Navigating Internet Use with Mental Illness - A Journal


#21

Today is my last day on here, Tumblr, Discord, Netflix and Reddit before I’m taking a break for 7 days! :slight_smile: Also no gaming. I’ll have a work trip lined up for 2 days at the beginning to make the transition easier, but the rest of the 5 days I’ll probably be busy as well.

I’m planning to fill my 7 days with

  • Reading (Finishing The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein, continuing to work more closely with the Enchiridion by Epictetus, start to read Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, …)
  • Journaling (Quick thoughts, things I want to google so I can batch my googling, goals, thoughts and notes about the above books, brainstorming about secret NoSurf mod plans ;):wink: …)
  • Swedish (Continuing writing my own learning book with grammar stuff and vocabulary that I’ve been keeping since December but am now redoing in a bigger, better notebook and with new content I’ve learned recently)
  • Embroidery (I have one unfinished piece that I want to finish before moving out! It’s supposed to hang in the entrance area of the new home)
  • Baking bread
  • Walking the dog and playing, cuddling and brushing him even more
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Scrapbooking
  • Music & Podcasts (I have to finally finish The Adventure Zone…)
  • Work & Therapy
  • Gardening & painting the walls at the new home, continuing to build up the kitchen cabinets
  • Preparing to sell some clothes of mine I’ve been meaning to sell for a while
  • Tidying up, napping, some bored time of just doing nothing and relaxing…
  • Sleeping early

I am still allowing myself to check emails and bank account or use the computer for some Swedish research or in case I want to write some stuff, but I am trying to limit that. Otherwise I’m only reachable by WhatsApp :slight_smile:

I’m now gonna have to pack, print out tickets, and edit my block lists on PC, phone and tablet now. I’ll be back on the 30th. Keep it sane here.


#22

I’m back!

A really wholesome time that went by fast.

I kept a journal for the entire time! To not make this post super long, HERE is the document with my journal entries in it. Bullet points, but seven pages. You know how I am.

Summary:

  • Tumblr checking in the morning isn’t necessary. Slowly waking up, dog + book does it as well.
  • Giving some people my number after I return.
  • Gonna try and keep „no computer after 9pm“ after this ends.
  • Don’t return and force myself to use like before; only do what I want to
  • Tumblr maybe once a week, Reddit NoSurf only, deinstall RES
  • Don’t reinstall Tumblr on phone. If yes, on iPad.
  • Clearer head, much less noise, more focus, better meditation, better feeling about time, better vision/eye sight??
  • Netflix 3 episodes per week.
  • Cope better with loneliness, can better entertain myself, did much less on my list than expected.

That’s it for now. I’ll go again now, using just feels weird for now and also my mood is in the basement from other stuff. I’ll probably elaborate on some stuff soon!


#23

This was what I got as a weekly report for the week of June 17, 2018.

Down below is the week from June 24th to June 30th:

(Started the surffree week on the 22nd, returned on the 30th, which is why the unproductive time is exploding on Saturday)


#24

Just thought I’d update with my current ColdTurkey Setup.

These are my blocklists:

  • The Restricted Use list is for activation per Timer only. It disables the entire internet except for the 14 exceptions. It’s the one I used for my 7 days off, but modified.
  • The Normal use one just blocks sites I really shouldn’t visit, the rest is free.
  • The Daily Allowance Blocklists are for Tumblr, Reddit and NoSurf. How Daily Allowance works in Cold Turkey is that it gives you access to a blocked site for a set amount of time, so I had to create those to set myself a daily limit.

  • Allowance A is for the Tumblr+Reddit Daily Allowance which is 30 minutes. Considering I don’t visit Tumblr anymore aside from once per week, and go 1-2 days between visiting the subreddit at the moment, this is more of a mental reminder than an actual restriction.
  • Allowance B is for NoSurf. Not really for addiction purposes, but it’s easy to get lost in behind-the-scenes work or think about what still needs to be done even when the computer is off. This time limit helps me not get lost, and gives me a good shutdown ritual.

This is how it looks like in a schedule:

I have Frozen Turkey longer on weekends. 9pm-10am, and Mon-Fri 9pm-9am.

