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WritingFuture

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  1. I couldn't post yesterday because I went to a film and stayed there until late. While I still distracted myself on the internet for some parts of the day, I had a good time at the cinema and did some work at least. Today was very focused and very productive, and I was able to almost completely adhere to the plan for the day I made the night before. That is not surprising, however: I spent most of my day today at the university, attending seminars and working in the library, forced to do so by my schedule. I find that these days when it is obligatory for me to leave my apartment and have no option but to study in the library are the easiest. Away from home, and feeling the judging stares of my fellow students if I opened a distracting website, I have no difficulty staying productive for extended amounts of time. I will try to keep the importance of setting in mind and focus on it more on my journey. This not only goes for work, but also entertainment. Re-contextualizing entertainment as something done outside of the home, like I did by going to the cinemas, could be a useful way to curb my constant urges to be entertained at home, and I will give it a shot. However, I also want to be able to be reasonably productive even from home. This might be a stupid idea, and if it really doesn't work, I won't try and pursue it further. But I have several reasons to work from home on some days, and so I hope I will be able to manage. Given that I have usually not been able to work productively from home, and that I would be working in the same setting that has triggered doomscrolling and relapses in the past, some change is necessary. I am going to set up some habits and routines to re-frame the time I spend in front of my home computer as work, such as setting up a pomorodo timer. Wish me luck success!
  2. Today I tried to follow a plan for the day I wrote the night before. The morning was great, and I got all of the things done that I wanted to do. But the more the day progressed, the more it deviated from the plan I had set out, and I again got less work done than intended and instead procrastinated on the internet in the dumbest ways possible (the standart way to procrastinate I have all blocked, but there's always something on the internet that can grab your attention). I don't exactly know how to get out of this, but I know that planning my day has worked in the past and did at least somewhat work today as well. So I will continue to do so and try to adhere to the plan for a longer time every day. Eventually, I will be following it pretty closely if I stick to that. On the positive side, I have already noticed that I was better at concentrating and reading today than just yesterday. Let's try to keep that a trend, too!
  3. The last time I played a video game was two days ago, on Wednesday, so this is my second gaming-free day. But that's not the only thing I want to be free of. I have had many attempts at quitting gaming, and something that was common among all of these was an increased urge to spend time on the internet. This time, I am heavily focusing on also abstaining from internet entertainment. This is beneficial for several reasons. Firstly, of course, the internet offers some of the same things that gaming offers, most importantly the temporary escape and (para)social community, and if I was only quitting gaming, I would not be solving these problems. Secondly, I have noticed that there is a feedback-loop between internet content and gaming, because there is so much gaming content on the internet. If I didn't quit extensive internet use as well, I would constantly be bombarded with gaming content, telling me about new expansions, exciting patches and early-access releases. In the past, this has often led me back to gaming. Thirdly, internet entertainment keeps me from pursuing the hobbies I actually want to do, which, as Cam says, are key to quitting gaming as they offer challenge and measurable growth. And, well, it has been zero days since consuming internet entertainment. This is somewhat expected. Internet content is much harder to block and exterminate from the computer than video games. Still, I am unhappy with hours I spent on Youtube and Reddit today, and I noticed that I had difficulty reading afterwards. I also experienced some cravings after watching gaming content. Besides that, though, I spent some lovely hours with my girlfriend, and went on a nice walk. But I didn't get as much work done as I wanted to, mostly because of the distractions described above. The plan for this diary is to continue a bit like this. Some thoughts and reflections, and a brief overview of how I spent my day. I am also keeping a paper diary, which I expect to be more important to me in the future, which is why I will keep these posts relatively short.
  4. Hey, white cloud! What a great, high-effort post! I love the comparison of your addictions to a Chinese finger trap. I definitely have had the same experience where the shame I had for wasting days on gaming or the anger I felt for myself after procrastinating on an assignment with video games did not lower my screentime, but actually increase it. When I had all these negative emotions that resulted from my gaming, the only way I knew how to "deal" with them was playing even more and distracting myself from what my mind was telling me. Such a phenomenon has also been described by psychologists. As you (and the study) say, the best way to move forward is not to ruin yourself with negative and self-destructive thoughts, but by accepting your history, so I think you are on the right track! I'm looking forward to reading your diary entries and seeing how you experience the 90-day challenge!
  5. Hello everybody, my name is Bruno and I am a university student from Germany. I have struggled with video game and internet addiction for much of my life, which in some phases of my life escalated to where I was commited to a psychiatric clinic, dropped out of school and much more. Luckily, my situation has already improved quite a lot in recent years, and I get by with reasonable grades. Still, this small success builds not on abstinence and self-control, but on cramming sessions in between phases saturated by extensive and uncontrolled gaming and internet use. Often, I waste the entire sixteen hours of a free day on these activities. I am outwardly 'functioning' but not much more. The situation leaves me profoundly unhappy. Not only does it cause great amounts of stress and pressure, it also leaves me little time to pursue the hobbies I actually want to do, such as cycling and writing. I have tried many times to control and limit my consumptions. And, optimistically, some of these attempts have actually improved my situation - as I said in the beginning, it used to be much worse. I have, for example, created major hurdles to gaming and internet surfing by uninstalling all problematic software and intricately blocking addictive websites. But at the same time, I seem to be playing a game with myself where I find more and more complicated ways to circumvent these obstacles and continue my addictive behavior. I think that one of the things that has been holding me back from continuing to move in the direction I want to move in is that I have so far lacked a community. It has, so far, almost always been only me and my computer. But we humans are a fundamentally social species, and a sense of community and belonging has been shown to be helpful with many other addictions, such as with AA. And in my personal experience, having a community often motivates meaningful change. For example, joining a creative writing group took me from thinking about writing to actually doing some writing (Though it has of course been rather sporadic due to my addictive behavior). That's why I am excited to join this community. I am optimistic that this will help me grow as a person and help solve my addiction. I am also very grateful for Cam and all of you here in the forum for building this community! See you around!