Addiction to internet/computers

Old 07-04-2014, 11:30 AM
  # 81 (permalink)  
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When I was a child I rode my bike for miles and miles out in the countryside. I skateboarded around the neighborhood. I picked blackberries and explored all of the woods around my house. I built campfires in my backyard and camped out. I played hide and seek with kids in my neighborhood. Went arrowhead hunting. Went fishing sometimes. I kissed a few of the girls in my neighborhood. Became a paperboy and threw the news of the day into people's yards. Played a lot of pool with my friends because they had a pool table. I went swimming. Played soccer. Went to football games. Was introduced to guitars by my friend's dad. Went hiking, went canoeing and more camping out in the wilderness. What glorious and innocent times those were!

Oh, wait a minute, this topic is about internet addiction.

My bad.

My parents didn't let me watch too much TV in that age before the internet. Sometimes they let me take the Love Boat straight to Fantasy Island. And I got to watch the old, unedited, and politically incorrect Looney Tunes after school. In retrospect, I'm glad they didn't let me watch too much TV.

And then the internet as an adult, been there with it since Al Gore invented it. I've had some problems with it. To say I have not would be a lie.

The internet is a monster and I find the discussion of the "shifting of human consciousness" the most fascinating sub-topic that is just now being discussed here. Somewhere someone is probably working very hard on a bio-chip to integrate the internet straight into the human brain with our brains accessing whatever information we want/need in a moment's time. We could do some amazing things like immediately speak Swedish or perform open-heart surgery…..but, in the end, SCARY STUFF because of potential misuse of "knowledge is power" and the potential loss of human consciousness as we know it. We're not there yet and I hope we never are, but a lot of times science fiction becomes science fact.

This site has helped me immensely. Part of my recovery now is to use the internet only for purposes of education and edification. Wish me luck and good luck to everyone regarding this issue!
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Old 07-05-2014, 06:07 AM
  # 82 (permalink)  
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How to treat Net addiction creatively|Op-Ed Contributors|
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Old 07-05-2014, 06:28 AM
  # 83 (permalink)  
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it seems that two in our family care more about internet game playing than real life
we have seen them over the years
be deeply drawn into this unreal unhealthy world of fake pleasure
one young autistic man will not even go out to eat with family members
without bringing his hand held game machine with him
spending all of his time staring at the device
and very little time interacting with the family
this has been going on for many years now
seems that a lifetime of playing games will never be enough for this one
as the true world fades away

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Old 07-05-2014, 06:40 AM
  # 84 (permalink)  
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Hello again

So yesterday I decided to take a day off from all gadgets, internet, google, etc - just to test myself and observe my thoughts, feelings, and reactions. It's definitely similar to how I experienced alcohol cravings - the urges to get online also come in cycles and are very hard to resist unless I actively DO something that is able to distract me effectively. What I tried yesterday: went for a run, prepared and ate a good meal, then met up with a friend for mentally involving activities. We went to a museum and to watch a movie, then sat in a coffee shop for hours of intense and stimulating conversation. It was a great day in "reality"

BUT, I did go through many cycles when my attention to the activities decreased and my mind started to wander with ideas and questions that I could research online, and of course email, SR, all that. I even almost broke my decision when my friend was checking his phone several times - I intentionally left mine at home and felt like I wanted to grab his to check in with my online life... I told him about my one-day experiment and he laughed, why am I making myself miserable like that, but then we started talking about it and he admitted he's pretty much in the same boat... like many of us who commented on this thread.

Thanks for the good suggestions, guys. What I will do now will be similar to what I did (several times) when I decided to quit drinking, during the first 2-3 months. Make a detailed, written plan about what sort of methods I will try, in this case, to try to make my online/offline life more balanced. With my drinking lifestyle, I actually made plans similar to a scientific research proposal, in a visual form, like flowcharts etc, addressing the different components, the connections between different parts of the problem, and suggest (to myself) possible solutions or treatments for each component. I've also been using a similar strategy for my therapy work and find it very helpful: when I write things down as a holistic system, I very often discover new components and connections and arrive to new insights. I am sure this type of approach would not work for everyone but I know that structuring information and lessons from my experiences is very good for me, and something I am good at. I think I will make the plan this weekend and early next week, then try to implement it - see what happens.

I very much agree with the comment above that part of the problem is that technology develops faster than organic life, including the evolution of our brains and related emotional states - in my opinion this is what causes a dissonance that many of us experience not-so-positive sometimes. This is also why the younger generation (~under 30) does not sense this so acutely, because they were already born into this era and were not challenged to adapt to a new phase and way of life. So for those of us that do find the dissonance disturbing at times, the only possibility is really what you have also mentioned: consciously regulate our time and activities.

