This morning I turned on the computer as usual and after checking my email went to a comedy website to read the latest articles. Almost an hour later I realised how much time I had wasted and did a search for ways to reduce Internet usage. I found a program called Freedom that let’s you disconnect your computer from the Internet for up to eight hours at a time. I downloaded the trial and set it to run until dinner, about one hour.
I immediately felt a tightness in my chest and some panic. I don’t use the Internet twenty-four hours a day but knowing that I couldn’t sit down and start clicking made me uncomfortable and restless. I wandered from room to room for about five minutes wondering what to do with myself. Luckily, I had to go shopping so I could get out of the house and forget about the computer for a while.
I haven’t studied the subject, but I think what I experienced were symptoms of withdrawal. And if I have symptoms of withdrawal it means I am an addict. It would be a good idea for me to use the Freedom program a few more times to see if it helps and then perhaps pay for unlimited use of the software. I don’t want to cut myself off from the Internet completely because it’s how I keep in touch with family back in Canada and how I find information about photography, but limiting myself to one or two hours a day is probably healthy and would free up time for reading and writing.