59 votes

I took two months off of the internet and it was wonderful for my mental heath.

Wasn't sure where to post this.

I needed a break, I am a reddit Mod and was hoping to become super active here as well. But, it was taking a bigger impact on my mental health than I knew.

I stopped posting here, on reddit and instagram (really the only platforms I use) and it really helped with my stress levels and even sleep patterns. I read waaaay more books and felt far more focused then I have been in years.

I dont know if there are any CGP Grey fans here but I am a big fan of his and was inspired by his choice to do the same.

http://www.cgpgrey.com/blog/cyclops

Coming back into things I am thinking I will limit myself and try and work on pacing my internet usage.

Anyway, kind of a random post, but I wanted to share it with someone and I thought our community here would apreciate it (Reddit probably wouldn't).

34 comments

  1. [10]
    DyslexicStoner240 (edited ) Link
    Man, it's astonishing how good a sound sleep schedule can do for you. I really don't have any stress coming from social networks as i've gotten rid of everything some time ago, but my sleeping...

    Man, it's astonishing how good a sound sleep schedule can do for you.

    I really don't have any stress coming from social networks as i've gotten rid of everything some time ago, but my sleeping sessions were all over the place: going to bed super late, waking up groggy, feeling generally sick and stuff...

    Deciding to put down the iron fist and having my devices turn off automatically at midnight really changed how well i sleep and how i feel during the day, now i just need to get my scrawny self to actually sign to gym or something...

    Anyways good for you OP, try also cooking something particular for yourself next - i can assure you preparing something good and tasty can be both fun and meditative!

    Edit: i realise 'turn off' might have been a bit of a stretch, it's more of a log out leisure accounts after a certain time

    16 votes
    1. [4]
      cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
      What software did you use to accomplish that, if you don't mind my asking? My sleep schedule is a mess, though not entirely because of electronics, but that certainly sounds like an interesting...

      having my devices turn off automatically at midnight

      What software did you use to accomplish that, if you don't mind my asking? My sleep schedule is a mess, though not entirely because of electronics, but that certainly sounds like an interesting idea worth potentially exploring.

      6 votes
      1. [3]
        DyslexicStoner240 Link Parent
        I set it up for every single device: on the PS4 i designated the play time via the parental control system, i've done something similar on my PC where i made a leisure only/non work/non admin...

        I set it up for every single device: on the PS4 i designated the play time via the parental control system, i've done something similar on my PC where i made a leisure only/non work/non admin login. Phone was a bit more difficult cause i still want it to be ready for use in any situation, but i set it up so that the screen flashes and i receive some annoying notifications via Tasker which is as nifty as it's a pain in the ass to set up tbh. I really don't watch TV so that was left untouched.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          cfabbro Link Parent
          Huh, I never even thought to use parental controls on myself... and didn't realize Win 10 even had that functionality, but that's a neat idea and totally makes sense. Thanks. I have an iPhone and...

          Huh, I never even thought to use parental controls on myself... and didn't realize Win 10 even had that functionality, but that's a neat idea and totally makes sense. Thanks. I have an iPhone and iPad though so will have to try and look for a similar solution on iOS rather than use tasker.

          2 votes
          1. swr Link Parent
            The most recent version of iOS has 'Screen Time' that allows you to shut off access to certain applications for designated periods of time. I've been using it for the past few months with some...

            The most recent version of iOS has 'Screen Time' that allows you to shut off access to certain applications for designated periods of time. I've been using it for the past few months with some success.

            4 votes
    2. [5]
      SourceContribute Link Parent
      Woah, how?

      Deciding to put down the iron fist and having my devices turn off automatically at midnight

      Woah, how?

      1 vote
      1. [4]
        DyslexicStoner240 Link Parent
        I replied to the above comment and i'm not sure if you get pinged as well, see it for the details; the TL;DR is that you can accomplish it just by setting up the parental control on most devices :)

        I replied to the above comment and i'm not sure if you get pinged as well, see it for the details; the TL;DR is that you can accomplish it just by setting up the parental control on most devices :)

        3 votes
        1. [3]
          cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
          Just FYI, you can ping users in any comment that is not a direct reply to them by putting an @ before their username somewhere in it, which will then automatically notify them of their username...

          Just FYI, you can ping users in any comment that is not a direct reply to them by putting an @ before their username somewhere in it, which will then automatically notify them of their username being mentioned.

