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How To Prevent The Internet From Taking Over Your Life: A Collection Of Tips


NomDeSpite
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(if the Mods feel this thread is more appropriate for "Life Advice", please move it there)

 

So, this thread is about...the internet! The internet has done many good things for our lives. It has given us more outlets to purchase goods and services from, it has opened up news sources that wouldn't be able to exist before, it has given us forums to communicate with other people regarding every topic under the sun...but unfortunately, the internet is taking over our lives in unpleasant and alarming ways too. One infographic claims that in 2002, 9% of the world used the internet and they used it an average of 46 minutes per day. 10 years later, it had increased to 33% for an average of 4 hours per day. (http://www.dvice.com/archives/2012/08/image_of_the_da_430.php). That's a severe diminishing of our offline lives. And that's not even considering the internet's ability to fuel our narcissism (or sexual perversions), or the toll that tapping away at a keyboard takes on our wrists.

 

So I've decided that I'm going to make a huge effort to reconnect with my offline life. To not be submerged in screens. If this sounds like an appealing idea to you (it's a new year, so it could be a new years resolution), I invite you to join me. I've written a list of tips that will help us on this journey. To make this post as un-ironic and un-hypocritical as possible, I wrote it out in a notebook with a pencil and paper during the time when the site was down, these last few days. 

 

THE LIST

 

1. Find a job where you can't use the internet while working. Delivering packages, cooking meals for diners, cutting people's hair...the choice is yours.

 

2. Consider downgrading from a smartphone to a dumbphone. I personally use the same cell phone I did in 2007. It works great and on the day it no longer can work great, I'll replace it with another dumbphone. The benefits of a dumbphone are very numerous; this article by Peter Cohen does a great job of listing them. (http://www.loopinsight.com/2012/12/10/on-the-pleasure-of-using-a-dumb-phone/)

 

3. If you choose to keep your smartphone, for the love of God, TURN IT OFF AND PUT IT AWAY WHILE INTERACTING WITH PEOPLE IN REAL LIFE. I can't even begin to describe how rude it is when people look away from you every few seconds to send another text or to play "Angry Birds". It is the bane of life in the 2010s.

 

4. Instead of using a smartphone, master the art of deep, engaging conversations with no distractions. I, in particular, love these. Meaningful communication is the foundation of all friendship, and friendship is magic.

 

5. If it's possible, don't keep a computer in your bedroom. This will break the temptation to stay in bed all day on your laptop. I've also heard that the wireless internet connection being so close to you will disturb your ability to sleep.

 

6. Try to obtain as much information as possible from books. An article from a newspaper or on the internet will be buried by the arrival of new events but a book is eternal. It cannot be washed away.

 

7. make more time for offline interests: sports, playing a musical instrument, learning to cook, and so on.

 

8. If you need a list of activities to do with friends that don't involve the internet, some of the ones I came up with are: board games, darts, billiards, karaoke, working out at the gym, writing a story together (even it isn't that great), seeing a band or standup comedian live (for those financially able to) or acting in a play together. If you and your friend both believe in God, why not attend church with them? If you live in an area with alot of outdoor activities, why not go boating, mountain climbing, bike riding, hunting or camping?

 

9. When you need to break free from the internet, just go outside and head for a walk. A nice little adventure. You never know what you're going to find.

 

10. Write letters to people. Snail mail style. Especially to people like your grandparents and great-aunts and uncles. They almost certainly are not as internet-savvy (read: addicted) as you so they'd appreciate the old-school communication methods. More to the point, they're your family and they'd almost certainly be happy to hear from you, about what's happening in your life.

 

11. Instead of posting photos on Facebook and Instagram, why not make a scrapbook? Scrapbooks can be very elegant and sentimental. A Facebook wall isn't very sentimental, though the words written on it sometimes can be.

 

12. Before taking a photo of anything, especially yourself, pause for a moment and ask: "if I don't share this photo, what will the consequences be?" If the answer is "it won't be the end of the world", strongly consider not taking the photo at all.

 

13. If a practical time limit will help prevent the internet from taking over your life, try for less than 3 hours online per day. It may also help to have areas of your residence where the internet cannot be used (see Tip 5).

 

- - - - -

 

Certainly there are some things I'm forgetting. If anyone has a tip not listed here that you think is really good, post it. Best tips will get added to my list. For additional awesomeness, print this list out and keep the paper somewhere you'll see it every day. Good luck. B)

 

 

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I think all of these tips are helpful. Maybe finding a hobby that you enjoy doing and going outside more often could probably prevent the internet from taking over your life.

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thank you my life may get better.

*2 days later*

It's unbearable!

 

Good tips though but are ahrder to follow than it seems if you have a routine of going on the internet like me.

And i just lost my smartphone. One less problem!

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I feel ya. If I use the Internet for a long time, I just get this uncomfortable feeling that I'm lazy, and I hate that. I put up sticky notes all over my room and on my computer to remind me to practice my trumpet or bass.

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Good thing Fruity Loops ain't dependent on internet access :3

For me, it's not just the internet that's the problem. It's computers in general. Television too. Being distracted by a screen is the common factor.

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Nice tips, I admit I spend quite a bit of time on the internet but I always make sure that I take a break from it to practice playing piano and do other things moderation is key!   