Sunday is free because I have the settings lock enabled, which means I can’t edit block settings while a blocklist is active, and I’m usually gone almost the entire Sunday (except today). It’s basically settings-adjustment day.


#25

My weekly report for the week of July 1st to July 8th. :slight_smile:

I’m currently very content with my internet use, the 7 days off have really helped brainstorming for good changes and settings to make even better choices about my internet use.
That said, I am also super busy with renovating and packing because of my move, and other stuff, so there’s not much desire or time left to be unproductive. :slight_smile:


#26

Thought I’d update with something with a little more substance again!

I really have to say that I’m moving on territory I’ve never thought was possible for me. It is so natural to start out on your NoSurf journey with about 6-10 hours per day online, and your first instinct is to say:
“Well, I think 5 hours online per day is realistic. Anything less and it would probably actually be harmful or bad. How else would I keep up with things, communicate, catch up on the important videos?” and other excuses or just plain underestimating yourself and overestimating how much you need the internet.

Just a year ago, when I started to build a daily routine and use my time better and properly start on my NoSurf journey, I actually put in social media breaks into the schedule. Like a quick fix, like a chore, like other people schedule their lunch or toilet breaks. After each thing, and always for at least 30-60 minutes.
And sometimes, beginnings of NoSurf journeys just look like that! Gradual cutback, low expectations, managing the dependence, and still resulting in 4-6 hours a day. But it’s a start! And conscious 6 hours of use that was restricted or at least complemented by also doing productive things to help your life & addiction is better than unmoderated, unrestricted internet use just happening to stop at 6 hours that day because of random luck. It’s the first sign you’re taking control of your behavior even if the hours are still high. You are aware.

But as I said, it’s so natural to think that is all that is possible because ___________. In reality, it’s just the beginning. As seen in the post before this one, I logged 5h 23m in 7 days on my computer. When I was 14-17, I could log 10+ a day. A year ago, this was what I would log per day. Now it’s a weekly thing.

Yes, it’s also gonna go back up again maybe, but this point was reached, and it is possible. And it’s not out of competition, or restricting myself harshly in a way that isn’t beneficial - it’s all happening voluntarily, not by force; by setting goals supported by listening to myself, my body, my mind, and seeing what fits best and would make me feel more alert, more productive, happier, more outgoing, etc.

It feels good to only use the computer for things I can’t or don’t want to use my phone for, and with a clear purpose.
It feels really good to use my phone for its usefulness - having a camera, mp3 player, photo album, notebook, alarm clock, and a way to call and text in one. Not as a device to distract myself in public, or waste time away.

RescueTime is only installed on my computer and not my phone, so the above is really just the computer time, but my main vice really used to be the computer, so that’s why I’m so proud to be honest. And mentioning now how I use my phone, I don’t think I would need RescueTime there. I’m looking forward to Apple’s tracking feature in iOS12, but for now I’d guess it would result in 1-2h a day, really depending on how much I’m contacting people or if I’m writing quick notes or a long section.


Some basic facts, to kinda update the intro post here:

  • I only use my tablet for reading or watching Netflix. I can only unlock Netflix for an episode or two and then it’s locked again until the next day. This is a mix of TimeGuard settings and personal rules I abide by that I reinforce myself.
  • There is no social media installed on my phone or tablet anymore.
  • I only visit Tumblr once or twice a week now for the messages and don’t scroll the dashboard anymore.
  • I haven’t visited Reddit in days. I only occasionally do because of mod stuff.
  • I don’t use Discord for any servers, I only come online if I have to call someone online (because Skype sucks). I used to be very sucked into servers, but not anymore.
  • I go weeks between gaming sessions.
  • That means I basically mostly use my computer for OpenOffice, accessing this forum, calls in Discord (maybe once a week or less), online shopping, email & bank, researching Swedish and other stuff, printing things out, and the occasional gaming session.
  1. I feel much better about my life and myself;
  2. I feel in control of it, and I can actively shape it;
  3. I am a better listener, a better conversation partner, a better friend and girlfriend;
  4. I have time for hobbies and for myself, for my dog, for my girlfriend, for meeting people, calling and texting instead of passively reading posts;
  5. A lot of negativity, cynicism and misanthropy that was caused by excessive internet use and online spaces has lifted;
  6. I feel more aware, I know where my time went, everything feels vibrant and real and I feel much more connected to my surroundings.

