Difficulty getting off the computer at night

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Number3Pencils
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Re: Difficulty getting off the computer at night

Postby Number3Pencils » Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:26 pm UTC

tehmikey, I like your advice. I also like some of the other advice.

For my part, I'm beginning to realize that going to bed late is one of the side effects of what I think is an unhealthy attachment to these fora. This is a good place, and there are some good people here. But I don't find it satisfying or natural-feeling enough to interact with people I can't see, over the medium of text, for so many hours a day.

Because of this forum, the internet has become something like my "home" - when I get done with stuff in the physical world, I immediately open the laptop and come here. So, I end up staring at a screen for a significant percentage of my waking hours. As a result, my real-life interpersonal relationships have declined in quality, and since this is my first year in college, I've also found that I have fewer friends, having devoted less time to finding them.

I'm going to retire from here in not too long. I think that will get me back to at least a somewhat normal sleeping pattern and help me feel more normal during the day (thanks, tehmikey). I've realized that it's been months since I've had anything like a healthy and normal sleeping pattern.

Who can suggest a good milestone between, say, 444 and 500 that would be a good number to leave my postcount at when I go?

tl;dr: Number3Pencils is going to retire. Not sure when.
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Re: Difficulty getting off the computer at night

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:34 pm UTC

Number3Pencils wrote:Because of this forum, the internet has become something like my "home" - when I get done with stuff in the physical world, I immediately open the laptop and come here. So, I end up staring at a screen for a significant percentage of my waking hours. As a result, my real-life interpersonal relationships have declined in quality, and since this is my first year in college, I've also found that I have fewer friends, having devoted less time to finding them.

I'm going to retire from here in not too long.

I've retired from the Internet, and this forum in particular, several times.

...

You can see how well it worked.

I wish you luck!

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Re: Difficulty getting off the computer at night

Postby Number3Pencils » Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:37 pm UTC

Well, that's encouraging.
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Re: Difficulty getting off the computer at night

Postby Quadropus » Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:59 pm UTC

Robin S wrote:I often find myself on the computer, not even having anything in particular to do, switching aimlessly between the fora, Facebook and what have you looking for something to stay up doing. Even when I am doing something, such as replying to a series of threads, it's almost invariably something which could be postponed until the next day.

I [as well as many others here] have the exact same problem.
My sleeping hours are usually something like 2-3am - 7:30am. That is pretty much every week day. I have tried sleeping for a while when I get home from school but I just can't seem to pry myself away from the sweet sweet internet for even an hour or so to catch up on sleep.

I think I might be addicted to computers/electricity in general. When my power went out the other day, I was lost. I couldn't do any of the things I usually do in the day. I did end up reading, but that is my evening activity (when I finally go to bed...)
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Re: Difficulty getting off the computer at night

Postby Nebulae » Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:01 pm UTC

I've definitely had this problem for a looong while, and my suggestion is...mentally exhaust yourself. Work on mentally challenging things, read read read. Stuff like fora, facebook, or IMing doesn't take much brainpower at all, and won't tire you at all. But if you're actually reading(stuff like wikipedia or investopedia, although a book certainly works too) or coding, you'll get tired a lot faster and want to sleep a lot earlier, in my experience, anyway.

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Re: Difficulty getting off the computer at night

Postby bbctol » Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:07 pm UTC

Difficulty getting off at the computer at night? Get some better porn.

Oh, that's not what the title is...

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Re: Difficulty getting off the computer at night

Postby Nillerz » Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:16 pm UTC

I gotta get off the internet. Op sounds like me, but more depressed.

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Re: Difficulty getting off the computer at night

Postby Number3Pencils » Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:47 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:No, seriously, I do wish you luck.

I meant the part about failing at retiring. Thanks for the well wishes, though. Now to set a number.
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Re: Difficulty getting off the computer at night

Postby zahlman » Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:02 am UTC

Recently I get about 5 hours of sleep a night. Due to staying up late entertaining myself on the computer. After coming home from a job as a computer programmer. Sometimes going to the arcade in between.