Also, there is a lot of truth in the observations about intrinsic similarities between how our brains work and how computer operating systems, softwares, networks, and other applications are created - definitely one reason why we get easily hooked. I'm actually quite fascinated by this topic about the structural similarities between nature, technologies, and the universe even. An interesting short piece touching on it:
Physicists Find Proof That The Universe Is A Giant Brain

Finally, re the question raised by Zero, whether we would be willing to go to a 3D SR meetup somewhere - I think it's interesting to ponder WHY would we want to resist it. I'm not sure it's as simple as maintaining anonymity for everyone. I also think that sometimes it's other kind of emotional fear: we would not want to get involved with others in recovery too intensely in case they happen to relapse and go back into chaos, I think sometimes we fear the possible pain and effect of such a more direct experience. Maybe I am wrong, it's just a vague observation and feeling I have, but it was also discussed here sometimes in the context of getting close to others online and what happens when they disappear... we then get cravings for people So perhaps it's similar to the general pattern of virtual interactions: we perceive a degree of safety due to the distance and simplicity.
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Old 07-05-2014, 07:00 AM
  # 85 (permalink)  
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I also want to thank everyone for posting some great links - I will definitely use some of the content to set up my "plan" to address this issue in practical terms
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Old 07-05-2014, 07:05 AM
  # 86 (permalink)  
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Cool article about the universe being a giant brain.

I like the last line in the article
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Old 07-05-2014, 07:13 AM
  # 87 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by matt4x4 View Post
Well if you are alcoholic, you have an addictive mindset. Computers/Internet is just a byproduct, same goes for porn, gambling, pills, going to meetings all the time, drugs, over-working, over-working out, scratch tickets, pull tabs, whatever you name it. You have an addictive mindset, if one is good then 100 should do the trick. What is abnormal becomes normal after a period of time, its time to change the way you think. Live a life of balance, thats what its all about.
i would agree with this and its why we need to learn how to balance things out in life

a bit of internet is fine, a bit of outside interests is fine, a bit of work if fine, a bit of exercise is fine a bit of everything in a day is fine and it fills our days up

but what do i do ?
a lot of one thing only and not even bother with other things and i tell myself its helping me or find an excuse to justify it
with the internet it fed my hunger to stay on my own and not go out into the big wide world as i felt i wasnt really like that as a person and liked to stay on my own without going out and facing people

aa meetings changed that for me as i had to face real people and i got used to it
i started to go to meetings night and day and live there but i have had to learn how to mix meetings in with my life today as i live life today with a bit of this that and the other

so i need a routine in my life a simple one that means i do different things in my day
spending family time with my kids, helping others, doing meetings, going to work, sleeping, house work etc
there is plenty to do in a day
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Old 07-05-2014, 07:48 AM
  # 88 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by biminiblue View Post
Cool article about the universe being a giant brain.

I like the last line in the article
Yes, me too, although I don't take it that literally.

If you find these ideas intriguing, I would recommend the work of my meditation teacher, Alan Wallace:
Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies

He wrote books and many articles about this topic from the point of view of someone trying to integrate science with spirituality. I discovered his work several years ago when I was planning to make a career shift, or more precisely, a shift in the fields of science I was studying. I knew I wanted to be in the neurosciences, but initially I was unsure which exact area - so many interesting questions!! My very first idea, and a felt about it very strongly, was doing research on consciousness. Investigated many opportunities, talked with scientists established in the field, etc. Finally, I arrived at the conclusion that it was not the best / potentially most successful "shift" for me back then given my prior training and experience. So I decided on addiction research where my many years of specific research experiences came like a perfect fit, very timely, and on high demand in that community. Also directly useful to me... even though the personal implementation came only years later.

But I've never ceased to be intensely interested in the topic of consciousness, so I try to follow the field and try to understand it (not always easy because of my lack of experimental experience, hard to judge data that way). Part of my decision to not go into that field was also because the way I could see the experimental approaches, I sort of concluded that the technology in my lifetime would probably be unlikely to reach a level that might allow significant breakthroughs. But if I was asked what profession / field I would choose in 100 or 200 years from now, I think I would choose neuroscience again and get into studying consciousness in collaborative efforts to possibly target the questions in complex ways.
OK now I'm really rambling...

Going back to the original topic and a few points on this thread: I think it would be very important to integrate the type of balance we are talking about here into the education of young people. It's a huge challenge, and will continue being so for quite some time, I think - exactly because it's all so fresh and new. But based on what we know about human development, the most effective way would be introducing these questions and strategies into early life education - I know that some of us commenting on this thread are acutely aware of this... it's just not trivial, because the educational system does not seem to be open and compatible enough yet to accept and welcome these novel ideas and possibilities. Let alone knowing how to make them happen!

And this is why I like to initiate discussions like this
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