That’s it for a general update for now :slight_smile:


#27

So I moved into the new home!
I really underestimated how easy it could be to slip into old habits in a new environment to comfort yourself.

Nothing bad happened, I didn’t relapse, but I just realized that. This house is new to me, living with my girlfriend is new to me, certain stuff like caring for my anxious dog is stressful, we don’t have a sofa yet, the kitchen is unfinished and only the fridge and microwave work and we cook on a camping cooker and rice cooker, unfinished stuff everywhere… it’s a difficult environment and it can be so easy to just wanna tune out and forget the stress and unfinished stuff plus uncomfortable feel (naked walls + boxes + no sofa).

It’s also kinda hard to transfer the routines into a new place. Stuff comes up, rooms change, some stuff is still packed into boxes… it took me a few days now to really start to settle in and take most of my routine up again (Swedish, reading, exercise, meditation, …) as well as add new things to the routine (cooking, gardening) but I’m still missing some stuff I need to incorporate (brushing my dogs fur again, embroidery…).

You’d think moving somewhere would be really freeing and a breeze, and mostly it really is; but sometimes it can also be really insecure or uncomfortable and some bad, past coping mechanisms are gonna be in the back of your head again, like mindless Netflix binges.

A new house like that can also make you feel so much more alone when no one else is there (when my gf is working, for example). Feeling alone is always such a pit to bad internet use.

Definitely things to be mindful of.


#28

Sometimes sleeping can be a good stress reliever. Without using wifi in the house, I find myself sleeping a lot. My sleep has been sort of not-so-good lately but I also think just doing so many things all day (working, cooking, commuting, practicing guitar, learning lots of stuff, exercising blah blah…) can just tire me out too. When I wake up I usually have more will power. In your case, adjusting to your new environment might be mentally and/or physically tiring you out a bit too.


#29

That’s so true! Just this whole new environment, new decisions to make, more stuff to do is really costing a lot more energy until it becomes normal and less “resources” are wasted on it in the brain. I already napped about two times today :flushed:

As a quick update, I think I am holding up okayish. It’s not perfect yet, but it’s been turbulent since moving in. Stuff is arriving, the kitchen got finished, you have to learn and remember where stuff is, adjusting the dog to the new home, making compromises schedule wise because there is suddenly another person in the home with their own life and commitments … it can really throw you off your game, but it’s going okay.

I have more “”bad”” days than good right now, but what I mean by that isn’t mental health wise, but days where I have trouble making decisions, committing to things, and my schedule being thrown off by myself or other things.

It’s still in the phase where a lot of the routine is trial and error and a lot of adjustment, and I need routine to not fall back to bad surfing habits, to keep my mental health well, and to eliminate choice because decisions can overwhelm me easily and give me trouble actually executing things.
Even just creating a schedule can be overwhelming because I feel unproductive and a little insecure without it, but deciding what should be done when can be enough to overwhelm me in bad times, haha. And it’s a new environment so I even have to decide details like “where am I gonna meditate?”

I have this ideal of doing at least 1 thing each for my physical health, mental health, skills/hobbies and social each day and it seems like most days I can only hit the first two. It bothers me.
I haven’t been consistent with my exercise and my meditation, and I can feel it. My back hurts, and my mind isn’t as calm and disciplined as I want it to. I feel my discipline melting away, and my mind favoring anything else again that is easy - googling useless stuff, watching Netflix, getting up later than 6 or 7am, etc.
What I also discovered is that it happens so easily that you continue to “treat yourself” and “give yourself a break” in presence of a partner. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the love hormones :stuck_out_tongue: but really, being in love makes it harder to be disciplined and to not just keep cuddling or lying in bed, or do other stuff that’s having this intense dopamine stuff going on, I suppose. It takes a lot of discipline to rip yourself away and not do the easy comfortable stuff.

The good thing is, today I woke up at 6 and got through with my whole morning routine. I think I’m at a place where I can slowly build myself up again. I got used to the home and a lot of it feels more stable and comfortable now, so I think it’s easier for me now to take root, so to speak.

