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How to beat internet addiction watch

    • Thread Starter

    DISCLAIMER: This is going to be a long OP, so I ask the mods to feel free to move this to wherever they feel is the more relevant TSR forum (or even better, make it a TSR Wiki )

    I am writing this guide because I have realised how much of my life I have wasted on the internet (and before that, video games). I wish to help others who may feel they are in the same situation, and I believe plenty of that can be found on TSR. I also feel it is important for the millennial generation to address an issue that is only going to grow as more places in the world receive free, "unlimited" access to the internet.

    First thing's first. While the internet is a valuable source of information being shared by many people across the world, it is also a place where one can hide from problems one faces in the "real world". Thanks to social media, online forums, online video sharing and music streaming sites, you can find many, if not countless, ways to indulge and immerse yourself in a land ruled by you, where you will feel safe at all times.

    If you think this does not apply to you, then you are in control of your life and how you use the internet - you may even have bolstered your existing social life with it.
    Otherwise, this is a problem that only you can sort yourself out with. Common symptoms of being immersed in "la-la-land" include:
    -you alienate those closest to you. They cannot get a word out of you sometimes because you stubbornly keep a secret whatever you do online. But they'll eventually figure it out.
    -you need to be told more than once what you should be doing at this moment in time. It's a common fallacy for internet addicts - they think they know what to do in the real world but are too immersed in their own world so they forget.
    -you become awkward in social situations. While the internet does allow you to connect with people from afar, sometimes you end up wanting to "spend more time" with them even if you can't meet them, thus, you stop spending time with people that you can meet. It's the paradox of "being closer to those who are further away, but further away from those who are close".

    You can probably get by with "la-la-land immersion" while you're in school, college, even university, because the aim there is to learn and get grades. You'd spend half your time studying and the rest in your own world, and still get that A or First Class. However, it's when you depart from the protective bubble and start competing for work, that the symptoms of internet addiction show. You sound very rehearsed during interviews, and you don't seem at all interested in the company you're applying for even if you state thus. You may have passed the technical tests and showed that you're capable of doing the work, but the employers are unsure whether you fit in their environment or not.

    As with most addictions, including gaming, betting, drinking, watching TV shows and movies, the moment you realize you have a problem, the sooner you'll sort it out. If you deny the problem you'll waste a few more hours, days, weeks, months, or even years in your comfort zone without thinking about it. In my experience, three things led me to the realisation of the problem:
    -I was given a chance to program for a small company but did not take it well. As good as it started off, over time I exhibited behaviours that eventually got me fired before the end of probation. I became slow and cumbersome at work by not asking when I had queries, by drifting into websites I should not have looked at, and eventually I failed to understand completely my role at the company.
    -So I started looking for work again. I applied through recruitment for roles, and went to interviews with ten different companies. As good as I was technically, again they picked up on areas I struggled with.
    -I thought I passed one of those interviews and had an offer tabled to me. This isn't confirmed yet, but I might have lost the offer on reference. I had put my previous employers forward as a reference but I didn't inform them in advance, so they might have given an account of me that didn't match what I had told the prospective employers about them. (And thus became exposed as a fraud )

    So today I called Samaritans and had almost 20 minutes with a volunteer on the phone expressing my concerns. I will be heading to my local branch today to find out more about how to beat this problem I have, personally. But first I'll draft a few things that "hermits" or "avoidants" similar to me may have been worried about as much as I have when dealing with social situations:
    -"I'm worried I have nothing good to say." That's all right, if you're new to a social group you usually start off with "How are you?" and "What have you been up to?" or "Oh, the weather's quite nice today, isn't it?" Getting straight into debatable topics or one of your interest that they aren't guaranteed to share, will make them feel uncomfortable and yourself more awkward. Only when you've met them a few times and feel you connect with them, will you then have meaningful conversations with "normal people" about things you're interested in.
    -"I had an argument the other night, I'm worried I'll drag everyone down." Similarly, you could be worried about how losing a job, partner, loved one, house etc. makes the others think about you. It's something I've struggled with personally since I stopped going to a cycling club after I lost my previous job. Now I wonder what could have been if only I went, since I did go cycling with the club even before I took up my first role!
    -"They might do the same thing over and over again and I'll get bored of it." If that's the case, then join another club where you get to talk to others! If you're using the internet in a controlled manner, which you eventually will do, then it only takes a brief lookup of things or events that are near you.

    And finally, letting go of your fantasy doesn't mean you necessarily have to let go of the people you meet there that you bonded with. If you want to continue to chat with them, you can PM them to exchange phone numbers or WhatsApp, Kik, Skype. Anything that isn't also a known means of wasting countless time that you're trying to deal with (like Facebook or even this particular site). You may eventually share "real life" with them!

    I hope this serves as useful information for anybody out there that know this is a problem.

    tldr;( too long didn't read)

    tl;dr (sorry bro)
    I read the bold parts, very insightful.
    • Thread Starter

    btw, it is now confirmed that I had a job offer taken away from me due to a poor reference review. Sucks to be the only one in this situation Guess I must now spend another 2 months failing at interviews lol.
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