Consume less, create more


My weekly laptop (Rescue Time) report:

3h 46m on YouTube in total
3h 14m on Reddit in total

On average 1h 30m on social media per day. (within my goals)

My weekly phone report (Quality Time)

On average 2h 29m on my phone per day. (failed my goal)


Have you tried to concentrate your YouTube watching or reddit reading into fewer sessions per week? I find that I can consume more quality content in less time if I access those sites less frequently.


This is great advice and I’m sure this would reduce my time spent on these websites. I’ve really been struggling the past few days to not use these websites as entertainment when I’m feeling ‘too exhausted to read’. They have the power to draw me in even when I’m not enjoying to spend non-mindful / non-purposeful time on there.

Thank you, I’ll definitely be working towards it!


Hi. It’s me. The most indecisive person on the internet.

I think you’re coming at this problem from the wrong perspective. You’re doing great. If you’re really averaging 2h 29m on your phone per day that’s pretty good. I’m around 1h 30 - 2h per day and most of the minutes I rack up are really just from me picking up my phone at random times and staring at my home screen (it’s a weird habit I have…). It’d probably be best if I just turn my phone off at these times since I don’t need access to it anyways.

Horatio has a good point when he recommends that you limit the number of days that you access these websites. This is a good technique because it teaches you delayed gratification. Instant gratification is one of the things that make these websites addictive, so to delay gratification means that you are reducing their level of addictiveness to some extent. However, I really think that the best option for most of us here is to simply quit using these websites as a means of entertainment altogether. That’s what I’ve done for that last few months (more or less) and it’s worked out well for me. You really do not need these things in your life to be happy. It’s not obvious at first that this is the case. You’ll need to rework your life so that most of your joy comes from places that lie offline or at the very least lie outside of addictive social media websites.

I had similar issue with going back to YouTube and Reddit when I was too tired to read when I was starting out. This is normal. You see, we don’t need to become monks just because we quit the internet. Quitting the internet alone is enough. I think that the fact that “self development” is tied so much into NoSurf is kind of a bad thing. All we need to do is quit the internet. We don’t need to spend time getting six-packs and reaching enlightenment unless that’s something we’re genuinely interested in.

Anthymn created a list of things to do with your offline time here. You have so many more options out there than replacing the enchanting experience of binge watching YouTube videos with activities that you don’t really enjoy.

Finally, once again, I think you should remember that you are actually doing really well. It’s easy to get caught up in meaningless details while cutting back but we have to remember that internet addiction is unlike any other addiction. Unlike cocaine, alcohol, and gaming addicts we CAN’T remove the internet from our lives altogether and still function properly in society. Because of this, we will never reach a point of complete perfection because our vice is always only one click away from our access at all times. Even Nik relied on blocking software to keep himself in check at one point. I think the goal for us should be “Managing addiction” and “More successes that fuck ups” rather than complete perfection.


I picked up the habit again of using my phone right after waking up and I really don’t want this to continue. It makes me feel less calm and concentrated. Yesterday (Sunday), I also realized that I went on Reddit each time I was confronted with a difficult task when studying. With the beginning of a new week, I’ll try to avoid these two things and will tell you in a week if it went well.

My weekly laptop (Rescue Time) report:

4h 31m on YouTube in total
3h 23m on Reddit in total

On average 1h 44m on social media per day. (within my goals)

My weekly phone report (Quality Time)

On average (still need to calculate this) on my phone per day. ()


Hey there. I’m glad you didn’t leave nosurf for good and blessed me with this message. :slight_smile:
I’m not sure if my 2h 29m are comparable, because I excluded “productive” apps from being measured, so it only measures WhatsApp, YouTube and other social media. What is true is that I’ve improved. I remember days of 4-6 hours a day on my phone. A sense of accomplishment for sure would motivate me a bit more.

What you say about gratification makes a lot of sense and I can feel myself how social media has functioned as instant gratification during the last few days. It’s good to understand how and why social media has such an effect on us.

Altogether, you’re message has done very well to motivate me again, so thank you so much for it. I’ll save that list by anthymn and I can return to this and your message whenever I need a sense of direction. In real life, there’s nothing to keep me in check or to give me any sense of why I’m doing this or how I could be doing it.

So thank you again. :slight_smile:

(Diary part:)

In a next reflection, I’ll oblige myself to talk about how setting certain times for social media went. I never really did this, bur for trying it the first time, I’ll only use social media on my laptop during my non-working hours: Before 8am and after 7pm. When I’m at home, I think breakfast/lunch/dinner with YouTube is fine (I am in love with the easy access to educational videos). My phone is more or less fine (lack of apps…) if I’ll use it less in the morning for once.


No problem. I was getting a sense that you were being hard on yourself hence why I left this post. I have been learning more about the scientific background of internet addiction recently and I have learned a lot. I have full access to these papers as I am still a full time student. It may take some time to get through it all but when I do I will most probably post it online somewhere…

As this forum is closing, I’ll publicly share my email here for anyone who wishes to stay in contact with me:

My message stays the same to anyone else here who feels like they aren’t doing well enough. It’s natural to not be perfect. Imagine if cocaine addicts had to walk around with a few grams of cocaine in their pocket everyday? There would be no such thing as an ex-cocaine addict! So, I urge everyone here to be a little kinder to themselves :slight_smile: