I’m an internet addict. I spend at least 12 hours daily on the web. I can’t live without it. It is my workplace, playground, and school. That is the place where I can have unlimited opportunities for fun, learning, and even earning money. For me, the internet is a world in the world that is more comfortable for me than real life.
Do I like this state? No, absolutely not. But, I’m bound to it with hundreds of threads.
By the way, how do I know if I’m addicted?
The answer is simple. When I realize that there is no internet connection, I feel anxious. I think the feeling is very similar to what nicotine or alcohol addicts experience. The difference is that they are addicted both mentally and physically. I’m “only” addicted mentally, which is also not good. I know it, so I’ve already decided to spend less time in the virtual world.
How did I get here?
Here is my story.
A teenager who didn’t like computers
When I was a teenager, I really didn’t care about computers. In high school, I didn’t even like learning about information technology. All the teacher’s presentations went in one ear and out the other. I was much more interested in playing sports and going out with friends. It was interesting that most of the boys in my class loved it. They played PC games, and they had one at home. For me, it was a boring thing.
I started using the Internet in the middle of the 90s. Back then, it was new, and people were just getting used to it. However, I never felt it was helpful for me, and I did not think it would significantly impact my life. I couldn’t figure out why people enjoyed chatting with others and browsing useless websites so much.
But, I had to use it in high school, and after at the university, it became a good source of information. But, for me, it was nothing more than a digital library.
I became addicted to online gaming
After the university, I got a good job, and since I had income, I decided to invest in a PC and get an internet connection in my flat. At first, it didn’t get me excited. I spend a maximum of an hour in front of it.
Then, I was introduced to the world of online games.
It all started with playing a few online games with friends, but then I kept playing more and more. Eventually, I spent 5-6 hours a day in front of the PC. As soon as I got home from work, I sat down and played until I fell asleep.
In the beginning, the games were just a bit of fun. But then they took over my life. After a while, I stopped seeing my friends, spending time outside, and doing anything productive. Playing games was all I wanted to do.
I was addicted to gaming, I believe. Although at first, it was fun, it quickly became problematic. Health, relationships, and work all suffered as a result.
In those years, I lived with my girlfriend, and she often complained that I spent hours upon hours in front of the computer. She was fed up with it. She constantly told me to get out and do something else, but I couldn’t resist the allure of the games. I always promised her that I would stop playing so much. Fortunately, she was persistent, and I finally quit playing online games.
Looking back, I regret how much time I wasted on gaming and not spending more time with her.
The Internet Became the Land of Possibilities
I didn’t care about the net for the next few years until I got a spam email about how to make money online. I became very excited, and I dug deep into the topic. I learned all about websites, marketing, and SEO. I gained new skills and enjoyed the experience. In the beginning, I studied how to build websites. My next step was to learn about online marketing. This involved learning about digital marketing concepts such as search engine optimization, social media marketing, and email marketing. Also, I learned how to use different tools.
After work, I spent again hours and hours studying and researching. At last, I started my first website. I began to feel the unlimited possibilities the internet could give me, and when I earned my first buck, I was thrilled. I went mad! Online business was the only thing that I was interested in. My real job even became less appealing to me. Whenever I had time, I surfed the net for more information, even at my workplace.
After a few years, I became so successful that I left my job and became a full-time website builder. And I was successful. I earned good money without leaving my home. But, I spent 10-12 hours a day in front of my laptop, even on weekends. As I progressed, I needed less time to complete tasks, so I could have spent less time working. 5-6 hours would have been enough.
However, that didn’t happen!
I decided to learn a new language. And guess what? Instead of having more time without the internet, I was sitting again in front of my laptop, learning.
And do you know what I do these days?
I do my work and study languages, and I have just started to learn stock trading. So, I use the internet on my laptop and mobile each and every day for about 14 hours, more than ever before.
Why is the internet so addictive to me?
I began the previous section with the headline the internet is the land of possibilities. I feel this. Whenever I have an idea or want to know something, I turn to the internet, which can fulfill my needs. It’s like a friend who gives me advice whenever I need it. It provides relief to my information hunger. And, when I get it makes me feel satisfied. The problem is that my information hunger is unlimited, and the internet is always there. And simply, I can’t stop myself from getting what I need.
After reading my story, you may say it is not that bad. I’ve done an online business, learned languages, etc. But, despite the benefits, I feel this internet addiction isn’t good for me. I live in a separate world without meeting real people. Because of that, it is hard for me to make new relationships. It is hard for me to switch my brain off. The internet is there whenever an idea or question comes up. And last but not least, I find it challenging to keep busy when I have no internet access.
So, I decided to change. Although I’m at the beginning, I’m already happy since on Sundays, I never use any device with the internet. It is my free day. My next step is to reduce the daily usage to under 10 hours.