, it is best to turn them off. You should tell yourself that the time to check any news with your social media accounts should be during a certain hour in the day. Otherwise, every time you receive a notification, you will never be able to take your eyes off the screen. You will reply to a comment and then it will be another notification when you receive a reply back. Check the app settings on your phone or computer to stop receiving immediate notifications.
You may have subscribed to a bunch of websites where you can get news and updates that would interest you. The problem is that you may feel like you have to stay glued to your phone or computer to make sure you receive important emails. The problem is that the emails you may receive could be ones that you glance at for a second and then delete because you really do not care about receiving news from them anymore. Look at each email you receive and unsubscribe to the ones you hardly go onto anymore or go on websites like Unroll.me to instantly unsubscribe from many websites at once. You should also look at how long you have been on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram and see if you should delete your accounts or deactivate them for some time until you no longer have a dependency.
Make a Plan
Quitting the internet cold turkey can have serious health consequences just like when you quit drugs or alcohol cold turkey. You should instead make a plan of how many hours to be on the internet a day so that you are not overwhelmed when you no longer use it. For example, you can tell yourself that you will set your timer for using the internet for three hours today so that you can eventually reduce that down to one hour. Keep reducing your amount to half an hour until you reach your goal.
If you do not know what to do with yourself now away from the internet, you should spend that time with healthy distractions to use your mental power on. If you are in school, continue with your studies. If you work at the office or at home, focus on that. This will be a better way to improve your results and increase your healthy productivity. If your work involves being on the internet, make sure to shut down all of your windows and tabs and only use those that are related to your work.
You should be telling yourself that the computer and your phone is for your work and to communicate with your friends and family when you cannot see them in person. This can mean exercising at the gym or going for walks. You can also join a club whether it is for books, knitting, cooking, sports, chess, etc. The point is to get out of the house and find other ways to enjoy yourself instead of feeling like the internet is the only way that you can feel good.
See a Therapist
When going on the internet is interfering with your life, you should speak to a therapist so that you can figure out where the stem of your addiction is coming from and what you can do about it. Even though internet addiction is not in the DSM-5 yet, it does not mean that this is not a serious addiction or that it is not treatable as it would be considered to be a behavioral addiction. A therapist can teach you how to wean yourself away from your dependence on the internet and how you do not need to rely on it for happiness.
You are not the only one spending too much time on the internet and drifting away from the real world. You can find support groups in your area such as Internet and Technology Addicts Anonymous. You can also find support groups for anxiety or depression as your internet addiction may be a symptom of those mental health conditions. By treating your mental health and finding healthy ways to spend your time, you will learn to use your time on the internet more wisely.
Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.