Jump to content

NEW INTERVIEW: How Pauline Narvas Overcame Gaming Addiction to Become a Programmer and Build an Incredible Life!

Sign in to follow this  
James Good

My crippling addiction to consuming content

Recommended Posts

I'm currently ~80 days into the detox, and from a gaming standpoint things have been going really well. I'm no longer craving it, and I've lost the desire to return to gaming after the detox, which is fantastic! 

My problem is, however, that I'm still consuming content on an astronomical level. I watch nearly all of Northernlion's YouTube videos each week. Which, when including live streams, is about 20 hours a week. On top of this, there's other YouTuber's that I watch. Some personal development and business, some health and fitness. Combining all of these with random browsing on YouTube I must watch 30-40 hours of content a week. During which time I don't get anything else done, my mood drops in the long run, and it causes a spiralling effect with my depression. Making me feel bad about not getting things done and so on... 

Northernlion's content does make me laugh, but really why am I watching it? He even says himself that he can't believe hundreds of thousands of people watch his stuff each week, go and learn to do something and live your life etc. I've tried quitting cold turkey before. Unsubscribing, clearing out YouTube recommendations, app blockers, tab blockers, new accounts, everything. But nothing has worked.

Some of my main goals are to become a regular reader, meditator, "yogi", multilingual and multitalented individual. But I've found that I'd always just rather watch a video for 40 minutes than spend 40 minutes meditating. I always always always choose the YouTube option over the choice that will actually benefit me in the long run. 

I guess another aspect is that his channel has been such a huge part of my life for over four years. Its become ingrained as a habit. I've been doing some research recently into habits. Most notably the information in 'The Power of Habit' and other related resources. But even when I tried to just read one page a day, I can't do it. My self discipline is at an all-time low, and I keep neglecting the important things in life.

I reached almost 200 monthly visitors on my website this month, which I'm extremely pleased with having only started in late August. But I hate how much more I would have been able to accomplish if my love of cheap fast entertainment didn't get in the way of everything. It's even at the point where my eyesight is noticeably suffering from looking at my phone screen a lot. I have more recurring headaches too.

I really don't know what to do. I know I need to change the habit cycle of cue -> reward -> routine. But I just don't want to. At least, I think I don't want to. It's hard to explain. I find it so difficult to convince myself to just restrain it. I hate it. 

It's not that habits I enjoy are a problem. I consistently work out 8 times a week at 6am, and at 8pm on some days. That's pretty much the only consistent habit I have in my life that's beneficial. All the rest are negative. 

I thought I'd post on here, as I'm really at a loss with everything else. Hopefully, someone can help me. The 90-day detox has been incredible, I've done things I never thought I'd be able to. But I feel I've uncovered a demon much worse now.

Thank you for reading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've also just calculated that during the last 4 years, 8-10% of my life was spent watching Northernlion. That's not even taking into account sleeping and other essential activities. 8% of my total life for the last four years. I don't swear much but f*** me I've just had a huge reality shock. I feel empty thinking about it. Almost sick...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So something strange happened today. I know that this is more suited to a daily journal but I wanted to keep this post here in case anyone else is suffering the same thing as me.

Once I calculated that I'd spent 2 hours a day, on average, for the last 4 years of my life watching Northernlion alone. That's not even counting other channels on Youtube and Twitch. Something changed in my mind.

I instantly unsubscribed on Twitch and Youtube from all gaming related channels, disabled my Twitch account, and I  have absolutely no craving to watch any videos today. It's so weird.

On top of that, I've had one of my most productive days in a long time. Both from a personal standpoint and a business standpoint. I meditated this morning and for the first time in a while it actually felt rewarding. I felt like I could sit there for hours, blissfully watching my thoughts go by. I'm also reading again, which is something that I was neglecting.

I'll probably keep the updates over on my daily journal, rather than carrying on with this one. But if anyone wants to ask me any questions about it, feel free. We're all in this together and I can't be the only one that's experiencing these problems.

Peace out!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to procrastinate a lot on YouTube/Twitch and my solution was to watch other interesting videos that are not gaming related. E.g. Ted Ed talks that are science oriented or silly talk show clips making fun of the American presidential candidates (Seth Meyers), etc. Clips that are not uploaded that often and usually ~10 minutes per clip. 

Good to know you had a productive day! Keep up the good work. And yes reading is always great. I honestly wish I could read what I wanted to instead of textbooks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm currently struggling with distractions, mostly from 9gag and youtube.

So how are you doing Jimmy? It's been one month almost since your last comment about this issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So how are you doing Jimmy? It's been one month almost since your last comment about this issue.

I went straight back to my old habits about a week afterwards. 

I managed to fill my free time with TED videos for a few days and tried cutting it out completely. But I ended up watching gaming YouTube videos and Twitch videos again. A couple of days ago I stayed up until 2am watching a Twitch stream. 

I have started getting back into my business routine and daily habits, but it's slow progress. I still find myself watching some gaming stuff in my free time. Pretty much only from that one YouTuber Northernlion. Currently, it's not a huge problem, and I don't feel it's destroying my productivity at the moment. 

I'm finding it much harder to quit watching videos than quitting games. But I do want to improve over time. It's just really really difficult for me. 

Thanks for checking in, though, I appreciate it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a lot to say about this post so i'll break it up into a few parts.

1) Your goals are strikingly similar to my own, reading and meditating in particular. And we're at about the same point in dropping video gaming. Keep up the good work!

2) I find myself similarly distracted with the free time. Because SO MUCH free time opened up from gaming, even after I do various other things I still find myself on the internet. 

3) To answer your question of: 'what do i do if i quit video games but replace them with internet memeing?' My approach has been to slowly peel the layers one at a time. For example, I first quit video games, now i'm quitting porn for 30 days. After that point my goal is to remove refined sugar from my diet for 30 days. All the while keeping the constructive habits from before (no gaming, no porn, no sugar etc...) So again, congrats on quitting video games, my advice would be to build on your success by stopping LiveStreams of games next, for example.

4) In your original post you mentioned self-discipline struggles. This is completely normal. Your self-discipline is being used up in part by quitting video games etc. which will improve over time. So trying to willpower yourself to sit down read after using willpower to not play games is very draining. This doesn't mean you have low self-discipline at all, in fact, for doing the 90 day detox you have a lot. Continue to congratulate yourself for every step you make, and keep knocking out one goal at a time. 

Best of luck mate.

Edited by LifeRound2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...