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Wombat's "Death to Screen-time" Journal-O-Rama


Wombatus
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DAY 1

Hi. This is Wombat, and this is my journal. Gonna be trying the 90-day challenge, with a twist: I'm essentially going to eliminate most voluntary screen time. Moreso than videogames, mindlessly surfing online is the beast I have to deal with, and I feel that I'd replace that with watching DVDs or Netflix or something equally inactive and asocial if given the chance. So yeah, a tall order. Here are my perimeters...

What Isn't Allowed

Playing videogames, watching television, Netflix or DVDs alone, and mindlessly surfing online recreationally (stuff like online forums, TvTropes, etc.)

What is Allowed

Going online to update my journal thread. I will limit this to twice a day (morning and night).

Going online to post artwork (I very occasionally use DeviantArt). However, uploading work is the only thing I can do on these sites.

Going to movie theaters (I figure it's an activity that has a built-in time limit and is potentially social, plus I won't be totally ignorant of pop culture this way).

Watch TV / play games with friends and family (I cannot suggest these activities myself, can't make suggestions of what to watch / play, and I must watch what everyone else chooses to watch / play). I realize the potential hazard of this allowance and might have to ban it as well.

I can go online briefly to check movie times, locations, etc. So, use the Internet practically and not frivolously, in other words.

My end goal in all of this is to return to voluntary screen time, but moderately. I honestly don't know yet if that is practical or not, but I'll have plenty of time to think it over in these 90 days.

So have I created a whole bunch of arbitrary rules that I'm gonna obsess over for the next three months? Probably. Is my brain screaming at me that I'm making a huge mistake? Absolutely. Do I regret this already? Almost certainly. Let's go.

 

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So have I created a whole bunch of arbitrary rules that I'm gonna obsess over for the next three months? Probably. Is my brain screaming at me that I'm making a huge mistake? Absolutely. Do I regret this already? Almost certainly. Let's go.

I had a good laugh at this. I love when everything inside you is screaming to not do something, but you know exactly what needs to happen, and you do it anyway. 

I'm eager to follow along with your progress. Keep us updated.

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TvTropes

You literally mentioned the Devil. That shit is cocaine on steroids.

Man, you're going to need a good bunch of new hobbies and activities to fill all that void of former mindless browsing. Check our +60 hobbies list (at the main page gamequitters.com). Good luck!

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DAY 0

So, just a quick update... How many of you relapse on the first day?

Hello and welcome to the Journey. What's your game plan from keeping yourself from surfing the internet or watching TV when you're feeling tired and unmotivated? Do you have a framework in place for such an eventuality?

Honestly, none. I downloaded and skimmed the 60 Things to Do list, but I've always had a kind of cavalier attitude towards keeping occupied while undergoing detox. Obviously have to actually think about it.

Also, I don't mean to be a freaking pariah, but what I'm proposing isn't giving up videogames, but nearly all voluntary screen-time. While I do think it's still a necessary goal for me, I'm just coming to grips what that means giving up.

Honestly not sure how I feel about eventually trying to moderate this sort of thing now. That's the desirable end goal, but I'm not sure I can do it.

Alright, let's try this detox thing again.

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Lmao

Look, in my opinion, you should just focus on the gaming detox first, don't try to do everything at once because ego backlash will be stronger. Really really strong.

I'm gonna be honest here. In the next 90 days, you're probably gonna browse the internet at some point. Youre gonna watch something at some point. So what? Youre detoxing from gaming and getting your life together.

Allow a certain degree of entertainment to fall back on when youre acting unconsciously. As long as you don't game, it's a win. If you lapse on the first fucking day then that should be enough to focus on. Think about it bro

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Lmao

Look, in my opinion, you should just focus on the gaming detox first, don't try to do everything at once because ego backlash will be stronger. Really really strong.

I'm gonna be honest here. In the next 90 days, you're probably gonna browse the internet at some point. Youre gonna watch something at some point. So what? Youre detoxing from gaming and getting your life together.

