How to do NoSurf with an Internet-Addicted Roommate?


#1

Hey NoSurfers!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend. I started dabbling with NoSurf a few months ago and although my addiction is far from broken, I feel a huge difference in my mood and motivation. This summer, I was studying for part 2 (of 3) medical boards exams so NoSurf was really important to help me stay on track. I’m happy to report that I got my score this week and I did well :slight_smile:

That said, I’m in a bit of a bind. Now that I don’t have this exam to study for anymore, my motivation to stick to NoSurf is basically gone. I still have studying to do, for rotations, but I find myself wasting most of my free time streaming Netflix or messing around on Youtube. To make things worse, my roommate just bought a Roku TV so it’s not like I can just put my laptop or phone away. And it’s not like I can cancel my wi-fi because he uses it constantly. I like the idea of being forced to go to the library or a cafe to access the Internet.

Any advice? I liked what @Anthymn said in an earlier post about using blockers to build her own self-discipline. I wasted a lot of time trying to devise a “bulletproof” blocking system for all my devices but to be honest if I am determined to procrastinate I will find a way. I would love any suggestions that lead me in that direction so that I’m not dependent on ColdTurkey forever.

Thanks dudes! Keep calm and NoSurf on :slight_smile:


#2

I’ve never had to deal with roommates but everyone in my family is still pretty dependent on using the internet/technology to entertain and relax themselves after work. I’ve tried to help but change doesn’t seem to last.

It was difficult for me to resist the net as well when I started summer last May as well. It was the worst relapse I’d ever had…

Generally there are going to be two ways that you use your free time:

  1. Fun
  2. Growth

Any of the following categories of activities could help you achieve these goals without excessive technology usage:

  • Socializing offline
  • Reading interesting material (can be picture books and the like as well…)
  • Listening to interesting podcasts (unless you find them addicting then I’d stay away from them)
  • Learning a new skill (language, art stuff, dancing,…)
  • Reaching new levels of physical fitness (figuring out a healthier diet, trying a new sport, or just doing traditional “exercising”)
  • Finding things you are afraid of doing and doing them
  • Preparing for the future in general
  • Helping others
  • Many, many, other things…

Whatever it is, you just have to make sure that it makes you really really happy. Otherwise it will not be attractive enough to keep you away from your devices.

I hope that helps :slight_smile:


#3

This really speaks to me. I’m still struggling to find satisfaction in simple things like reading but I definitely could be doing other, more fun things. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!


#4

Hey @likeasurgeon :wave: Happy to hear from you again :grin:

Boredom is the worst enemy to your NoSurf journey. When you have to study for upcoming exams, NoSurfing is easier because you have something in the near future you can work towards; something important. One thing that I do when I don’t anything important coming up is finding something to keep me busy. Something that, preferably, involves you leaving your home where, as you describe it, the temptation to waste time is the strongest. That way, you keep yourself busy and won’t mindlessly waste time.

As far as activities go, @omeleteeto has already posted a great list of things you could do!

Unless you completely cut off the wifi access in your home (which, due to you roommate, you’re not able to do) you will not find a “perfect” system to stop you from going online. But imo, that’s not what blocking software does. It doesn’t completely block your internet access (I’m sure every blocking software has a loophole or two), it helps you control yourself.
Try to implement your “blocking system” and see how it goes. The most important thing is that you have to realize that when you’re trying to trick your system and you need to stop immediately.

To give you an example of what I mean: I have the tendency to listen to random music or watch dumb YouTube videos when I’m on my PC. So I’ve implemented a system that helps me stop that: I just unplugged my headphone and put them on a table away from my PC. Is it a perfect system? Absolutely not. I can just get up and plug my headphones back in. But the important thing is being self-aware enough when I try to “trick” my plan. Whenever I get up and want to plug my headphones back in to listen do dumb, random bullshit, the 15 seconds I need to get up, get my headphones and plug them in is enough time for me to realize “Hey, what you’re doing is really fucking stupid” and then I just leave my headphones where they were and get back to what I was doing previously.

What I’m trying to say is this: You will not find a perfect system. A not-perfect system is just fine! The most important thing is to realize when you’re trying to cheat your own setup and stop immediately. This can be difficult at first but with some practice I’m sure you can do it!

I mean, seriously. You’re studying to be a doctor. If an idiot like me can manage it, I’m pretty sure you can too :smile:


MaxWolf's progress journal
#5

On an unrelated note, I think seeing this thread will be helpful to a lot of people as I think there is still some stigma around what are deemed “soft addictions” junk food, social media, video games etc.

The stigma being that these things aren’t really that addictive it’s just that some people have no willpower.

But if a doctor (who is clearly smart and has lots of willpower) finds the internet addictive then I think more and more people will start realizing that internet is a powerful addictive force that we should treat as seriously as other forms of addiction.