Sunday, 16 July 2017

How I Broke My Internet Addiction

In the modern age, it’s increasingly difficult to avoid technology as more and more systems become digital.

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Image credit: Mediamodifier
For the most part, these updates in communications are designed to make our lives easier. However, like anything else you have to be careful not to let usage become excessive, as overuse can have a variety of negative effects on your mental and physical health.

I myself noticed a difficulty in being able to listen or concentrate on one thing for too long; even watching a movie or reading a book required a concentrated effort to focus and not let my mind drift.

I think the problem is that it’s my main way to ease boredom – as soon as I have some spare time, I’m connected online and I feel a mad rush to check (and clear) my notifications, as well as my email inboxes, news feeds (both personal from social media, and topical in the form of online newspapers), not to mention checking the status of this blog.

That’s a lot of information to process and it can’t be good for those who are prone to feeling anxious or overwhelmed. But it can be difficult to break the habit when it becomes part of your daily routine.

For me however, I was forced to when one-by-one, all my gadgets began to fail. The smaller gadgets I was able to replace, but I was trying to avoid buying replacements for the larger items as I’m a big believer in getting things repaired or recycled, instead of tossing stuff out and adding to the e-waste problem. Besides, it’s often cheaper to get stuff repaired than to buy something brand new.

These attempts to get my larger electronics repaired however, were in vain (my laptop, for example, would be fixed temporarily but then the same problem would reoccur a couple of weeks later, often at the worst time).

Even attempts to buy replacements turned into a headache (I purchased a new laptop, only to find the wireless adapter had somehow been uninstalled). These minor inconveniences started to become frustrating when they were all building up, and I took it as a very clear sign that perhaps it was time to take a break and not be so reliant on technology when I’m feeling bored.

Currently, I’m now only using a computer for work and that’s it. If I need the internet for personal use, I use my smartphone which is handy so I’m not missing important information I may need access to, but as they’re quite fiddly there are limits to what you can do with it. The good thing about this is that I can’t spend too much time online, glued to my phone. If I’m bored, I read, watch a movie or head outside for a walk.

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As result I’ve noticed I feel a lot more relaxed and I find it easier to wind down at the end of the day or at weekends. I also feel sharper, mentally. I’m a lot less stressed and strapped for time, as I now have more time available to run errands or do the household chores, instead of wasting time on digital distractions. It’s getting the point where I keep delaying buying a laptop, as I’m enjoying this feeling of peace too much.

I know I’m going to have to connect with the computing world again eventually. But when I do, I’m going to make sure I’m only reaching for my laptop as a last resort when I’m bored or when I have a genuine task I need to complete on there. In all honesty, between working and meeting up with friends, it’s crazy to think that I was stretching myself so thin trying to fit in time to spend online too.

It wasn’t healthy and definitely should not have been a priority, and in a way my technology failing has been a blessing in disguise. It’s nice to disconnect from the digital world from time to time.

8 comments:

  1. It's great to take time off from the internet. And reconnect with yourself as well as friends and family. The internet is a great place but it can also be quite depressing, fast paced as well. Sometimes taking things slow in a world where everything is fast paced is the best.

    Nathalie
    www.nathalie-alexandra.blogspot.com

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    1. I agree, I think social media and the internet can be contributing factors with depression.
      Definitely good to take a break now and again – difficult to do sometimes, especially when you have a blog to run like us. - Lubna :)

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  2. I really enjoyed reading this post, Lubna :) I don't think I could ever imagine life without it, but disconnecting from the internet works wonders for me too, it's so important to have that break! xx

    Toasty

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    1. Hi Beth glad you enjoyed the read, you have some great posts too! :)
      When life is getting hectic, I find I need to "plug out" as all the online updates make me feel overwhelmed.
      Everything in moderation, I think.

      - Lubna xx

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  3. i keep meaning to do a digital detox for a week because i do think it's really important to switch off sometimes. i just never seem to get round to it, this post has just reminded to get me ass in gear!

    katie xx lacoconoire.com

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  4. "Digital detox" - love it! :D
    It really did help - I've been feeling a bit stressed lately, and limiting the amount of time I spend in front of a computer helped massively.
    Defo recommend you do it – you might find you extend it for longer than week like I did :) (although I was still checking things like my emails on my phone).

    - Lubna xx

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  5. I think SO many people find themselves happier as soon as they put down their phones for a bit. I always make myself leave my phone alone for a bit in the morning (admittedly, after waking up with Instagram stories...).

    πŸ‰ Pia
    http://gymbagsandjetlags.com

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    1. I agree, it's a good idea to put all your devices down if you’re spending too much time on them.
      I must admit though, I'm guilty of checking Instagram first thing in the morning too...It's not bad if it helps wake you up, right? :P

      - Lubna

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