The Internet is an amazing source of information, but it can be a black hole where free time goes to die for even the most disciplined of us. Whether our bane is Internet pornography, social media, shopping, gaming, or gambling, there are circumstances that provide the perfect breeding ground for slipping into destructive habits. Luckily, there are things we can do to avoid setting ourselves up for failure.
- Avoid late-night browsing. There’s a reason everything bad in literature and the movies seems to happen at night: the darkness, combined with the fact that everyone else seems to be sleeping, allows us to explore our secret desires and whims with an assurance of anonymity. It’s no wonder that those of us with problem areas online get into more trouble when we browse in the secrecy of night time.
- Avoid using the Internet to kill time. There’s something about our culture that, when we’re bored, has our hands twitching toward our smartphones and tablets to kill time. Idle hands, man. Rather than relying on the Internet (and thus, your vices) to solve your boredom, try an activity that engages your mind, rather than one that allows your mind to wander to the places of temptation that it seeks.
- Avoid secluded Internet time. If you have a problem with a certain type of site, you’re probably more likely to visit it when you’re alone. So, don’t go online when you’re alone.
- Be honest with someone about your struggles. You know if you’re spending too much time indulging online, but that doesn’t mean anyone else does. I found that talking frankly about how much time I spend on certain sites to people close to me help me to avoid those sites when I’m tempted.
- Filter Your Internet. If you need a little extra help staying away from those sites, get an Internet filter. It’s nothing to be ashamed of-we all need help sometimes, and if having a filter saves you from the regret you feel after a binge, then it’s worth it!
The Internet is a magical place, full of possibilities. With its limitless bounds, however, comes the potential for darkness. Thankfully, we can take precautions to avoid the parts of the Internet that cause us problems and still enjoy all it has to offer.