I hope I can really start doing my other hobbies again (aside from journaling and reading; like embroidery, scrapbooking, drawing, learning Swedish more consistently again…).

Most of the time I’m walking the dog, doing chores, reading, journaling, listening to podcasts/music, and I cook or bake, …

My Cold Turkey is still the same, phone and tablet setups/restrictions too.
The good thing is my girlfriend is currently in her exam phase and is locking herself into my office room so Computer Time has really been restricted :stuck_out_tongue:


So my (general, not really NoSurf focused) goals for now are

  • consistently get up at 6am
  • consistently exercise and meditate
  • take up embroidery again
  • update my Swedish books
  • For snacks, only eat vegan snacks (I already eat vegetarian for the main meals)
  • try out hara hachi bu and take care of my eating in general (I am far away from chubby and often have trouble holding my weight, but I still mostly overeat, and I have severe allergies causing me a lot of pain but I often eat that stuff anyway (like chocolate :upside_down_face:) and it’s just not good. I am tired of feeling like I have stones in my stomach after every time I eat together with inflammation and pain, and going through phases of complete appetite loss etc)
  • do cool stuff before my new work starts, like going to some cool restaurants, zoos, water parks, play some badminton etc.

#30

That you‘re starting to get regular again is a sign that things are moving in the right direction! Keep us posted on how your resolutions are keeping up the next days and weeks - in their entirety they seem like quite a lot.


#31

Thanks @horatio :slight_smile: I know it can seem like a lot, but I still have some time left before I start my new job, so I was (and am) really ready to fill the free time until then :slight_smile:


Let’s see:

  • consistently get up at 6am

This went super well. Now I’ve upgraded to 5.30am, and today has been the first day of that and has worked out well. My ultimate goal is 5am. I know what some here must be thinking, like “This person is insane, must be some self improvement addict, always looking for something to beat!” but I actually need to get up at 5am for my job starting at the 20th August, because my commute is long and I don’t wanna rush through my morning routine.

  • consistently exercise and meditate

Except two days, I nailed that one. Gonna continue it.

  • Take up embroidery again

Our sofa is still not delivered because it’s apparently gonna take another month and I really wanted to do it on there, but I guess I should stop putting it off because of that and just do it somewhere else instead. :slight_smile:

  • update my Swedish books

Nope :confused:

  • For snacks, only eat vegan snacks (I already eat vegetarian for the main meals)

Worked out! I’m gonna try and continue that.

  • Try out hara hachi bu and mindful eating

This was the easiest to do for me. I feel a lot better and I’m gonna continue that as well :slight_smile:

  • Do cool stuff before my new work starts, like going to some cool restaurants, zoos, water parks, play some badminton etc.

Done as well. We visited a castle, tried out some restaurants, visited a water park, had breakfast at a big river, and we’ll also gonna visit a museum this weekend. Hoping to play a bit of badminton now that the weather has paused turning everything to ash here.


Something I’ve been thinking about:

Online communication has made it so easy to not be genuine, to not stand by your mistakes, to reverse bad behavior, to undo a lot of stuff. We can hide easily, we can edit what we said, we can delete our messages before the other person has seen them. That’s not how real communicaton is.

Real communication means people seeing your body language, reading your tone, your facial expressions, and they can convey a lot about what you truly mean or how you truly feel about something.
In real life, what is said is said. You have to deal with the consequences. You can’t take it back, you can’t make it unheard, you can’t reverse to a point where you didn’t say it. You also can’t edit out specific words or phrases you regret or change the meaning of your sentence. Before you say something, you have to be sure you wanna say it and you should say it, otherwise you’ll be in trouble potentially. You have to weigh the pros and cons, be ready for the consequences of your behavior.

I realized that in the typewriter thread, because typewriters can’t delete, there’s no backspace, the paper is inked. You better think about what you wanna write and how you write it before you commit. Real life raises us like that too, because else we’d blurt out horrible or really stupid stuff all the time, probably.

I kinda miss that with online communication. This inhibition to saying something, this little force that forces us to reconsider and make sure we’re really saying or writing something how we want it to be.

