I have a problem. I am addicted to the Internet.
For over a decade almost every free second has been spent online. When social networks gained momentum, not only was I spending all my free time online, I started making time to go online. Combine that with a constant need to learn new things, it was over: I now had to force myself to go offline. I’ve even resorted to pulling the plug so my laptop dies. Embarrassing, I know.
Always asking questions like a six year old and having access to unlimited information is more of a curse than a blessing. Sure knowledge is great, expanding brain power is useful, ‘Stay hungry, stay foolish‘, etc., etc., but since the AOL days (you got mail!) I would waste hours on hours, checking multiple sources, digging through forum threads and random websites to feed my Dory brain.
I’ve spent a buttload of time educating myself on things that are utterly useless. Like stumbling onto a study on pig sperm and actually reading through it, while researching something completely different. I think I was wondering why Christmas sweaters are so ugly. Or how I keep up with food holidays and google recipes and ingredients. Studying cute slow moving animals ex: why koalas hug trees. (In case you’re wondering, a pig ejaculates 150 grams of sperm, there is a food celebrated every day in the US — April is actually grilled cheese month, yum. And koalas hug trees to keep cool. Oh, speaking of cute animals, did you know there are over 1,000 Sesame Street Characters, including international ones? Since we’re on the topic of fictional characters, remember Space Jam with Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny? The movie website is still live and hasn’t been updated since 1996! By the way, did you know Jordan is about to enter the billionaire club? His steakhouse generated $1.6 million in just two months after opening in 2011. Insanity. I had a burger at the bar of the steak house once. It was delicious. It’s also incredible how Heinz ketchup goes so well with burgers, isn’t it? Oh! I have a tip: most people pound Heinz ketchup bottles on the bottom to get ketchup out, but the best way to get ketchup out of those darn glass bottles is tapping the ’57’ near the top. Also: buttload is an actual measurement: 126 gallons to be exact… See? It never ends.)
And just when I thought my life hit complete time suck rock bottom, it went even further down the toilet in 2007: I bought an iPhone.
Since then, I’ve owned every iPhone and about 80% of my waking hours were spent on my phone. But it’s not my fault! Trolling the Internet is so much easier with a device cupped in my hands! Everyday I’d fall even deeper down the Internet rabbit hole than I did on my computer, only to regretfully crawl out hours later. Like an Internet walk of shame. The worst part? No matter how many times I’ve yelled at myself for wasting so much time online, I refused to break out of the habit: my face was constantly in. my. phone.
My addiction was bad. It didn’t matter if I was by myself or with others, at home, work, out dancing, walking, taking a bath (I bought waterproof phone cases specifically for shower and bath time); any time, any place my face = in phone.
Dating was even dictated by my phone. Aside from dating apps, I measured men to date by an iPhone barometer: if I have more interest in my phone than the guy, run. If guy is more interesting than phone, consider second date. Makes no sense. What kind of person equates potential suiters to a phone? And the Internet??
Me. That’s who.
Something had to be done. I bid good riddance to 2014 with clarity and welcomed 2015 with a plan. First step, wean myself off my phone, the Internet and social media and commit to reading at least 4 books a month. If I have something to say, blog. Tweeting or Facebooking are catalysts to falling back into the habit of endlessly browsing, scrolling, LIKEing, commenting and sharing; no bueno.
Anyway, I would like to report: not even a month into my detox: things are going splendidly! Largely due to forcing myself to stay off my phone.
So pardon my silence across social sites. I’ll update here and there but in order to stay offline as much as possible I am centralizing social communication writing here (PixelBits) and on my more personal blog.
I wonder how long this will last.
Follow-up: how I quit my phone