Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Internet Addict

If you guys know anything about the Christian calendar, you'll know that we're currently in the season of Lent.  During this season we are meant to prepare for Easter by being mindful of our sins and actively working toward spiritual and personal betterment.  Most people give up something, like chocolate or swearing, and some take up a more positive activity instead, like smiling at everyone you see.

You're probably wondering what on earth this has to do with the Internet.  My answer for this is that for the past couple of years, I have given up the Internet for Lent.  I have noticed over the years that the time and energy I put into both my "Internet presence" and just browsing in general has kept increasing to the point that I can't imagine not having access to the Internet for a single day.  It doesn't interfere with my personal, "in real life" relationships or activities, but it is a major enough distraction that I will admit to being fairly addicted to the Internet.  And since the idea of Lent is to get rid of the distractions in our lives and simplify, it only makes sense that I give up some aspect of the Internet.

I think the reason I have actually managed to be successful with this over the past couple of years is that I haven't sworn off the Internet in general, opting instead to implement strict usage guidelines.  My guidelines for this year are:
  1. I may only spend one hour a day on YouTube.  Yes, this does mean that I have been spending more than that watching videos recently.  This doesn't have to be one straight hour, but I need to keep track and if I go over, I must not go on YouTube at all for two days.
  2. I may only use Tumblr for one hour a week.  I have recently started using Tumblr (and have a whole Friday Feature coming about it) and quickly came to understand why so many people find it addicting.  It's really easy to lose track of time as you continue down the never ending scroll.  If I go over this limit, I must not use Tumblr for two weeks.  Yes, that is very daunting and has been keeping me in check so far!
Seeing as these two sites are my biggest time sucks, they're the only ones I felt the need to restrict.  So far it's been going fairly well, which is especially surprising since I'm on spring break and would really love to spend the whole day on YouTube.

Happy Hump Day, everyone.  Are you a bit of an Internet addict?  Have you ever tried to "unplug" or restrict your usage time?

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