We are all aware that there are numerous things on the internet that can occupy large amount of our time. We let our fingers do all the work, from talking, purchasing and even breathing itself. For most of the students, life without access of internet is merely impossible. It is their alter ego’s floor. As a result of being highly dependent to the internet, they developed internet addiction disorder. I diagnosed myself suffering from the same disorder. Every time I arrive home, I immediately jump in front of my laptop and go online to check e-mails and updates from all the social networks that I patronize.
Even if I set time for me to log-out and even if it includes threatening my self with physical or emotional pain, I will always end up glued wasting my time browsing the World Wide Web until I feel sleepy, that, leaves my school works undone, my readings untouched, my long list of things to do uncrossed out. Each time I try to ignore the strong urge to go online to do more productive activities, I turn out to be the defeated one since at the end of the day, it is really easier to just press the power button of my laptop than to argue with myself about the excessive use of the internet for one whole day.
So this is it. I have to end the suffering of my body from sleepless nights whenever I cram school requirements and to put an end to my unhealthy life style throwing away my weekends and free times on the internet. I decided to face books rather than spending the rest of my life on facebook and other social networks. I know it is impossible for me to suddenly diminish the use of internet since it is as if I’m on comatose without it, all I need to do is to develop a healthy relationship with it, and that means, I should not let it interfere with my academic responsibilities. The Internet is a fantastic medium.
It has dramatically altered how we communicate with one another and find information. But, as with most things in life, there’s a need to keep things in a healthy balance. Operant conditioning is defined as “a form of associative learning in which the consequences of behavior produce changes in the probability of the behavior’s occurrence. ” (Santrock, 2005) I know for a fact that if my behavior towards using the internet will not be changed, It would probably affect my performance in school tremendously, I might not meet deadlines of requirements and I might not do well in exams as I devote most of my time in front of my laptop.
That would be the consequences of my excessive usage of the internet. Given that it will lead to a negative consequence the occurrence of spending time using the internet too much would decrease. I developed some techniques to control myself from going online. I set a daily online time limit, at the first week of minimizing my time online, I allotted five hours a day to use the internet and for the second week, I only permitted my self to be in front of my laptop for 3 hours.
I asked my sister to turn off the internet modem if I already consumed my online time and I told her to be very strict and would not consider any excuses from me to extend my online time. I bought books that I’ve been planning to read to divert my attention to them and would decrease the probability of thinking of going online. Of course, reinforcement is there, it should be there. This learning activity might be an excuse to reward myself but I need a material motivation to do it.
Each week that I would perfectly follow my online time limit, I would buy my favorite ice cream for myself, a positive reinforcement in which a satisfying inducement is being introduced. After two weeks of still trying to religiously follow my online time limit, I am not yet confident enough to say that I won the battle of internet addiction. There were days that I exceeded to my allotted online time since I could just turn-on again the modem after my sister turned it off. But there were days that I sticked to my time limit, mostly, I was. At least for now, I am one step closer to controlling my internet usage.