Accept that there is a problem. Addicts can't work on scaling back Internet use if they believe what they're doing is fine. Once you admit you have a problem, working on the addiction can go a lot easier, according to mentalhelp.net (see Resources).
Since there is so much to do online, from games to chatting with friends, it's easy to become addicted. While abstinence is a viable option for other addictions, most people need to use their computer daily for work or school. Instead of abstaining from the Internet completely, there are some tactics you can employ to end an Internet addiction.
Things You'll Need
- Timer Notebook
Find your triggers. There are usually actions or events that can set off an Internet addict. For instance, you might start overusing the Internet when you are bored, stressed or anxious. Once you have found your triggers, try to eliminate them in other ways. For instance, if you use the Internet the most while you're stressed, find another outlet, such as meditation or a cup of tea.
Record how often you use the Internet. Most people don't realize just how much they use the Internet every day. Keep a journal next to your computer and log it in every time you go on the computer. Record the date, the start time and the end time of each session. You can study your habits.
Keep a timer by your computer. Set time goals for Internet use. One hour per night should be sufficient to start. Time yourself with a kitchen timer. Make a promise to yourself to log off as soon as the timer dings. You can always finish what you were doing tomorrow. As you get used to an hour, start scaling back the time further by 10- or 15-minute increments.
Focus on healthier activities. Internet addicts often forget about their hobbies once they're embroiled in their addiction. Make a list of the things you like to do. Next time you feel like going on the computer, do one of those other things instead. Take a picnic, play basketball or take a hike in the woods. This will also help you spend more time with your family, which has likely been neglected during your Internet addiction.
Tips & Warnings
- If Internet addiction remains an issue after these steps, therapists specializing in addiction can help. Turn the computer off completely after use. This will prevent you from popping on just for a minute, and leaves Internet use only for when you really need it.
- Extensive computer use can cause repetitive stress injury that damages ligaments and tendons in the arms, hands and wrists (see References).
Solutions for Overcoming Internet Addictions
The Internet can be an engaging source of information, interaction and entertainment. Today, the World Wide Web is more accessible than ever...