I'd like to Share Some Things that Have Helped Me
Hi guys. I'm grateful for the opportunity to post to this site. I have had some serious problems with addiction to internet as a procrastination tool, and I've found some really excellent ways of dealing with it that I wanted to share them with you. I actually came to this site about a week ago when I was looking for more ways to improve my bad habits and I read a thread that I wanted to post to, but I can't find it anymore. So I'm going to post my advice here.
First, a bit about me. About nine years ago I went through a very rough time and I became really addicted to reading the news. It got so I was reading at least two hours a day (with a very busy schedule), but every few days I'd binge and read for about six hours straight, and every once in a while I'd super-binge and just read all day, without even eating. Well, this affected my grades and made me more depressed and it got even worse than it was before. That's how it's been for several years now.
Anyway, here are some techniques that have really really helped me. Most people think they're kind of extreme, but when I think of all that I want to become in this life, it does not seem extreme to me. I hope some people who really want to overcome internet addiction will heed at least some of my advice.
So here's my strategy. I felt inspired to get an internet control program. There are several out there. I can't tell you about all of them, because I've only tried two. But I highly recommend you do the research and find one that will work for you. I did a lot of research and finally decided on "Safe Eyes" because it was well reviewed and can be configured remotely (so I don't have the ability to change the settings), but it was a system hog and had really annoying notices that kept crashing my system.
Then a friend recommended Bluecoat K-9 Protection. I can't figure out how to put a link here, but you can google it. It is a free program that you can just download and install. It takes very few system resources. It doesn't slow things down at all (in fact it speeds them up for me because it blocks all ads from even starting to load). And it is extremely effective in blocking the sites that I want to block and allowing sites I want allowed. It also doesn't matter what browser you're using (like Leechblocker). It can block certain categories, and of course you can also make any web site an exception to the rules. You can also tell it when to make the internet available. I have the internet set to shut off at 10:30 on weeknights, and 11:30 on weekends. This has helped me to start getting to bed on time after years of being unable to do so.
How do I change the settings? I have a buddy who lives somewhere else. I randomly typed a bunch of letters and numbers that I couldn't possibly remember and made them the password of the program. Then I emailed him the password. Whenever I need to change something I add it to a list of changes I want to make when I have access to the program. After a few months without logging into the program, I email him and ask him for the password. He gets back to me in a couple of days with the password and I just try to have as much self control as possible as I make the changes I need to make to the program. Then I erase the password from my email and computer and go another few months without being able to access the computer.
This system may seem flawed. You might suddenly need to open up a website that is blocked, or find a new web site that is wasting your time and needs to be blocked. In this case you simply have to go into the program more often to make the changes. Over the last two years I have continued to refine what is on my list of blocked sites and what is on my list of sites to never block. Now it pretty much blocks any sites that would waste my time.
One challenge that I have is that I would like to allow some sites for entertainment for certain times. This program can't do that, but I have decided that it's worth it to me to just block those sites permanently rather than risk wasting hours on those sites when I shouldn't. Ultimately those sites weren't all that important to my life anyway. I just didn't think they were a problem. It's worth it for me to have to block them to avoid the problems. Another option that I'm considering is using a hybrid system of this program and Leechblocker. I can use Leechblocker for websites that aren't a really big temptation and this program for the stuff that really tempts me.
Well, that's my spiel. It's been hard because I've had to completely give up so many of my favorite web-sites, but then I have time to do other things that I wanted to do even more, but that didn't draw me in as easily. I have improved tremendously, but I still struggle with procrastination so if any of you have advice on how to deal with this, I would also appreciate that.