          1 vote
          1. DyslexicStoner240 Link Parent
            Oh alright thanks, i had completely forgotten about it.

            Oh alright thanks, i had completely forgotten about it.

            1 vote
  2. [8]
    cptcobalt Link
    Welcome back-ish. On a similar vein, I've deleted my Facebook account, and set a time limit on my phone for 15 minutes a day for Instagram and Reddit. The change enabled me to read 49 books last...

    Welcome back-ish.

    On a similar vein, I've deleted my Facebook account, and set a time limit on my phone for 15 minutes a day for Instagram and Reddit.

    The change enabled me to read 49 books last year—3 short from a book a week. I'm targeting 60 this year, but I'm off to a bad start because I let my reddit usage increase again. (My thing is that I can never let myself finish a book without immediately starting another..and I'm currently in the unproductive trap of having no book running)

    12 votes
    1. SourceContribute Link Parent
      I started to re-read books and review the annotations and notes I've made; it's way better for your memory and for your intellect to read books than to Facebook.

      The change enabled me to read 49 books last year—3 short from a book a week

      I started to re-read books and review the annotations and notes I've made; it's way better for your memory and for your intellect to read books than to Facebook.

      7 votes
    2. [3]
      EscReality Link Parent
      Oh man, I am the same way. I currently have 8 books started ( I do intend on reading all of them of course). I am back, here at least. I will start posting somewhat regularly again in ~Food and...

      My thing is that I can never let myself finish a book without immediately starting another..

      Oh man, I am the same way. I currently have 8 books started ( I do intend on reading all of them of course).

      I am back, here at least. I will start posting somewhat regularly again in ~Food and ~Books. I am going to limit my internet usage drastically but Tildes will be the bigger thing on my usage list.

      I am looking into using a time track app so I can stay on top of things.

      I technically still have a Facebook but it's literally been years since I have logged into it. I am staying away from reddit as much as possible, I deleted my oldest account that I was a mod of some larger subs with and I am keeping my personal account (which I do mod on, but only some small niche subs that I dont really put work into). I need to step back from reddit, its not healthy for me and I really don't like the direction the platform is going. Only reason I am keeping instagram around is because its really the only connection I have to some older friends and I would not be very happy about losing that.

      6 votes
      1. [2]
        cptcobalt Link Parent
        This isn't relevant to the original post in the slightest, but I'm quite curious about how you can have 8 books started. If I have even two going simultaneously, I struggle with the feeling that I...

        This isn't relevant to the original post in the slightest, but I'm quite curious about how you can have 8 books started. If I have even two going simultaneously, I struggle with the feeling that I need to jump away from the book I'm currently reading to the other one, usually because I've distracted myself by thinking about the other book.

        5 votes
        1. EscReality Link Parent
          Well, you kind of have to understand how I read. I am a very avid reader with a pretty extensive home library (just did a count when I moved and I am pushing 1,100 books). I read books like most...

          Well, you kind of have to understand how I read. I am a very avid reader with a pretty extensive home library (just did a count when I moved and I am pushing 1,100 books). I read books like most people watch TV shows. Sure, you might binge a show for a little while but that show isn't the only show you watch, most people have a handful of shows they are watching at once. I normally read 2-4 books at once over the course of a few weeks (depending on my schedule and the length of the books), so 8 is pretty high for me.

          I read a book for a while, then "change the channel" and read another one. I dont read two different books in the same day (usually) and tend to alternate daily. If I am really into a book I will ignore my others, which is usually how my backlog grows.

          In the two months that I stepped back from the internet, I averaged 3-4 books a week. The reason I am up to 8 right now is because a lot of them are books I started, got a little of the way through and jumped onto something else. I have a long weekend coming up where I am planning on getting caught up.

          8 votes
    3. [3]
      cadadr Link Parent
      How did you do that? Self discipline or some app? I'd be really interested in the name of the app if it is the latter.

      set a time limit on my phone for 15 minutes a day for Instagram and Reddit

      How did you do that? Self discipline or some app? I'd be really interested in the name of the app if it is the latter.

      3 votes
      1. Nitta Link Parent
        New versions of iOS and Android come with default apps that track and manage time user spends in apps. It's the recent trend of so called digital wellbeing.

        New versions of iOS and Android come with default apps that track and manage time user spends in apps. It's the recent trend of so called digital wellbeing.

