life_skills > +internet_addiction
document updated 13 years ago, on Dec 11, 2009
I use DEFCON levels to indicate how severe my internet addiction is at any given point in time. The more severe my addiction is, the more intrusive the remedies I have to employ. ("going slower sometimes makes you faster")

Thus, there's a need to lower the intrusiveness of the remedies — but only after I've had a period of time go by that I've proven that I have my addiction more under control.

The worse my addiction gets, the harder it is to retain self-control, so the list below should help make it more clear what sort of remedies are required. But I also have a tendency to go to decreased vigilance too soon, so hopefully clearer rules will make sure that I do this only after it's appropriate.

  • imminent danger of being fired from my job
  • no control over sleeping schedule; bedtimes slip by another hour every day
  • Computer and internet are disabled for all but 30 minutes a week, and they're used only when really absolutely necessary, when there are no feasible alternatives (and only after a period of time spent brainstorming possible offline alternatives). Computer and internet devices aren't just turned off, they should be dismantled and stored outside the house if at all possible.
  • Little control over sleeping schedule. Even if I'm getting up more or less on time, I'm not going to bed anywhere close to the right time, and by the end of the week I am significantly behind on sleep.
  • my boss is frequently displeased with my work, and I'm clearly ranked as the "first in line" on his list of people to let go, should he be required to do a reduction-in-force
  • Computer and internet are disabled for all entertainment purposes. Internet is dismantled every day, before bed, and removed from my bedroom. Computer can be used for legitimate work purposes; however, before turning on the computer, I have to write down exactly what I'm turning the computer on to accomplish, exactly how long I think it will take me to complete the task, and I must set an alarm to remind me to turn off the computer once the task-completion-time is reached.
  • ALL free time must be spent offline. If I try to tell myself "but I can't think of anything to do offline!", remind myself that 1) I have numerous lists enumerating all the possibilities, and 2) my friends and family would be more than happy to correct my misconception, as they have frequently done in the past.
  • my boss is sometimes (even if rarely) pleased with my work; though it's possible that I might be first in line if a RIF comes, it's not the case that it's super-obvious that I'm first in line
  • my sleep schedule is mostly under control
  • I'm taking the proper dose of medication 80% of the time.
  • I can freely use the computer and internet for work purposes. However, using them for entertainment purposes is prohibited in almost all cases. My biggest challenge is trying to draw the line between "work" and "not work", especially in cases where I go off on long research projects that are ostensibly "work", but in fact aren't in any way sanctioned by my boss (or therapist or imagined boss, or whatever).
  • During work hours, I can leave my computer on, but the browser and games must be closed down at all times unless I specifically need the browser open to accomplish a work-related task.
  • my boss is often pleased with my work (or at least very rarely takes issue); it's pretty clear that I'm not the first in line if a RIF comes
  • I'm taking the proper dose of medication 95% of the time.
  • my boss is only displeased with my work when I make a new mistake that I've never made before; it's somewhat likely that I'm due for a promotion within a few years
  • I'm able to use the computer/internet for entertainment purposes somewhat freely, however, I still have to be careful to not get stuck on a paritcular website or game that could allow me to backslide very quickly.