Allow a certain degree of entertainment to fall back on when youre acting unconsciously. As long as you don't game, it's a win. If you lapse on the first fucking day then that should be enough to focus on. Think about it bro

My issue isn't really gaming though. It really is generalized overuse of screen-time, of which gaming happens to be a big (but not at all the biggest) component of. And I realize that this place focuses mostly on gaming. But frankly, it comes the closest to addressing my particular issue. Seriously, google "adult screentime". You'll get a few interest pieces, tons of websites intended to help the parents of screen-addicted children, and very little in the way of practical advice for screen-addicted adults.

And I am aware that abstaining from nearly all recreational screentime is impractical. That's why I honestly think the ideal scenario is to find some way to moderate it. But I find myself unable to do so at this point. I view the 90 Day Challenge as part a test of personal resolve and part a genuine experiment to see where it leads me to.

That said...

DAY 0

"Relapsed" again this weekend. Ah, well.

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Going cold turkey on so many things at once is a huge shock for the system. I've tried.

In one month, I once made the commitment to do: No YouTube and no gaming.

This commitment was made to limit my own screen time.

It didn't work. After a few days I went back to YouTube, watching documentaries etc... then full YouTube started again.

The brain (mind) is brilliant at coming up with thousands of excuses to do something you're deliberately trying to avoid doing.
 

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What happened with your relapse? Share more and we can support you.

What happened is what this guy said.

Going cold turkey on so many things at once is a huge shock for the system. I've tried.

In one month, I once made the commitment to do: No YouTube and no gaming.

This commitment was made to limit my own screen time.

It didn't work. After a few days I went back to YouTube, watching documentaries etc... then full YouTube started again.

The brain (mind) is brilliant at coming up with thousands of excuses to do something you're deliberately trying to avoid doing.
 

I kept making excuses for myself. "Oh, I'll only browse the Internet for a while." "Okay, I'll only use my smartphone to browse 4chan while riding an exercise bike." "The four hours on the exercise bike left me winded. I'm just gonna rest a bit while playing some games." "Dammit, the whole day is wasted. Guess it doesn't matter what I do now." And then there was a specific incident this weekend where I started playing videogames simply because I was bored.

Finding stuff to do is probably going to be something I'll struggle with. There's a whole backlog of chores that I've been neglecting, but they won't last forever. Nothing else (except listening to podcasts) sounds like I'll enjoy it. This is doubly true for social stuff. Frankly, I've never been good at it, and committing to social engagements scares the bejeezus out of me.

Wow, that's a ton of unloading. I complain about non-gaming, non-Internet activities to be boring, but I think that's at least partially because I haven't really been committed to any of them for some time.

Anyways, DAY 0.5 - HALF A DAY SOBER IS NOT REALLY AN ACCOMPLISHMENT

Shut up. So I spent my time at work today not really feeling much. I had a couple of urges to browse online when I got home, but they were low-level and just continuing to work was enough for their effects to be mitigated.

I honestly don't think I've quite processed yet what exactly I've committed myself to. Ever since coming home, I have been feeling a constant slight feeling of dread and heaviness. I don't feel anything like this whenever I try to moderate screentime. Even typing these words on my smartphone is somewhat comforting. I should seriously stop soon.

THING I'M GRATEFUL FOR I GUESS

I received some praise from my boss for dealing with an issue we both noticed. That always makes me feel good. I might get into this in a later post, but sometimes I think that I'm relatively ineffective at my job.

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I've learned that the more we put attention to stopping something, the more likely it is to continue.

If I put my attention to stopping to procrastinate, I end up procrastinating.

Might I make a suggestion? You don't have to do it. It's completely your choice.

Ask yourself:
What was I made for?
Why am I here?
Who am I?
What would I do today, if I knew that I would die tomorrow?

The reason we are so drawn to screens, is because we intentionally/unintentionally avoid the difficult questions above.

Those questions forces us out of inactivity.

It forces us to change... and we humans... we don't like change.

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