Internet Detoxing

God forbid this article turns into one of those horrible Sunday newspaper articles by middle aged men who never really understood what it means to be addicted to the internet.

OH THE INTERNET. I LOVE IT. Long day with nothing fun? Sitting idle and plagued by your own thoughts? Horrible people around you making you feel out of place and awkward? Need to take your mind off that thing you did that is making you cringe hard af? Whip out your phone click on twitter and tweet about it or watch your favourite you-tuber or scroll down an aesthetic instagram or read a fluffy dramione fanfic.

The internet in our safe place. There is no place I’d rather be. I feel safe. I feel happy. I feel interested. I’m enthusiastic. I’m never bored. It provides me mental stimulation but also allows me to forget about all the issues I have. On the internet, I’m not bothering anyone. I’m not being embarrassed or insulted by someone else. I’m not messing things up or saying the wrong things or doing the wrong things. The internet is my safe place.

If I could, I would be able to live on the internet forever, never getting bored, never running out of things to do. But alas, I cant. And oh how horrible that is. I need to ‘educate’ myself in accordance to what society brands as ‘education’ Ha! No. Please don’t make me sit in a soulless concrete building and read a series of monotonous essays with no form or structure. I’d rather read about the very same things, form my opinions and write my own essays on the internet. But I have no alternative apart from reading what is designated for me. Until a few years ago, I was more than content. But now, my mind craves more. I want to do things that interest me, that hold my passion. Unfortunately, I seem to have associated this feeling of ‘enthusiastic passion’ with the internet.

Now, dont get me wrong, coming from an internet loyalist, The internet isn’t the best place for productivity. And even though I fear to say this, I believe it is time for a detox. By detox, I dont mean get off the internet forever and live in the times of the early man. I mean, this: y’know those people that come to school on Mondays without knowing what trended on twitter on Saturday evening? y’know those people that haven’t yet heard Beyonce’s new album? y’know those people that dont know what Harambe is? They aren’t necessarily better due to their negligence of ongoing events but I’d bet a million bucks that they had a more productive weekend. A more, healthier weekend. I don’t need to enumerate the reasons why one should get off the internet. You and I both know it and you and I both want to log off right this moment. But we find ourselves unable to.

I need to get off the internet. I’ve been telling myself so since March. It’s September now. Has it worked? No. I have the resolve of a gnat. What can I say?

I’ve made a fool proof (hahahahha) plan as to how I will go through the digital detox.

  1. Wake up in the morning and don’t twitter. Maybe try listening to a couple of songs as you take a shower and then try reading the newspaper? (glossary: A Newspaper is this thing that is made of pages that has the news but it’s like printed and has these pictures and stuff)
  2. After you return home, while you’re on the stairs/ in the elevator, switch off your phone. Such that, when you enter the house, your phone is switched off. (This will ensure you dont have any notifications that will tempt you)
  3. While eating dinner catch up on a 30 minute sitcom this has to be done via the television (Glossary: the television is much like netflix but it is inflexible so you basically HAVE to watch what THEY put on. I KNOW.)
  4. After dinner, assign 20 minutes to check each social media so that you dont miss out on last minute assignments and have the time to say hi to your online friend and ensure there is nothing huge happening. (pst: if you dont have the self control to get off after 20 minutes, I recommend an app called ‘App Detox’ which is really really helpful)
  5. Switch off after this session and finish your wok and head to bed. If your mind tells you ‘idk. I’m kinda bored. maybe I should just CHECK on the notifs’, tell your mind to write a poem on geese. It should be elegant and poignant.
  6. If your mind annoys you by replaying your cringe moments so much that you go off focus and cant do anything and try going back to your safe place; aka internet, grab you favourite book and read a couple of chapters or try crushing the high notes on chandelier.

Draw. Paint. Sing. Write a Poem. Read a book. Write your own fanfic. Sleep. If you ever find yourself incomplete and craving to get on the internet, do any of these and tell yourself, what matters at the moment is that you stay away from cyberspace no matter how comforting it looks.

Weaning yourself off your safe space when the world around you and the mind within you is horrible and cold and daunting is the most difficult thing you can ever do. And if you do it, kudos to you and I hope you enjoy that joy you feel within you when you succeed.

The internet is my home but sometimes, we all need to rise above it. All the luck to you xx

Irene.

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