Like most everybody these days, I’ve developed a slight addiction to the Internet. Okay, for some, it might be an extreme addiction. What if I told you there’s an easy way to break the habit of too much Internet? Would you want to get back to real life?

Breaking the habit starts with replacing the habit.

Maybe I’m showing my age, but I remember the days before the Internet. I was a slow adaptor. It was only about 10 years ago that I really got connected. Before that, I spent my time doing other activities:

  • Running
  • Journaling
  • Hiking
  • Reading
  • Songwriting

If you’re old enough, take a few minutes to think about the things you did before you became so connected. If you’re not that old, imagine doing activities that can replace your addictive behavior. Chances are high that you don’t do things you used to do. The Internet squashed them out. Guess what? You can reclaim them.

A few years ago, I decided to stop using the Internet at home for any kind of entertainment or social media for a summer. I made a promise to myself to start reading and journalling more often. These are both habits that I used to do with much more frequency.

Since that summer, I make a point to take Internet breaks once or twice a year. Here’s what happened on one of my more recent breaks:

  • Read four books
  • Started eating more healthy
  • Walked, ran, or biked daily
  • Played hours of guitar
  • Wrote daily journal entries and poetry
  • Advanced a belt level in karate

At the end of my disconnect, I feel refreshed and creative.

I’ve been working online since COVID started, so it’s been harder to take Internet breaks. I’m looking forward to the day I go back to work in-person, or retire, if for no other reason than taking a break from the Internet. – dse

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Author: Dan Steven Erickson

Dan Steven Erickson is a great undiscovered American songwriter.