I'm starting an internet meme. We have all read those articles (actually, probably about 1/3 of the articles) that say the internet is destroying our attention span and will power and making us stupid. But few of these have much to say to us about kicking the brain-suckage habits.
There are some of us who have no choice but to spend hours a day on it, and few of these articles ever offer any sort of practical suggestions on how to take control of this activity that seems so easily to take control of us.
I've noticed that sometimes I can find myself doing some mindless thing on the internet and not even really be aware of how I "got there" or even, in some cases, how much time has passed.
A recent study found that social media like facebook and twitter can be harder to resist than cigarettes and alcohol.
Experts around the world are seeing a rise in internet addiction and the effects can be just as damaging as drugs.
So, I'm collecting suggestions for an article on how to combat the habits that make the internet into a brain-trap. What do you do to stop yourself melting into the net?
Here's mine: Lately, I've been having a hard time remembering to take my medication, and have often remembered only several hours later than the scheduled time. I have two pills to take each day and they can't be less than about 11 or 12 hours apart, so if I forget to take the morning pill until three pm, then I'm facing difficulties taking the second one. Some days I've skipped a dose because of this and have suffered for it.
So, lately, I've been setting the alarm on my phone for when it's time to take my pills. This has the secondary effect of jarring me out of whatever time-sucking thing that I'm currently fooling around with on the internet, reminding me of the existence of the outside world.
So, in order to try to control my internet use, I thought maybe I'd try to set a timer, to go off once an hour or so, to kind of wake me out of my internet trance state and remind me that the world is still there and that there are other things to do in it.
Another big trap is first thing in the morning, when your will power is not at it's strongest, to have the computer sitting there from the night before on the coffee table. It's not quite the first thing I do every day, (my first thought in the morning is always the same: tea) but when the tea's made and I've brought the tray in and put it on the dining room table, there it is. It says, "why don't you just have a peek around Internetland while you're having your tea?" Next thing I know, it's noon.
The solution to this one is to put the computer away at night. Roll up the cable, pack up the laptop and put it in the cupboard over night. The problem with the net is that it's there all the time and it's really easy to get. You just plop down on the sofa with your tea and toast, open the Mac and voy-lah, you're in again. But I've found that I'm not so far gone that I'll do the morning surf if I have to go looking for the computer and plug it in. So, putting it away at night works pretty well.
OK, now you.