        6 votes
      2. cptcobalt Link Parent
        Screen Time on iOS (part of iOS 12). 15 min timer set for each. It's possible to override, but I 90% of the time have the self control to not override it, and the other 10% of the time I'm in a...

        Screen Time on iOS (part of iOS 12). 15 min timer set for each. It's possible to override, but I 90% of the time have the self control to not override it, and the other 10% of the time I'm in a situation where it won't benefit me to jump to the Kindle app on my phone instead.

        1 vote
  3. [4]
    Shahriar Link
    I've been thinking of doing the same but websites like Reddit are actually really useful as a tool for learning new skills. Social media is something I wish wasn't a necessity to be considered...

    I've been thinking of doing the same but websites like Reddit are actually really useful as a tool for learning new skills. Social media is something I wish wasn't a necessity to be considered 'normal' for someone in the early 20s, I'd be off all of them as a result.

    10 votes
    1. markh Link Parent
      You could certainly reconsider what is looked at as “normal”. I’m no longer in my early 20’s, but I think we are already seeing early adopters of no social media at all. I don’t have Facebook,...

      You could certainly reconsider what is looked at as “normal”. I’m no longer in my early 20’s, but I think we are already seeing early adopters of no social media at all. I don’t have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or any other social network and I get along just fine.

      Reddit is great for specialized communities, but the aggregate nature of your homepage (or worse, r/all) likely means that you will end up spending more time focusing on things you don’t actually care about.

      This is a tangent, but I think we’d be better off if we had to consciously choose what information we want to see, rather than have an algorithm feed us information infinitely.

      8 votes
    2. firstname Link Parent
      I am one of those rare eggs who decided to never use traditional social media from the get go. I never used facebook, twitter etc. I have only been using reddit, and some gaming related social...

      I am one of those rare eggs who decided to never use traditional social media from the get go. I never used facebook, twitter etc. I have only been using reddit, and some gaming related social interfaces like steam and battle.net. It was a combination of protecting my integrity, but also protecting my mental health. I could see how those platforms would give me more anxiety, stress and so forth.

      I am 33, not in your shoes exactly, but surely the same situation. At the start of facebook and other social media company's i got a lot of "why" and, "you are missing out" and so on. Even when i explained that facebook owns everything you put up there and can do whatever they want with it, no one understood or wanted to listen.

      Right now its normal to skip the unhealthy uses of social media and protecting your personal data with a vpn and other ways. They used to tell me to put a tin foil hat on, now they want me to help them set up a vpn service and learn other ways to protect their data.

      I think you should gradually stop using them, just to try it out. I can only see the positive effects it has had on me, other then missing out on 1 game beta testing. And perhaps like, 1 party. People get used to you not having social media so you wont fall off the grid or anything.

      5 votes
    3. EscReality Link Parent
      I highly recommend it, coming back to the internet with a refreshed perspective on it has been very healthy for me.

      I highly recommend it, coming back to the internet with a refreshed perspective on it has been very healthy for me.

      4 votes
  4. [2]
    vakieh Link
    I'm not really sure why people support return posts like this. People with personalities observably prone to addiction manage to take a break, then get given a massive rush of support as soon as...

    I'm not really sure why people support return posts like this. People with personalities observably prone to addiction manage to take a break, then get given a massive rush of support as soon as they cave and come back to their addiction. It would be like cheering for someone who decided they were heading back to the pokies.

    OP: You have observed that removing yourself from social media was the right choice for you - don't unmake it. Treat this like a relapse and instead focus on all the good things you did when you weren't stuck on your addiction and how there is nothing at all stopping you from doing more of those things but you.

    9 votes
    1. cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
      Because this is a community where many of us have gotten to know one another over the last six+ months and so we are sad when people seemingly disappear from it, and are also glad/happy when...

      Because this is a community where many of us have gotten to know one another over the last six+ months and so we are sad when people seemingly disappear from it, and are also glad/happy when people return so we can continue interacting with them again. Is that really so surprising?

      Now, with that said, I don't begrudge anyone that feels the need to leave permanently, for their own mental health, personal well being or any other reason... and in fact applaud them if they have the willpower to do so. However not every vice/addiction needs to be treated as if complete abstinence is the only viable solution, since not all are equally unhealthy for you. And in the case of social media I think there are also many benefits to staying engaged on it as well... so someone who returns while also attempting to find a more healthy balance in using it is worth applauding too.