The ability to edit and delete online really takes away that incentive to check what you say. I think that brings out a persona that can be really impulsive, brash, insulting or cold-hearted in most people, at least from the tone of their comments, messages, posts etc. Because they learned: I can just let it out, and once I cooled off I can change it or delete it altogether. But first, there comes this part in them that they wouldn’t want anyone to know about, that they are ashamed of having let out once it is back in control.

I think many people know it, to ask an insensitive or embarassing question, and we reconsider after posting/sending it and delete it. We lash out in anger, and later on hope the other person hasn’t seen it and sheepishly delete it.

I thought about it, and I think a great principle is to not give myself the ability to delete or edit stuff I send, whether here nor anywhere else. I don’t have negative effects from being able to do so, but I think I just like that it makes me reconsider what I write, to be sure that I wanna send it, to reread it for typos, check the tone and the mood it is worded in, and additional info I could put in.

I think it’s also nicer for other people. That way they know I am really genuine. What is said is said and I stand behind it instead of trying to hide it away. I leave it there for them, or for everyone, to see. Even if it has a mistake in it, or if it was insensitive. It conveys I put thoughts and restrictions and control of what I say to other people first, not my emotions. I don’t lash out and clean up later, I either let it stay and stand by what I said, or give others the chance to criticize me and respond to that criticism; or I don’t send it at all.

I think letting all anger out or being wrong and then deleting it is robbing people of the chance to see who you really are, it is editing yourself to be your best self (but unrealistic since you aren’t really that controlled obviously), letting yourself off the hook, and it is robbing people of criticizing you or you bathing in the consequences.
That’s how I think about it, anyway. I think editing for typos and to add info is still okay but I’m trying not to now.


#32

Have you heard of Delayed Gratification Magazine? It might be what you’re looking for. I haven’t actually read an issue myself, but I’ve had it recommended to me a few times and it might be something to consider.


#33

What does mindful eating look like for you? I am interested in this because I struggle with this despite all resolutions.


#34

Wow thank you!! I will look into it, it looks perfect and just what I needed! :smiley:

@horatio I try to eat for a while and then actively put the cutlery down and just sit there and feel how my stomach feels. If it feels roughly full I stop, and that pays off because minutes later, the brain catches up with the stomach or the food in the stomach expands, and you’re completely full. Otherwise I continue for a little while and check again. :slight_smile: It’s just stopping, really ignoring the greed and all the ‘clear your plate’ ‘you prepared this don’t let it go to waste’ voices, and listening to yourself. You can also move a little and see how heavy or bloated your stomach already feels.


#35

I will soon start my new work and that won’t leave me enough time to specifically go up into my office room to turn on the computer to manage NoSurf, so I had to find alternatives.

My iPad has, since I stopped watching Netflix on it, been just a glorified kindle, and lays around most of the time (and is often empty and shut off, especially when I read physical books for weeks). Overuse has never been a problem with it. I would’ve never bought a tablet, but this one was a gift years ago.
It doesn’t comfortably fit into pockets, it isn’t easy to hold, writing on it is bad, I am too lazy to get out my wireless keyboard, … all of these features make it easy to not overuse it at all, and rather forget about it somewhere or only take it with me for reading. Plus, no mobile data, only WiFi.

I thought, okay, anything like the Discourse app, Slack, Discord etc. is just bad on the phone. It has mobile data, I take it with me everywhere, it’s easy to hold and put into pockets, typing is easy, I still connect the phone mentally with mindless checking… a recipe for disaster.
But putting it on my iPad would solve that. This doesn’t apply to everyone, but for my usage and ‘problems’ with the iPad, I think it’ll work. I do realize there is this big screen = more use danger, but I’ll see. I just find iPads clunky. I frequently leave it upstairs. It helps that I don’t expect any messages or calls on it, which is why I take my phone everywhere.

I used this to offload several apps from the iPhone to the iPad, and only keep the stuff I really need on the phone, to further turn it into a dumbphone I guess. When outside, I can only read via Kindle on the iPad. No mobile, and with WiFi I’ll be able to do the usual stuff (NoSurf, Duolingo,…). Makes sure I really sit down in a dedicated matter instead of having it on me everywhere, like it would be/was on the phone.