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Well, I'm not gonna limit my internet use, cause I like it the way it is.

We don't go out as much as we use to cause there's not much to do outside nowadays, considering that a good majority of society is connected to the internet right now, not many will want to go outside with me and enjoy offliness ...

 

Also many people's work depends on connection to the internet, many relationships depend on connection to the internet, many definitions of ourselves depend on the connection to the internet.

We cannot say, that right now internet is any less real than the "real world"

 

Sometimes I use internet more, sometimes less, but there are certain things and I think always be, that are missing in internet, and we have to get those in the real world instead.

 

Funny thing is, that it's all about control and balance. There can be a person that uses internet 5h a day and is already addicted, and on the other hand can be a person that uses internet 11-15h a day ( with some exceptions ) and isn't really addicted :P

 

Internet made my life wonderful in so many aspects I cannot thank it enough, and still works on that. That doesn't mean I'm gonna think any less of the "real world" .... I need them both :)

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You know what? These make some REALLY great points! I personally prefer using this old flip phone I have. Had it for two years, and I don't plan on upgrading :)

 

I'm usually cool if I'm not on the internet, but only if I can't possibly get to it under current circumstances, like at school. Though, when I'm in a place with wifi and my devices suddenly tune out, I might lose it.

 

For example, on Monday, we had a blackout. It infected the entire northern area of Indiana, and as expected, the internet was gone. But, you know what? I didn't feel like I was gonna go nuts. Since I knew I couldn't get to it no matter what... I didn't feel like I was going to break.

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As many of us have very close online friends and relationships, the internet is understandably more ingrained in many of our lives, and this is far from a bad thing. I personally love having the internet within arm's reach wherever I go, but nonetheless understand that moderation is necessary, especially regarding my professional life. I think a good rule of thumb is this: Is my internet usage cutting into my offline responsibilities? (i.e., school, work, family, local friends, etc.)

 

If not, then you're probably not spending too much time online, whether it's a few hours or even over half the day. The quantity is less important than your time-management skills offline. Of course, if your internet usage is cutting into your offline responsibilities, then it's a problem, whether you're spending a few hours or even less time. What ultimately matters isn't necessarily reducing your time online, but effectively balancing it with your offline life.

 

If you can spend most of your day online without it cutting into your responsibilities, have at it! If it's becoming a distraction, though, moderate that mess, stat.

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Well, this could work but the best thing is to just find a hobby. I think the Internet has already kind of taken over my life but that's because a lot of my hobbies are on the Internet and offline as well so I can't say it has fully taken over my life. I think those with the smartphones are in the worst position when it comes to this. Everything is best in moderation.

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How can internet takes over my life..? Internet IS my life

 

That's awfully ridiculous, isn't it? :P

 

 

 

To be fair, skype and irc is the only way I can keep in touch with my old pals from high school and college, and keep contacts with my overseas coworkers. By cutting off internet from my life, I might as well be cutting my actual body in half.

 

 

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Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!! The fact we're talking about this on the internet means it's too late. Also your're asking people with the problem for a solution,,, I wouldn't recommend that but what do I know, I'm one of them

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If a person is fine with how much the Internet dominates their lives...well, okay. But I made this thread for those who are bothered by it, people who are looking to re-connect with their offline lives a bit more. That was the target audience.

 

And @@Dr. Mechano, to me it's not just about quality over quantity. Quantity matters to me also. More time spent on the internet = less time that I can be "present", to those I am actually near. Less time I can be physically involved.

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If a person is fine with how much the Internet dominates their lives...well, okay. But I made this thread for those who are bothered by it, people who are looking to re-connect with their offline lives a bit more. That was the target audience.

 

And @@Dr. Mechano, to me it's not just about quality over quantity. Quantity matters to me also. More time spent on the internet = less time that I can be "present", to those I am actually near. Less time I can be physically involved.

Ah, to clarify - my point was mostly that the internet only "dominates" someone's life if they let it get out of control, regardless of how much time that is. I didn't mean to sound dismissive of your idea; On the contrary, I agree with it, and feel moderation (of anything) is important.

 

As for me, one suggestion I'll contribute to this topic is that you might want to consider logging your time online. Simply write a small note of what time you start and what time you stop, and keep track of your internet trends for a few days to a week to get an idea of just how long you're online. If you feel you're on too much, start small and try subtracting half an hour to an hour a day, and take note of what you do during the extra time you've freed up for yourself.

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one suggestion I'll contribute to this topic is that you might want to consider logging your time online. Simply write a small note of what time you start and what time you stop, and keep track of your internet trends for a few days to a week to get an idea of just how long you're online. If you feel you're on too much, start small and try subtracting half an hour to an hour a day, and take note of what you do during the extra time you've freed up for yourself.

Yes. :)  I made the suggestion in my initial post to set a concrete time limit (3 hrs. a day) but just subracting 30-60 min. a day would help too.

 

 

 

Resistance is futile.

Maybe it is. :(  I mean here I am, giving myself what I *think* will be helpful advice...and then not following it. Shameful hypocrite I am.

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  • 2 months later...

I agree with this, some people really do spend way to much time online, I am also extremely guilty of this as well, kinda need to work on that. Great tips man, THANK YOU! :yay:

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