A previous tip was...
Schedule Automatic Shutdowns - Internet Addiction Tips
"Where did the time go?"
There are few activities which compare to online use when it comes to losing track of time. How often have you thought "just a few more minutes" only to find yourself still online an hour (or hours) later?
When you first sit down at the computer you may only plan on checking your email - simple enough. But, when you log out you see an ad for an interesting upcoming movie. Following the link you are taken to the official website. Here you start watching previews and learn that one of your favorite actors is in the movie. You read on and are taken to a profile page. Here you see links to external websites, message boards, interviews, etc. You decide to follow the link to recent video interviews on YouTube. While there you follow links to other interesting (but unrelated) videos. After several more unplanned diversions you finally check your watch...two hours has passed.
If you are familiar with the above scenario, you are not alone. Staying online longer than intended is common even for occasional users of the internet. Although there are many reasons for this, perhaps the most powerful is the fact that there is no "end" to the internet. Consider most other forms of entertainment. At the end of a TV show you change the channel or turn it off. At the end of a movie you leave the theater. At the end of a book you put it back on the shelf. At the end of a sporting event you leave the arena.
At the end of the internet you...well there is no end. There is always something more to discover, someone else to talk to, something else to be entertained by. Often, online sessions stretch late into the night even though you know that you will be tired and less productive the following day.
If you often find it difficult to pull yourself away from the computer (especially at night) you may want to consider using a program to automatically shut down at a specified time each day (e.g., 10:30 pm). Drastic measures? Perhaps, but an automatic shutdown may be just what you need to gain more control over your computer use.
There are many automatic shutdown programs available - usually for under $15. Alternatively, PowerOff is a simple and free utility that allows you schedule automatic shutdowns and program terminations at specified times.
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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