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How can I stop spending time on internet forums?

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TheSt.Cleve

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Jul 5, 2020
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Yes, I know that it sounds ironic for me to ask this question on an internet forum, but I'd genuinely like some help with this because it has been an issue in my life for years now.

I won't be very specific on which forums I've been using, but much of the discussion I partake in is related to video games, movies and other forms of media. Spending my time on internet forums is comparable to Discord but with threads instead of chat rooms. I have already been able to stop using Discord as I never became very invested in it, so leaving the site was easy for me. The same cannot be said about my attempts to leave the forums.

The problems with me spending time on forums have extended throughout different parts of my life, but they got really bad at some points where I was continuously putting off projects and other things to go on the internet to talk with people on forums. This also interfered with my sleep when I would stay up very late to join a discussion which I didn't want to leave. I have been struggling a lot with trying to leave these internet forums since I have spent so long discussing with different people on those forums to the point where I feel like I'm abandoning something if I quit. The main reason I keep coming back to these forums is because they make up most of my social life, and the connections I developed with these people (who I'll never meet in real life) began to mean something to me. At the same time however, I am certain that if I left those forums forever, my life would be better, and I would not regret it.

Me telling myself that the forums are a waste of time and won't help me at all is not working very well with helping me quit as I still come back to them despite telling myself this. If anyone has any advice on how I can stay off these forums without feeling the need to return, please be sure to let me know as I would be happy to hear it.
 

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nassimslab

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Mar 18, 2020
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When you write a response to a thread your mind seems to keep an expectation of response in the back of your mind that prevents your from really focusing. The solution to this problem would be to stop getting involved in forums and to just read them. Once you do that for a while, you'll be able to more easily stop reading it as well.
 

Andy Black

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Imagine there's a part of your brain that fears change. Let's call it your lizard brain. Even if that change should benefit you in the long run, your lizard brain would rather keep the status quo.

Whenever you're doing something that will move your business or life forward, the lizard brain will panic and start trying to distract you. It will whisper to you that you're not good enough and to not even try. It will tempt you with distractions, like checking up on your Facebook feed.

Use that sudden urge to check forums as an indicator that your lizard brain thinks you're about to do something to improve your life. You now know you're onto something so should double down with glee and flick that lizard off your shoulder.
 

Ismails

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Convert Spend word into Invest Word, see for yourself and let us know what happens
 

Odysseus M Jones

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Read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for Life

And in the meantime do something to get banned from these forums, something so bad they'll block your IP address

You've already taken the first step by acknowledging you have a problem, so congratulations for that.
 

lao

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Sometimes, a giant leap of faith is preceded by small leaps of faith.
At least, that has been true for me.

At one point, I realized I wanted to quit playing video games and spend less of my time on nerd culture. This has been a process in my life, not an instant quit and never look back.

Days without at first
Then one or more weeks without
Then 6 months without (the reignition of my entrepreneurial journey)
Then I played games for 3-4 months before finally deciding to sell all my consoles and delete/give away all my accounts and games.
Now I still sometimes play games and re-realize why I don't want it to take up as big a part of my life anymore. I even watched some friends play Diablo 3 last night, thought for a brief moment about starting up again, swiftly rejected it = progress.

Same with nicotine, same with relationships, same with business ventures.

I recently met a man so broken down by his ego, by his escapes into substances and sensual pleasure, self-deceit, unaccountability, and playing the victim. It was a great reminder of what I do not want to become. I bet there exist some "reverse role models" for your undesired behavior as well.

Take the next right step. You've already written a post about it. That's a pretty big step.
You've realized you don't want it. That's another big step.

You have a key to your solution in your writing:
"The main reason I keep coming back to these forums is that they make up most of my social life, and the connections I developed with these people (who I'll never meet in real life) began to mean something to me. "

This is where you can keep asking questions, questions like:
"How can I fulfil my social needs in a different way?"
"Can I keep in contact with these people without being on forums?"
"Am I revisiting these forums for my own sake or their assumed benefit?"
"How can I incorporate my social life with activities I want to pursue?"

I had a way easier time dodging stuff I don't want to do when I set a goal big enough that lead me to not being able to afford old habits. If your goal is earning $10K in the next 3 months, you have way more time to spend on forums than if you decide to earn $100K.

If you would like to try talking about this for 15-30 minutes over the internet using voice, I would be happy to attempt helping you (free of charge). I'm working on self-help/coaching skills anyway. Win-win in my eyes. :)
 

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