I'm kind of amazed the CRT rays haven't killed me yet.
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Re: Difficulty getting off the computer at night

Postby Robin S » Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:13 am UTC

tehmikey wrote:Is it something particular that ties you to the computer?
It doesn't seem to be. Things I've stayed up doing mindlessly for hours at a time, sometimes all night: browsing the fora, searching the Internet for interesting information (whether on Wikipedia or Google), playing computer games (anything from Starcraft to Minesweeper), solving mathematical problems... in short, more or less anything one can do on a computer.
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Re: Difficulty getting off the computer at night

Postby Felstaff » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:21 am UTC

This is a perennial problem, and I do not think linked with your depression. The same thing happened to me last night, and the night previously, and most nights, in fact. I am fully aware that

Code: Select all

internet+late night=tired/miserable following day at work

I think the problem's root is that the personal computer is such a versatile machine, and the hub of all creativity, information, and entertainment. It can perform all media, and the human mind has a distinct avarice for consumption. Show a starving man a fully stocked boutique and he will eat himself to death. Show a quizzical mind a personal computer and it will devour stimulus at the same rate.

For me, it is the classic ouroboros of interwob bookmarks, for which I curse the creator of Really Simple Syndication. By the time I have reached the last bookmark, the first one has refreshed with delicious, delicious new content.

However, I am battling this beast of burden! A professor once talked about how Wikipedia is the information equivalent of television. It rots the brain with soulless, staid facts, facts, facts. It does not challenge your mind in any way, shape or form, like, for instance, an online IQ test, or participating in the Serious Business fora with thoughtful, intelligent discourse (a rarity, at that).

So, I says to myself, I says, "Tim," (for that is my name) "Tim, what you are doing is not urgent, nor is it necessary. All information you seek from wikitrailing will not help you in any way, as you are consuming information with no mental application, making all osmosisised knowledge effectively redundant. It is [late at night] and you have [an early morning start]. Everything can wait. You can stop sorting your music collection, you don't need to play one more extra solitaire/sudoku slam/minesweeper, and you won't feel any worse for doing so. You also don't need to check your mail, and any new possible facebūk massages can wait. The alt key, combined with the F4 key, is your friend. Pack it up, and go to bed."

It didn't work last night. I sometimes feel that the internet may not survive without my input.

Not sleepy? Leave a book by the bedside. Ideally a challenging one, or a boring one. You've no idea how many times the Iliad has cured any insomniastic tendencies I have. It requires much discipline.
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Re: Difficulty getting off the computer at night

Postby tendays » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:29 am UTC

Have you tried fixing an hour where you should leave? I've been doing that for the last few weeks and it seems to work well for me at least. Every evening before a weekday I leave around eleven pm. Before fixing a time, I used to go to sleep anywhere between 10pm and 2am.

As you said yourself, don't use a technical way like automatically turning the computer off at that time because it will just frustrate you - but pay attention to the time so that e.g. ten minutes before you'll think oh I've better finish doing this because in ten minutes I have to go. Even though you are yourself leaving the computer (rather than being "kicked off it" one way or another), it helps if you consider it as an unavoidable thing.
Some thoughts:
  • you feel powerful rather than frustrated because you took the decision to leave, not the computer or your parents or whatever. Yet,
  • It's all right if you are a few minutes late - like if you were writing a post or something, you can finish it, but don't start another one.
  • Maybe put fixed exceptions - like allow yourself to stay online late in the week-ends or something. Not exception in the sense "oh, maybe today I'll stay a bit longer" because then every day will be an exception.
  • Maybe combine this with the STAND UP "mantra" idea suggested before (i.e. say that mantra at a fixed time)

You see the idea...
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Re: Difficulty getting off the computer at night

Postby Kabann » Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:42 pm UTC

You all remember when you were teeny tiny children, and absolutely could not stand the thought of going to bed because you thought you were gonna miss something important? This is like that. The more time you spend on the internet, the more you really start to realize how vast the universe of human experience really is, and you just don't want to miss out on something that you may never get the chance to see again.

This may be idealizing it a bit, but anyway. It's okay to turn away, if you've seen one donkey show...

I say anyone who is having trouble tearing themselves away from the fascinating glimpse into the fascinating lives of everyone else who also cannot tear themselves away from... ahem... let's just say, recursive vicarious experiences... pay each of us a few bucks and at the designated time, we'll start to spam you with insults designed to make you feel so bad about yourself that you will flee the internet forthwith and retire sobbing to your bed, where you will get a great night's sleep.
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Re: Difficulty getting off the computer at night

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:53 pm UTC

Back in 2005 my phone had been cut off due to nonpayment. At first it was just the phone part, where I couldn't receive nor make phone calls. I had DSL at the time, and I was able to surf the Interwebz. About a month or two after the phone was cut off, the Interwebz connection was terminated. I suffered from some major withdrawals at first, especially dealing with the pet chat room and e-mail.

