Don’t let the computer rule (ruin?) your life!

I’m in internet junkie. I’m an email junkie. My name is Julie Artz and I am an addict. Seriously. I get that prickly uncomfortable feeling when I know there are emails in my Inbox that I haven’t read or responded to. I ignore everything around me when I’m absorbed in whatever I’m doing on the computer to the point of missing that my daughter has unrolled all the toilet paper, my son has removed all of his clothes from the closet and has disassembled all his pant hangers, or the dog has peed on the floor because I didn’t realize he needed to go out. And I didn’t even mention all the times that I’ve completely ignored Matt while he was talking to me because I was looking at the computer screen. This is serious.

Part of the problem is that between work & volunteer commitments, I have been hopelessly buried in work for the past four months. Even working every night of the weeks and weeks of business trips my husband has been on in 2008 has not really helped me catch up. But part of it is just plain old addiction to the Macbook. And I’m afraid my blogging aspirations are just making it worse, not better. You watch, I’ll stay up another hour so I can post my Wordless Wednesday picture (already selected) toward the front of the list so I can get more visitors tomorrow. It’s an illness, I know!

So this weekend, after Matt got home from his trip and we decompressed a bit, we spent some time talking about what could make our lives feel a bit more in control. Obviously getting caught up from his trip (filing taxes, getting groceries, doing laundry) helped, but more long-term change is needed. So we’ve committed to shutting our computers at 8pm as often as we can (obviously not tonight because we knocked off a bit early today to play outside and now we’re playing catch-up) and to not checking email until 8am in the morning.

That doesn’t sound too hard, does it? Let me tell you, it is. First off, my desk is right next to my bed, so I’ve been known to crawl out of bed and go straight to the computer in the morning to check email. The problem is that I get sucked in and then the kids are hungry, Matt’s showered and dressed and taking the dog out and…I’m emailing. Matt does the same thing. If he beats me downstairs, he’ll sit down for a quick check before breakfast and then we’re late getting the kids to preschool, late getting started working, late, late, late.

I’m tired of feeling like I’m late to everything. I’ve been consistently 10 minutes late for, well, the last two years. So if closing my computer for 12 hours a day will help break my addiction and help me focus on the things that really matter like taking care of my family and INTERACTING with them instead of the computer, well, it’s worth a try.

I think WW can wait until Wednesday, don’t you?

8 thoughts on “Don’t let the computer rule (ruin?) your life!

  1. Mandy, I don’t have much in the way of good advice on this, just a lot of empathy. It’s pretty much impossible to force someone to change, especially if it’s not something they see as a problem. I’d start with talking to him, using a lot of “I” expressions instead of the more-accusing “you” and see how far you get. “I really miss you when you’re on the computer and wish I had more time with you” and that sort of thing. Best of luck!

  2. hello my husband is addicted to the computer and it is ruining my life it seems to me that the more free time he has to go on the computer the more i have to do with kids and the house HELP

  3. My name is Hatchet, and I too have an internet addiction!

    But…but…everything you need to KNOW is out here. Argh! So…hard…to leave it alone. What about pretty glossy pictures of plants? What about putting up my latest post about my cute and glossy children? Argh!

    I call it Falling Down the Rabbit Hole. Basically, you start reading something cool here, then it links to there and you follow the link and then next thing you know you’re reading about who knows what and it’s all so fascinating that you can’t stop.

  4. oh, and did i mention i’m probably getting a macbook (used) for my birthday? (though jody is threatening not to buy it now.) i’m not sure if that will help me be more productive or further my addition. the jury is still out.

  5. Hi, my name is Amy and I’m an internet-aholic. I’ve actually been planning a similar post in the near future, if I ever get the time to write it. But yeah, I’ve got it and I’ve got it bad. Let’s form a support group – we can meet online. 😉

  6. You’re telling my story, sister! I especially relate to completely ignoring hubby while reading on the computer. It’s easy to get sucked into the world of never-ending information, blogs, etc.

    I’m rooting for you!

  7. My name’s Nicole and I too am an internet addict. I hear you. It stinks!! It doesn’t help either that surfing is what I do when I’m too tired or stressed to cope.

    We’ll see how life goes once I’m alone w/ 3. I don’t see how I’m going to get *anything* including email done until K grows up some. It bothers me…and then I wonder why I’m wasting my children’s tender years on the computer anyway? But then I start itching to check my email…

    Sigh.

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