I recently posted my introduction, and I thought I would make a journal and document progress, thoughts and whatever other random things I feel like. In short, I’m an internet (namely Youtube) addict and I am trying to change my ways. I spend up to 20 hours a day on my computer and it has severely impacted every aspect of my life; in fact the internet is my life. Anyways, I decided recently that I would take measures to rehabilitate my addiction among other things and my first action was installing Cold Turkey, a desktop application that can block sites for set periods of time with no way of reversing it without using a command line. I have also disabled the web browsers on my phone as well as uninstalling all entertainment applications. Social media is not an issue for me, I only have a handful of close friends.
So far all of this has helped me spend little to no time on the sites that I frequent the most, namely Youtube. Since the change I haven’t accessed Youtube at all which is great. However, I noticed that even without all of my favorite websites I will still find something to do on my computer. I’ve been on my computer since I woke up even though I can’t access most sites. I will find myself googling about health, looking through research papers, and browsing through random forums. I can say that my time on my computer has gotten more educational, but it hasn’t decreased. It’s definitely less exciting, but I have nothing else to do right now.
The reason for this is because I woke up at 10pm (my sleep schedule is incredibly fucked), and I have been awake all throughout the night. There’s nothing to do at night except be on my computer, so my first order of business is definitely fixing my sleep schedule. If I’m awake during the day then I will have the option to be active, go out places, talk to my friends, etc. Right now I’m starting to feel tired and I don’t know how I’m going to make it through the rest of the day without falling asleep. I normally stay awake for 24 hours a couple days a week, but that’s only because I can keep my mind busy with Youtube. Since I’m tired, I have zero energy or motivation to go and do things now that it’s day time. I might re-enable Youtube on my phone to help me get through today, I don’t know.
However, I do have a plan for how I’m going to maintain my sleep schedule while also killing two birds with one stone. There’s this wonderful app, and I can’t recommend it enough to people who are heavy sleepers or frequent snoozers. It’s called Alarmy (it’s for android by the way), and it allows you to set alarms that are obnoxiously loud with multiple settings for how to turn them off. You can set it so you have to shake the phone for a set amount of times, solve math problems, but the most genius one of them all: Barcode/QR code. You scan a barcode or QR code, and then when the alarm goes off the only way of turning it off is to scan the code again. The possibilities are endless. I have used this feature in the past and it has saved my ass so many times. Just take an item from the opposite end of your house, scan the barcode, and when your alarm goes off in the morning, you are forced to walk across your whole house to turn it off. There’s really no way of accidentally sleeping in. I haven’t used it for a while now because I don’t have any daily obligations, but I’m going to start again.
Anyways, what I have done is set my tube of toothpaste as the code this time. I have had trouble over the years brushing my teeth on a consistent and regular basis. My teeth look fine, but I have had more fillings than I can count on two hands. So when I wake up to my alarm I am forced to go to my bathroom and I am immediately reminded to brush my teeth, floss, and use mouthwash. I also set the same alarm, except at night time! So hopefully this will result in both a better sleep schedule, and better dental health. Once my sleep schedule is fixed, hopefully getting more time away from my computer will be easier, and a consistent schedule will make this consistently easier.
I think what I have learned so far in my first day of my journey is that addictions and bad habits are multi-faceted and have to be approached from different and less-aparent angles. For example, many studies have proven that the number one contributing factor to drug addiction is actually just a lack of family and friends, specifically ones that are close and supportive. It’s not obvious that a bad sleep schedule can contribute to more internet use, but when you think about it… there’s not a whole lot else to do at night but be on your phone, TV, or computer. It’s hard to be productive at 3 in the morning, and staying up for long hours leaves you with little energy or drive to do anything. This was especially true for when I was a kid. Back then, if I was awake during the day then I could go over to my friends house, go play basketball, ride bikes, whatever; but if I was up late at night, then I was most likely on my computer. The majority of my computer use growing up would occur between 8pm-8am (I’ve always had bad sleep habits by the way).
I think my two biggest roadblocks I forsee in relation to fixing my sleep schedule will be the fact that all my friends are night-owls who go to bed at 2 to 5 in the morning, and that I normally stay up for long hours and sleep for long hours… I can’t remember the last time I only slept for 6 hours, normally I sleep for at least 10, and at most 16. I know that sounds insane, but severe depression is a hell of a thing. I think I can deal with my friends, they will definitely try to pressure me into staying up but I’m an expert at telling them off; and if they know that its for a healthier Sean then they will understand, they know just how much I need to get better. On the other hand, I think I will allow myself to get more sleep if I go to bed earlier. My morning alarm will always go off at the same time, but I have a choice of when I go to sleep. I don’t need to wake up early, so 10am seems pretty fair to me. That way if I go to bed at midnight I will get my 10 hours, but I can go to bed earlier and sleep for longer if I like. If I choose to go to sleep later than midnight, then I have to suffer the consequences.
Hopefully my plans moving forward work out. I have no clue how I’m going to stay awake for another 12 hours today… I was hoping that writing this journal post would bide some time for me. I think it’s important to write things down, they feel so much more concrete and meaningful that way. It also helps that people read these things so I feel more obligated to stick to it. I am a painfully honest person and I can’t bring myself to lie and say that I have done what I was supposed to if I haven’t, so this will be a good thing for me to continue doing. Sorry if I write so much. Hopefully some of my thoughts and random information might be helpful to you, especially that app Alarmy, it’s really a wonderful tool if you sleep in a lot. Technology isn’t all bad, you just have to make it work for you, not the other way around.