Hi everyone! My name is James and I’m currently a high school senior in New York.

For me, I didn’t particularly had a good childhood, so I turned to compulsive behaviors to numb my emotions. I would play a lot of video games, up to a whole 12 hours, and my internet use would go up to 9 hours at times. After so many unsuccessful attempts at curbing my use, I’ve gone cold turkey recently, from inspiration on this site.

Now I’m at this point in life where I feel awkward and nervous, because I realize that besides quitting the internet, I have to challenge a lot of my old beliefs and views about life. People ask me, “what do you like to you do in your spare time?” I would freeze at that question, because I’m like an empty shell waiting to fill with new hobbies and interests.

I would just answer, “I’m open to new ideas.”


Hey James, welcome to the forum. I used to do the same thing as you when I was younger. I had hours racked up on Call of Duty and Halo 2/3 with my friends. I wish I could’ve gone back and recognized the behavior as early as you did.

We’ve noticed that with a lot of people the “empty shell” effect occurs because they have this huge void in their life now. We’re hoping that with this forum we can expose people to a lot of cool new ways to fill their time. If you’re open to new ideas, have you thought about picking up something like Brazilian Jiu Jitus, indoor rock climbing, or mountain biking out doors?


Oh my goodness, they all sound like great ideas, I don’t know which one to choose! I’ve always wanted to do each of them. But I do want to do something more social, as I’m already picking up reading to fill in my time. So, I’m not sure.


It’s best to start with one and not get too overwhelmed. Whatevers most practical and realistic for you to attempt. None of these are free so it brings up the question, are you working at all? That’s also a good way to stay active and have a routine which will keep you away from the internet at home.


Yes, I’m working at my local library every week, but I still live with my parents. And I certainly agree with you to work at one big thing at a time. Right now, I’m focused on learning the piano, which I stopped learning around 15-years-old. I’ll see what I choose and how it’ll go! Thanks for the great ideas, greyrocks1!