      15 votes
  5. [2]
    cfabbro (edited ) Link
    Heh... this is actually pretty incredible timing. Just last night I checked your profile, since I hadn't seen you on here in quite a while, and was actually planning on sending you a PM today...

    Heh... this is actually pretty incredible timing. Just last night I checked your profile, since I hadn't seen you on here in quite a while, and was actually planning on sending you a PM today asking if everything was alright. So I am glad to hear that you're fine, the break was intentional and served you well. :)

    I too took an extended break (20-ish days) from social media around Christmas time and it was also very fruitful and much needed... so I also highly recommend it!

    p.s. Glad to have you back though, I was starting to miss your topics and our conversations in ~food. ;)

    8 votes
    1. EscReality Link Parent
      Aw thats awesome! Glad to be back =)

      Aw thats awesome!

      Glad to be back =)

      1 vote
  6. Rocket_Man Link
    I definitly noticed your absence and was hoping you were were alright. Good job having the willpower to stay away and improve your health. I hope you find a good moderate level of activity that...

    I definitly noticed your absence and was hoping you were were alright. Good job having the willpower to stay away and improve your health. I hope you find a good moderate level of activity that still let's you sleep and focus.

    3 votes
  7. [3]
    asoftbird Link
    I don't want to quit cold-turkey but l do want to spend less time online. Still very difficult as l find it hard to cut out social things like discord chats with friends and reading pages about...

    I don't want to quit cold-turkey but l do want to spend less time online. Still very difficult as l find it hard to cut out social things like discord chats with friends and reading pages about things l like. I'm not sure how I'll do this, because once l do check chats/websites l'm sucked in and cannot leave. I'd love to spend more time on hobbies but the internet is just so draining. Fairly sure l'm sort of addicted, actually. Any ideas?

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      momentmaker Link Parent
      Block off a period of your day where you commit to be technology-free. Take a walk, meditate or day-dream. Slowly you can transition off your need to be online all the time. Slow steps...

      Block off a period of your day where you commit to be technology-free. Take a walk, meditate or day-dream.

      Slowly you can transition off your need to be online all the time.

      Slow steps...

      6 votes
      1. Armando (edited ) Link Parent
        What I also like to do is delegate certain uses of technology to certain times/days. For example I've delegated my mornings, right after I've woken up, for catching up on the news, Fridays and...

        What I also like to do is delegate certain uses of technology to certain times/days. For example I've delegated my mornings, right after I've woken up, for catching up on the news, Fridays and Sundays are for gaming, et cetera.

        2 votes
  8. [2]
    asoftbird Link
    I've commented on this a few days ago, and spent some time reflecting and looking at my behavior in regards to time spent reading comment threads, watching clickbait youtube crap and getting stuck...

    I've commented on this a few days ago, and spent some time reflecting and looking at my behavior in regards to time spent reading comment threads, watching clickbait youtube crap and getting stuck in the "open app > close app > reopen app immediately" cycle.

    As such I've blocked internet access to my phone on router level, put reddit/twitter/youtube/etc in the hosts file to redirect to localhost and told friends on other platforms I'm taking a break. One month, might extend if it's required.

    I have ADHD so getting addicted to things is really easy for me. Learning routines? Hard as hell. So, even thought I've been here for just a week, I'm already going on a hiatus. I've scheduled "online time" in weekends, so that's my go-to newsread time. See ya + thanks OP for the wake-up call!

    3 votes
    1. cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
      Kudos! Good luck and I hope the break helps you. p.s. In the short time you have been here I already started recognizing your username when it popped up, and looking at your profile I have upvoted...

      Kudos! Good luck and I hope the break helps you.

      p.s. In the short time you have been here I already started recognizing your username when it popped up, and looking at your profile I have upvoted you several times already. So kudos for being a valuable community member already too. :)

      2 votes
  9. Staross Link
    Last time I moved I didn't had internet for like a month. It was pretty good, got more creative for sure. But it's hard to cut if off if you are not forced to.

    Last time I moved I didn't had internet for like a month. It was pretty good, got more creative for sure. But it's hard to cut if off if you are not forced to.

    2 votes
  10. jlpoole Link
    Dear EscReality: We missed you. Your pal, The Internet

    Dear EscReality:

    We missed you.

    Your pal,

    The Internet

    3 votes