If there is anything that destroys human mind, spirit and body…it is addiction. It doesnt matter what it is.. Is it substance addiction, like cigarettes, coffee, alcohol, drugs… It can be love addiction, you are addicted to the other person, it can be friendship addiction… It can be an addiction to music, movies, videos… Even exercise can be addiction. Some people are addicted on exercise…which is good, but when exercise is replacing something that you lack in life…then it is bad. When it consumes you, it is bad.
But today we are going to talk about computer addiction. Smartphone addiction. Because it is serious problem today. People are suffering from it. Depression is not our normal state. It is ok to feel low, what is important is how do you cope with those feelings when you feel low.. Do you make something productive, creative and courageous from it…or do you keep sinking even lower and lower. And if you have been sinking for a while, you will be depressed. All you have to do is start swimming up… It is really that simple. But, having computers and smartphones, it is easier to sink even deeper. To sink into depression, anxiety, loneliness, isolation… Before, if you were depressed, or feeling low, very soon you realize that it is boring to be depressed. It is boredom. And you decide to do something to cope with that boredom and loneliness. You get out of the house, you meet with friends, you do something… Because it is easier to go out and socialize than to sit bored in your room. But by having TVs, computers and smartphones, it is actually very easy to stay in your room. You have instant entertainment. You see everything, but it is not real…you cannot touch it. You see it, it entertains you…but it is not real. You are still alone in your room. And that entertainment will lead you only deeper and deeper into isolation. Plus, all the chemical reactions, dopamine and everything else that is happening in your brain…You are releasing huge amounts of dopamine in the brain…and you are not doing anything…After that rush…you feel empty… And then it starts to consume you. You are afraid to leave your phone or computer for longer periods of time because you think you will miss on something.
It is addiction. Period. And addictions are slowly eating you from the inside.
But what about if you have to work on computer… Or you are blogger for example…. Look, problem is not usage of computers… Problem is when computers are using us. If you are working something on computer, there is nothing bad about that… But if you are mindlessly surfing the Internet….at the same time you are listening music, watching video, reading something, thinking which movie you will watch, looking other people on social media…. You are doing all this things at the same time, and all of sudden, you feel angry, irritated, depressed…. Well, demon got you. Now your computer is using you. It is huge rush of dopamine… Unnatural rush of dopamine in brain. I would even say that it is more dangerous than cigarettes…
One year ago, I bought my laptop… I was thinking how this laptop will be useful tool in my life. How I will use it to make my life richer, to have more options and to make my life better. I didnt expect this little parasite to take my soul… It is like cancer. It is eating you slowly. Have you ever read Spider-man comic books? Or watch Spider-man cartoons? It is like that black symbiotic suit….first it gives you strength, it encourages you, it helps you…. but very soon, it starts using you, it starts manipulating you, controlling you, slowly it sucks life out of you… Venom!!!
So every now and then when I feel too overwhelmed, I go on dopamine detox… Basically I am not using nor computer, no phone…no television. I still write, I still check my mails….but I am not mindlessly surfing the Internet. And whenever I do that…I feel great. I want to engage more world around me. I have more desire for communication. I want to socialize, I want to do something, I want to go places…. I am looking for stimulation in outside world…not virtual world. It is better. My brain gets back to normal, more natural state…. And I go on for days and weeks to not surfing the Internet…. Two years ago, I didnt use Internet for couple of months…. I used it only when it was necessarily. And I felt great. However, point is not to stop using Internet and technology… But rather to limited its usage to only important things.
What happens to me when I decide to limit my Internet usage? I get bored. And now I have to do something… I have to go outside of the house, I have to exercise, read the book, write, do something, be active… think. Now I have mental capacity to think. And after couple of days, it feels like a huge rock has disappeared from my mind.
I would recommend that you try for 30 days to limit your computer, phone and Internet usage as much as possible. Get your mind back. Get your ‘zen’ back. See how it feels… If you stick with it, I am for sure that it will be very transformative for you.
Anyway, lately my Internet usage has been little bit out of control and now is time to tell my mind who is boss here!!! I forbid myself candy and sugar…because Internet is nothing else but candy and sugar for brain. No more noise, stimulation and entertainment….Just a call of silence that is coming deep down from me. It is time to listen my own thoughts and have my own thoughts in my brain…
It is addiction. And if you dont overcome addiction, it will destroy you. It possesses you. Get your mind back. Get your mental health back…and get your sanity back. Stop using technology mindlessly.