The phone now looks like this:

Left folder: WhatsApp, Spotify, Public Transport, Headspace, Browser, TimeGuard. The ones I use the most.

Right folder:
(First page)
Settings, Contacts, Photos, Notes, Phone, Banking, Banking2, Public Transport Alert, Catastrophe Alert; these are the other important ones.
(Second page) App Store, AccuWeather, Messages, Calculator, Safari, Steam Authenticator, Camera, Skitch, Clock; these are mildly important/system stuff, but who still uses SMS? I also use another browser, and I navigate to camera or clock by control center or the lockscreen and I have a widget for the weather app. So this is just about storing semi important apps.
(Third page) Health, Wallet, Find iPhone. The most useless.

I could technically combine them all into one folder, but I kinda like having the two most important categories in view.

The control center is reduced to the things I wanna navigate to from there.

My iPad:

First folder: Duolingo, Headspace, Clue, Cooking app. Productive and important.
Second folder: Notes, Paper, GoodNotes 4, Pages. All kinds of note-taking and writing/digital journal apps. I have a pen for the tablet, so these are good to have.
Third folder: Settings, Authenticator app, Password manager, Browser.
Fourth folder: All NoSurf things. With TimeGuard, so they’re limited.

The shelf has the Kindle app and a blog I read that updates once every day.
The next page has a kind of trash folder with everything I need but don’t need to navigate to/don’t need on display (Dropbox, factory apps…).

Both devices are on grayscale, but the filter doesn’t apply to screenshots.

So now, I’ll reserve the computer for the weekend and for actual writing. :slight_smile:

I’ll see how it goes. I just wanted a quick way to get an overview over what has happened over the day and what has been going on in our team chat in the evening starting next week :slight_smile:

To be honest, there hasn’t been a real thing to check/do on my phone since ages, now even more so. And still, after a year of conscious NoSurf, sometimes I still pick up the phone, unlock it, and seeking for what I could check/do to distract myself mindlessly. That’s why I try to move stuff away from there, because neither my computer nor my iPad are connected to mindless surfing in my mind like that. I literally put down the phone then and feel kinda frustrated. I guess it takes even longer for that to go away.

Also, first day today of getting up at 5AM. It feels so normal and natural for some reason.
No technology after 8pm really helps sleeping, and I try to go to bed at the same time every day, plus immediately get up when the alarm rings (phone alarm in a different room plus a whining dog helps). That all has contributed to a really good “getting-up-behavior”, I guess. I’m awake immediately.


#36

This is going well so far! I still treat my iPad in the same way, and my phone time has decreased and there’s even less incentive to check anything or take it anywhere. :slight_smile:

Also my habit tracker. I did one test wise a while ago and now made a proper one for the new and final time I get up at. The next one is gonna be designed differently, I want the reds and greens to stick out more and I think filling the squares out with either green or red is more visually appealing to me than this. Next month, I guess.

RescueTime mailed me that I spent 5h 53m on my Computer between Aug 5 and Aug 13, mostly spent on the forum and Open Office for writing :slight_smile: my new stats should arrive in two days but that’s the most recent update.


#37

I feel like things are going great for you so far. It‘s impressive that you resolved to track this many habits daily. This sure gives every day a lot of structure.


#38

Thank you @horatio :slight_smile: I hope I can keep it up.


I’ve been realizing just how much NoSurf and this entire journey has helped. Not only did it help kick my ass and start the application process almost a year ago, but it also helped me really focus and prepare for job tests and interviews. And now, I think I couldn’t do what I’m doing right now if it wasn’t for implementing NoSurf routines into my life. It gave me so much more time to implement hobbies, live life, experience things, and incorporate routines to strengthen my discipline.

Most importantly: Just a little over a year ago I couldn’t imagine getting up earlier than 8am, and I would go to sleep at 1am or later because of gaming or internet. I just felt like I would miss out on a lot of content or didn’t wanna stop gaming yet for the day. My days often felt empty and I felt guilty for time wasting so I distracted myself with online stuff. Even though we’re all hyper connected, there’s still this surge of content in the middle of the night (for me), and I always felt like that was the golden time of the internet. I just didn’t wanna stop scrolling stuff until I was barely awake. Getting to bed early meant fear of missing out, which was so weird because the content would still be there when I get up of course, but that’s what addiction or some design choices of specific websites do to you I guess. I didn’t wanna have to catch up in the morning, I would wanna see it live, as the first people.

