A previous tip was...
Keep a record of your internet use - Internet Addiction Tips
"I didn't realize just how much I actually play."
In order to address a problem, change an unhealthy habit, or make a "course-correction" in your life, assessing the extent of a problem is the second step (the first step is of course, recognizing that there is a problem to begin with).
An example: Imagine that after experiencing chronic headaches for two weeks, you decide to visit your physician. Within one minute of telling him/her that your head hurts, you find yourself on an operation table awaiting brain surgery. Not an ideal sequence of events, is it?
Although this extreme example is rather unlikely (thankfully), the point is that in order to properly address a problem (be it physical or psychological) you need adequate information before you proceed with a treatment or recovery plan.
Given that you have found this website, you probably already recognize that you have a problem with excessive internet or video game use (or perhaps this applies to someone you know). This may be the equivalent of saying "I have a headache". However, in order to set clear, detailed, and achievable goals you need more information.
Yes, it is possible to estimate just how much time you spend online or gaming, but in my experience this information is often inaccurate. It is important to know:
- How many hours per week do I really spend online or playing video games?
- What times of the day are the most "risky"?
- What am I doing just before going online?
- Which activities, games, or websites seem to take most of my time?
Keeping a detailed record of your online activities for at least one week is a useful exercise which will give you a much more accurate assessment of your internet and gaming activity (note: keep the log right next to your computer). With this information, you will then be in a better position to set specific goals for your recovery. Additionally, many people find that simply maintaining a record makes them more accountable for their behavior and results in less time online.
For a step-by-step guide to stopping internet addiction download the Computer, Internet, & Videogame Addiction Workbook.
Good luck and healthy tech use.
Ready to get started? Download an activity log template here.
PS: There is much more to overcoming video game or internet addiction than just this one tip. Visit the Information Centre for dozens of articles on computer and video game addiction.
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