Got sucked into a forum again


My internet browsing was in a good place when I last checked in, a few weeks ago, but I’ve slipped a little bit with my language forum. According to my brain, the forum is a perfect replacement for actually working on my languages. Instead of learning, I can read about learning. :roll_eyes:

In the last week I’ve also found myself compulsively checking the forum for any new posts or notifications. I could actually feel myself losing control when my mind told me to check for new content. It’s been fascinating to notice the excuses and emotions associated with this checking behavior. I tend to do it more often when I’m feeling discouraged and uncertain about my French or Greek progress. So I don’t really use the forum to get needed information, instead I use it as a balm to help me feel better about my languages when the going gets tough. It’s not a bad use in and of itself but it’s getting out of control.

This post is to indicate that starting this morning, I’ll be taking a break from the language forum for a week. I’ll need to log in next Friday to post my Greek hours but other than that, I don’t need to do anything on the forum. Any new posts will still be there on Friday, and nobody on there needs me for anything.

My plan is…

  1. Block the forum for a week.
  2. Notice when I want to visit the forum.
  3. Choose something else to do instead, bonus points if it is language-related!


It’s crazy how easy it is to get sucked back into a website. You think you’re more “advanced” with your NoSurf journey and then all of a sudden you’re realizing that you’ve gotten back into some of your old habits.

Something like this has happened to me recently as well. I’ve found a pretty useful self-improvement/financing blog that has so much useful information that I’ve never heard of. So, naturally, I want to read as much of it as I can. I spent a lot of time of that website, reading for hours, somehow convinced that what I’m doing is good for me and will influence me in a positive way. At the beginning this was true (especially because I’m pretty terrible when it comed to budgeting and all that so I legitimately learned a lot), but after I hit the “random article” button on the website for the 10th time in a row, desperate to find new information, I realized “This is a problem”.

This is a pattern that I’ve noticed in a lot of people who are more “advanced” in their NoSurf journey, people like you and me.
We have (for the most part) managed to control our behaviour for the “big” websites, like YouTube, Reddit, Facebook and so on. The obvious time wasters. But there are more sneaky time wasters as well. Website that are useful at their core, but still pose a potential danger for people like you and me. Websites like these are usually self-improvement websites, forums for various hobbies (like your language forum) or anything in that direction.
A few weeks ago, I had the habit to check out the /r/writing on Reddit. And while, at its’ core, it contained some useful information on the process of writing, the way I actually used the website was terrible. After a while I had the same realization that you had:

Instead of writing, I can read about writing.
Realizing that you’re just lying to yourself by using excuses like that, is the first step to get rid of this habit. It’s great that you managed to do just that!

Your plan to stop this new habit of yours is really good. Especially Noticing when and why you visit that forum is crucial to stopping this.
After a while, I found out that visiting the writing subreddit was a form of procrastination. I couldn’t get myself to write so I just read about writooing. That’s surely just as good as writing itself is. (It’s not)


@MaxWolf Thanks for your reply. :slight_smile: I think you’re right about the difficulties being more “advanced” in the NoSurf journey – it comes with its own difficulties.

I’m sad to report that I didn’t have much success with my goal. I didn’t use the language forum for about 4 days but then I somehow ended up falling into some kind of mild- to moderate-depression. I started using the forum again to avoid all the negative emotions, and now I’m right back to checking it numerous times a day.

At the same time, I’m not upset at myself, because I really did need a break from my feelings and CONSTANT overthinking. Thanksgiving was much more awkward and socially taxing than it has ever been. I struggled a lot and my depression is worsening, not due to internet use but due to lots of internal cognitive thinking errors that are plaguing me. I’m trying to figure out how to right my ship, so to speak, and I don’t have the ability to cut myself off from the few social groups I do have. I just don’t think it’s healthy for me right now. So even if I sometimes use the internet in an imperfect way, I’m allowing myself the time to talk to others online and get some help in that way.