Since reducing social media further and further, implementing healthy rules about what I keep, how I use it and why, and installing blockers to eliminate choice and reserve willpower for important things and reading some books, I was able to divide myself from that old view and see the Internet for what it is: a useful tool, but I was overusing it, using it for the wrong things, and there was a lot of bullshit in it as well. Irrelevant stuff, stuff I would forget within 10 minutes, stuff that doesn’t justify a lot of shitty nights and sleepy days and missed opportunities for hobbies. Are funny tweets, memes, relatable shitposts and Tumblr discourse really worth having miserable sleep and nothing to show for in my free time? No.
It just made me a generic, kind of miserable and boring person. In comparison to now, at least.

But now there’s no fear of missing out anymore, I have a healthy relationship to the internet, my use is purposeful and also not excessive. I feel good about my internet use, I feel like it serves me instead of me being a slave to the endless feeds. I can objectively see now that most online content being churned out every second really doesn’t have any bearing on my life and is also not interesting enough to be more important than my real life pursuits, which are a lot more fulfilling and useful. Walking the dog in the forest, or seeing people post pictures of forests on Instagram? Seeing studyblr blogs study with their bullet journals, or being organized myself and learning a language? Spending time with my girlfriend, or looking at memes? It becomes so obvious what is the better choice.

So now I feel fine and very content just not looking at any online stuff for the majority of the day. And the reason I even started this post: I can now get up at 5am, and go to bed 9.30pm the latest, and feel okay about that. Internet addiction would make that impossible in my case, it would make me feel like I am missing out or should be online. Instead, I don’t touch my phone and usually, any electronics anymore past 8pm and that helps so much in a calm, cuddly, connected evening routine for myself and with my girlfriend. Falling asleep is a breeze.

NoSurf really helps putting real life commitments first, training your discipline, and realizing what is worth your time and isn’t. Without it, the lines would be blurry, I would be undisciplined and giving myself constant excuses to engage in stuff I shouldn’t, and struggling to do what I do now. It gave me a lot more confidence and competence indirectly. Now I know where to put my focus, and I can bring up the necessary discipline to do what’s right and good. I really need to sleep like that to start my new job as a trainee in a federal institute, and if the Internet was still so present in my life like it used to, it would be impossible. I would only sleep 4 hours, be too late because of lying in bed scrolling feeds in the morning to slowly wake up, I wouldn’t exercise or meditate, eat properly etc.

Now I have standards, a routine, energy, willpower, and something great lined up for me and I can make proper use of it. I will be focused, giving my best, and at the same time have enough time to spend on hobbies, people, my dog and other things that matter.


If I am less active here and less responding to messages, it’s because the trainee stuff is starting tomorrow and I will usually get up at 5am, leave the house close to 7, arrive at 9am, and get back home again at 7pm or later if the trains are cancelled or late. And then, I have to spend time making dinner, eating, spending a lot of time with my dog and girlfriend, meditate, and sleep early again. Especially the first few weeks will be hard since I have not worked 8 hours before plus an almost 2h commute - I have to get used to that first, 3x a week. I will also start going to a trade school and have classes twice a week, which means homework and studying.
Because that is a huge opportunity for me plus I have to take care of the living beings around me and myself, NoSurf will obviously be inferior to that. Not because I don’t care, but I will have to adjust the first few weeks, and I will only have proper time on the weekends. I will try to check in when I can! I’m sure once I adjust and have a proper routine and know my way around things, I will be able to squeeze in more time for mod and blog stuff as well as giving advice or answering to messages.


#39

I will miss your detailled musings. Do you have a plan on what to use your ample commute time for? It seems like a great opportunity to get a ton of reading done.


#40

Thanks so much for sharing your phone set-up! For some reason I never thought of putting folders in the bottom row. I will try that and see how it works for me! Take care. :slight_smile: