Time goes by fast when you are drifting around aimlessly on the internet. I admit it, even I sometimes drift around on the internet without a path or purpose. It's as if I will stumble upon something wonderful and all that time wasted will suddenly be worth my while. Perhaps there is a holy grail lost on some hidden webpage or a fountain of internet youth that is waiting to be found? But the truth is, you are wasting your youth if you are online without a purpose. And there is, in particular, one website that many people find themselves gravitating toward, as if that site was a magnet.
They call that site Facebook.
A day can blast past you like a supernova when you are online. One moment you are climbing out of bed. The next moment it's sunset and the internet is where your whole day was spent. Much of that time was probably spent on Facebook, wasn't it? Imagine what you could have accomplished had you spent your time doing something offline? Or maybe you could have accomplished something if your time online was planned or at least in the purposeful pursuit of some end goal?
Getting online is a dangerous game. There is much at stake every time you sit in front of the screen. A few years ago I had dial up and the modem sound would fill up the house. You could not seem to turn it down. It would beep and hiss and make all sorts of horrible noises. It was the internet beast firing up, getting ready to 'steal' your precious time. Back them websites loaded painfully slow and the modem would sometimes disconnect (especially if you had it set to allow incoming calls). A disconnect, at least, was a way to exit.
Now it's all too easy. For many people, it's just move the mouse and surf. Avoiding real life has never been easier. Kids crying? Too bad, must Tweet. Homework due? Sorry, gotta put a status update online. Dog needs to tinkle? Can't do that, gotta look at pictures of other people's dogs on Pinterest. The internet is full of dead ends and side roads. It's very hard to get off once you get on.
You have to know when to say when. How can you do that though when time flies online?
Here are some (amazing) ideas:
1. Reward yourself for going a day without using the internet.
-It can be done, even though it's hard. When is the last time you went a day without using the internet? Make it a goal and see if you can do it. I bet you can't. Want to prove me wrong?
2. Have a contest with a fellow addict.
-Perhaps you are not alone in your internet addiction. Maybe it's just a website such as Facebook. See who can go the longest without going online. Of course, you will have to take each others word for it. Maybe the loser has to take the winner out for lunch. Or maybe the fact that the loser got online, or got on Facebook was a big enough loss.
3. When you go to the computer, ask yourself, what do you need to do?
-Maybe you will realize that there is little time for internet when you think of the life goals you want to accomplish. Do you want to finish a book, a poem, a painting? Have you always wanted to start a garden? Got a little extra weight you are dying to lose? Perhaps a walk or jog would be beneficial? Dust off that gym membership you are paying for but not using. Maybe walk that poor dog or clean that kitty litter box (truthfully, it stinks -- go clean it now). There's so much out there to do, and Facebook is not important. Neither is the internet. Believe me, it can wait.
4. Take a camping trip or go to a bed and breakfast for the weekend and leave the technology at home.
There are places out there that are more rustic and don't have electricity. Camping is a great option as well. Get back to nature and enjoy some time away from it all. If you don't like to camp, take a weekend at a bed and breakfast and leave the cell phone in the glove box. Tell yourself you won't use the internet and enjoy the company of your family or friends. That's real social interaction, stuff that can't be matched on the internet.
There are many more ways you can get yourself off the internet for a while. Limit yourself. Set an alarm next to the computer. Tell yourself only 10 minutes at a time. Do you really need to check your e-mail twelve times a day? Do you really need Facebook? Twitter? Pinterest? Instagram? Is that LinkedIn account really helping you find your dream job? Highly doubtful. Maybe you could spend your ten minutes deleting some of those old profiles or at least deactivating them. It's time well spent, and time well spent on the internet is getting kind of rare.