As at the time of writing this article, there are over 1 Billion websites on the internet and over 3 billion internet users across the world. The internet has made the world a global village. Many things that were not possible some years ago in the area of communication are now possible with the aid of the internet. Now we can communicate and interact with our loved ones anywhere in the world provided we have internet connection. We can now watch our favorite movie, play our favorite game, chat with our friends, make research on different topics and read the news on the go and so on.
Everything that has advantages has its own disadvantages; this applies also to the use of the internet. The internet is a world on its own just like we have the physical world. When you find yourself glued to the internet in such a way that it affects your normal day to day activities and you find it difficult to control the time you spend online then you are said to be addicted to the internet.
According to techopedia.com, internet addiction is defined as a proposed but unproven disorder that involves excessive internet use to the extent that it interferes with daily life. You may still be wondering if you are an internet addict, to confirm if you are one check the signs highlighted below
Signs You are Addicted to the Internet
• You spend most hour of the day surfing the internet.
• You don't have genuine reason(s) for most of your online activities. You do them to merely while away the time.
• You find it difficult to focus and do the activities or tasks that really matter to you.
• You visit the internet at interval for no reasonable purpose when doing important task.
• You find it difficult to do without your smartphone because you feel you will miss being online.
• You know that most of the time you spend online is a waste, you are fed up of it but you can't just stop accessing the internet.
• You rarely make use of other valuable applications on your phone besides your browser.
• You are preoccupied with the thought of going online when offline and so on.
If most of these signs are true for you, then you are likely an internet addict. The internet is like fire, it can be a very good friend when used rightly and can be your worst enemy if you allow it to control your life. To avoid this, you must decide today take charge of your use of the internet.
2 Vital Steps to Taking Charge of Your use of the Internet
1. Accept that you are an internet addict: The first step in solving any problem is identifying the problem. It has been said that a problem identified is 50% solved. To become free of internet addiction you must first accept that you are addicted to the internet and be willing to break away from the addiction.
2. Define the things/activities that are really important to you: I am persuaded that before you start feeling helpless about your addiction to the internet, you must have been aware that there are certain things you ought to be doing with your time which you are not doing. You must have found out that the time you spend on the internet does not contribute to achievement of your vital life goals.
Take a plane sheet of paper and make a list of things you should spend more time doing rather than wasting it on the internet. Most often your list will consist of activities or tasks that are related to the achievement of your goals or activities that will contribute immensely to your progress in real life.
For example your list may look like this:
• Reading a book per weekweek.
• Create time during the day to Think and reflect.
• Focus more on activities that will help me achieve my goals.
• Control the information I read online.
• Spend time with offline friends etc.
After you have done this, you must decide and be determined that you will no more spend your time online on things that doesn't matter but rather on things you ought to be doing. And you must take action immediately or as soon as possible.
Related: 4 Ways You Can Improve Your Life Using the Internet
5 Ways You Can Control Your Use of the Internet
Having decided what really matters to you, you must decide to control your use of the internet. To do this, you will need to take some drastic steps, which will enhance your decision to take charge of your online engagements. You can take charge of your internet addiction by doing any or a combination of the following:
a). Stop subscribing for data: If your work is not directly related to internet, by this I mean if you are not an internet marketer, a blogger, freelancer etc. The first thing to do to break away from internet addiction is to stop subscribing for data and stay offline for at least a week or as much as it takes you to focus on things that matters to you and see the destructive effect of internet addiction on your productivity. During this period you will be able to focus your attention on what you ought to be doing instead of continuing to waste your time online engaging in irrelevant activities. This period of abstaining from the internet will help you in developing the discipline needed to break from internet addiction, having taken note of how internet addiction has almost ruin your life.
b). Keep your smartphone away from yourself: one of the things you can do besides stopping data subscription is to stay away from your smartphone. Sometimes we waste time with our smartphones not only by making use of its internet function but by using other applications such as games which often lead to the waste of our precious time. One way to overcome this is by deliberately taking the phone away from yourself. Get a smaller phone that does not have complex features such as internet and advance games. Get a mobile phone to be used for basically receiving phone calls and sending text messages. When you get this type of phone, always leave your smartphone behind at home when going to work, or when you need to do a task that required your total concentration. By doing this, you have created a system that will naturally keep you off accessing the internet when you don't need to.
c). Apply self-discipline: one of the methods you can adopt to break away from internet addiction is self-discipline. In fact without self-discipline it would be difficult to apply the previously suggested strategies. Self-discipline has been defined as “the ability to do what you have to do when you need to do it whether you feel like it or not.’’ To apply self-discipline you must define in advance what you want to be doing on the internet and it must be related to the improvement of your life and the achievement of your goals. Now, self-discipline is making conscious effort that your online engagements do not go beyond the ones you have defined. If any extra activity is to be added it must be deliberate. Resolve to do away with website or web application that waste your time and focus only on those ones that add value to your life and contribute positively to the achievement of your goals.
d). Set time for internet surfing: having resolved to take charge of your use of the internet, one of the strategies you can adopt to break away completely from internet addiction is to schedule time for internet use. It would be wise to make deliberate effort to stay away from the internet during your busy hour especially when you are at work, and surf the internet only during your leisure hour and within a specified period of time doing only the things that contribute to the improvement of your life or relationship with people that are important to you.
In conclusion, the essence of this post is to help you to eliminate internet addition from taking the driver seat of your life, and help you to take charge of your use of the internet. I suggest that you consider the above options and select the one(s) that is/are suitable for your situation.
Keep applying discipline until your break completely away from internet addition.
Over to You
What is your take on this topic? Feel free to share your view using the comment box below. Also endeavour to share this post on Facebook, twitter and google plus using the sharing buttons under this post.
SHARING IS CARING