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                Hello Everyone! I am a 16-year-old high-school/dual-enrollment student from the US. I am looking to improve my time management and alter my habits. I am quitting video games because they have caused social anxiety and taken up time in my life. Videogames have also always been in my life, and I haven’t been able to develop an identity separate from them.

                I started playing video games when I was five years old, and I mostly quit gaming in the fall of 2020 (excluding occasional weekends when my friend was on). At this point, I have deleted my Steam, Discord, Epic, and Origin accounts. Across these accounts, I had roughly 3000 hours over 4 years (previously I mainly played on a Nintendo 3ds, which I sold to fund my gaming PC, and mobile games).

                There were many people in my life who intentionally or unintentionally encouraged me to quit. My family, especially my sister, always discouraged gaming and encouraged other hobbies, which annoyed me when I was younger, but I am glad they did so now. I had an online friend who quit gaming for several months, then came back for a few weeks, and he talked about how much better his life was. My best friend’s parents took away his PC several times. Over those weeks, gaming lost its charm, and I usually quit when he wasn’t playing. Those weeks without gaming were the most enjoyable and productive weeks of the semester.

                My friends and family were critical to my ultimate disillusionment with video games, which is part of why I want to develop more positive social connections. There were several weeks during quarantine where I had very little time with friends in any form; those weeks were neither productive nor happy. I hope to develop deeper relationships over the summer to help fuel my work and bring about more enjoyment in my life, especially in hobbies that I am interested in.

Hobbies are also crucial for mental health and filling time. My favorite hobbies are writing, reading, programming, drawing, and cooking. I want to find some more active and social hobbies. I have been working out for the past two years, but it isn’t very social, and I don’t enjoy it that much. I would also like to find an outside job where I would work with my hands and learn practical skills.

                Thank you for reading this short introduction! I probably won’t post a daily journal because I tend to write a lot and obsessively edit, which takes a long time. However, I will try and post something every Sunday because that is my day off.  

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Hey there! Welcome to the forums! Congrats on committing to a gaming free life. Addictions are something most gamers won't admit to. 

I hope through this journey you are able to improve your social skills and get better with your family, these are both things I still struggle with, though I am getting better! You said you're interested in writing, reading, drawing, programming and cooking. Those are all great hobbies. One thing I struggled with though and many on this forum did is we replaced gaming with watching youtube or scrolling through reddit. If you come across this problem, one thing that helped me is setting a goal for myself. For example, for cooking I would say, "Okay, I will cook one new recipe twice a week." or it could be a goal as simply making healthier meals. 

This journey is long and can be tedious at first, but I believe you'll make great progress and we're here to support you if you need it.

Best 

Jason

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