I could access some sites at work, but not many. Also, we have the Websense filters installed on all the computers at the main office (where I was at the time), so I could access only a couple of sites I visited regularly, and others I had to use my quota time of one hour in order to browse.

It would be about five months before I had phone or Interwebz again. After I got over my withdrawals (within a couple of weeks), I began doing other things. I had stripped the wallpaper in all three bedrooms and the bathroom of my house. I painted the hallway and two of the bedrooms with primer. I did a bit of work in the yard. I. Got. Stuff. DONE!

As far as setting a time limit: I have done that for a while. I usually get off the computer between 10 and 10:30 PM, depending on how wrapped up I get in whatever I'm doing at the time.

During the weekend I usually tend to be more slack on what time I get off of the computer. Sometimes I'll still be on it by 11 PM or even up until Midnight.

One thing I've discovered to lessen the amount of time spent on the computer, especially when it comes to the Interwebz, is I go to my favorite sites in a certain order. I mainly do this at work. I will check my Hotmail and Yahoo Mail first, then I go to another fora I've been with a bit longer than this one, then this fora, then I check out a couple of blags and go to a couple of other sites. All of this usually takes about two hours, maybe more, depending on how much there is to be done in each site.
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Re: Difficulty getting off the computer at night

Postby Number3Pencils » Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:51 am UTC

Well, here I go. I'm retiring from the forums for the rest of my semester at college. I will come back, though, in June (briefly, I expect) and give a little update on my life and how it's been without this place. Hope you all aren't too sad.
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Re: Difficulty getting off the computer at night

Postby Robin S » Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:02 am UTC

I'll miss you. If at all possible, visit somewhere with a sufficiently cold climate and make more snow sculptures before your next visit.
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Re: Difficulty getting off the computer at night

Postby Rook » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:54 pm UTC

I have a similar problem to the OP, and I think that half of it is the fact that I need my computer for work. It just also happens that I can waste a lot of time on it. This is utterly infuriating, because I know how much of my time it wastes, and I would like nothing more than to shut it down, put it away, and never look at it again. This is pretty much how I got out of TV, which used to waste a lot of my time too (though more afternoons than wee hours).

However, TV was easy, because there really is very little worth seeing, and what there is worth seeing I can still live without. My computer however (read: internet), has just enough useful information/functions to make going cold turkey implausible, especially when so much that we do is computerised now. Throwing out my PC would be like cutting of one of my legs to remove a verruca. The verruca is bloody painful and impairs my movement, but cutting of my leg would just make things worse*.

I've been trying for quite a while to force myself to go to bed earlier, but so far the only true panacea has been (as someone else has said) my parents; whenever I've been home, I've slept fairly well and across reasonable hours. I don't plan on giving up though.


*I don't actually have a verruca. But it's a good similie.
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Re: Difficulty getting off the computer at night

Postby SomeoneElse » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:21 pm UTC

Man, I hear you, getting off the computer is always pretty hard. Once I get home I never get anything done that I need to get done. It gets put to the bottom of the pile below "stare at my RSS for hours". Then when i do eventually go to bed, I don't sleep but lie in my bed with my laptop.

Problem with the Internet vs TV and other media, is that there's only a finite amount of stuff on TV, especially in the small hours. With the internet though, you've got infinite stuff available at all hours. It's just way too much stuff for one person to handle. Or even an infinite number of monkeys to handle.

...Oh, how to overcome it, you ask? Fuck knows. The only way I can possibly think is with the aid of a girlfriend.

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Re: Difficulty getting off the computer at night

Postby Spoffin » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:57 pm UTC

My computer prefers to get off in the morning. But I find I can get it off pretty reliably if I lick its TrackPoint style pointer for a few minutes.
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Re: Difficulty getting off the computer at night

Postby rrwoods » Wed Apr 02, 2008 4:22 pm UTC

To add to the pile of good advice: Be chatting with someone when you're doing your nightly forum browsing. Pick a time when you want to go to bed, and at that time, tell the person you're going to sleep. It's not much, but it might help a little.
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