Thursday, July 19, 2012

Do You Have An Internet Addiction?

I was reading an article about internet addiction being something like the dopamine trip people get from cocaine and gambling. I would have to agree with that. It talked about gaming and Blackberries being always there, in a way that would almost be without boundaries, unlike casinos. It could become OCD in the way some of us get addicted to checking our email, our Facebook, and Twitter.

I admit, I have an issue with this.  I'm not one to sit for very long, at all.  I almost never sit for more that 30 minutes at any given time while I am awake. It's not in my nature to do so.  However, that is not to say that I don't check in on my FB, and email about every hour.  I check, and if I need to, I reply. This likely takes up 15 minutes of every hour I am awake, and at home. (I don't own an iphone). My husband sees this as excessive and it is a major source of contention in our marriage. I have tried different ways to curb this, but have been unsuccessful, thus far.  I think the internet gives me a social connection to the world that I find not only comfortable, but also much needed.  I guess I will have to apply the techniques I used to quit smoking 2 years ago to this internet issue. I do think it's an addiction, because when I am at home and unable to check in on my laptop for awhile I get really grumpy and jittery.  So, along with 30 day Meditation Challenge I will also work on gently curbing this habit.

Anyone else struggle with this? I would almost think that it would be more common in the adult ASD community, as we have trouble making friends in real life, so the internet could become a quick and easy substitute.  For me, it is here when I need it, but not when I don't. I don't feel as overwhelmed by socializing online as I do in person.  I also would surmise that parents of ASD kids, especially moms that stay home with their kids, would be more likely to focus a lot of their social lives on the internet. It doesn't require a babysitter, or a lot of effort to leave the house. Leaving the house when you have ASD kids, especially if they are on the severe end of the spectrum takes so much planning and is often an impossible task to be able to have conversations with others while chasing your child around.  It's also, so very comforting to be able to effortlessly connect with a whole community that also has the same day to day life as you do. These friends 'get it'. They know and they support you, encourage you and you in turn do the same for them.  This is addicting. It's easy to get hooked into this online world when you've met so many great people there that seem to understand.

However, with all that being said, I do have to admit that my time spent on line is excessive and could be better spent doing other things. I am asking for tips. and real life stories of others that have struggled (or maybe still struggling) with this sort of thing. I don't need to totally cut out my FB, blog and other online social activities.  I just need to be more reasonable with the time I spend on these endeavors.

As always, thanks for reading. I appreciate all of you that read and comment! :)

14 comments:

  1. Only one computer in our home with several addicts doesn't always go well. I am in the same camp as you, I depend on it for social interaction as well as an endless library of research material! As far as curbing the habit? I try to make sure I stick to a routine that makes me so busy, I don't have time to get on FB et al, or I use it as a reward. When I'm done with X I get some time on the computer. I do have a phone and I admit that I like to check it while I'm out and about. As long as it is not interfering with my ability to complete other tasks, I'm not too concerned about it.

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    1. Having only one computer would definitely curb my time! I couldn't imagine sharing. It would be problematic, because there are 3 of us that are addicted in my house. I use it for a reward, too. I fly by and check it here or there. Most of my FB status updates are made with me standing, as I run by my laptop. It does interfere with my other tasks, and not as much because I spend too much time on it, but rather I have more to do than one human can really fit into one day, so I squeeze in my social/fun time as much as I can.

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  2. I do have an internet addiction. I ameliorate it by keeping all my blogs in google reader, and reading twice per day, once when I first wake up, and once right before I go to bed (and occasionally if I take a lunch break, I'll read then.) This usually takes me ~15-40 minutes each time, depending on the amount of content and whether I decide to comment. I also do my facebook time then as well. Granted, I work on the computer much of the time, so have the chance to peek at things throughout the day, but for the most part, I just simply keep my internet entertainment for right when I wake up (not quite able to function yet) and right when I'm headed to bed (tired, so I don't stay on too long). That helps a lot.

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    1. I need to time myself, too. I think it would help!

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  3. I understand completely. I am a stay-at-home mom with AS. I home-school my 13-year-old Aspie, and have an 8-year- old live wire, and 17-month- old. Life gets crazy and most of the time getting out of the house is not worth the effort!
    My only contact to the outside world is my computer. Adding to the problem is the fact that I am a writer, so any work I do is—on my computer. I also attend college, and guess what? That's online too! I can quiet literally stay on my computer for days and days at a time. I would forget to eat or sleep if my children weren’t tugging on my arms, or my husband wasn’t insisting I go to bed. Now that I've started my first blog, and online platform for my writing—I may never step away from this keyboard again. Sorry, no solutions here, just letting you know you are not alone.

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    1. Thanks for your comment! I'd love to find a job where I can write online. That would be perfect for me, as well as on line classes. The internet has been wonderful in the way it connects us all and is an endless source of anything and everything we ever needed to know or see. It's no wonder we are all so taken by it!

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  4. I think I have one too and for much the same reasons that you and others have outlined. I really get it.

    I just try to manage the compulsion if you know what I mean. I need to stay connected and think it helps me a lot. I see this interaction on here as quality interaction. I don't get when I see people talking about what a "waste of time" Facebook is for example. They prefer face to face interaction whereas I see the type of thoughtful discussion on here as much more enriching to me, as an introvert.

    I also hang out with good people I think which makes a difference. High five!

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    1. I know, us introverts really view the computer differently, don't we? I think FB can be a huge waste of time if people use it to play those never ending games and message all the time. But, you're right, I also have the most interesting friends that I never consider chatting with them to be a time waster! :)

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