Thursday, April 30, 2009

Internet Rehab

Whew, this week got away from me! Sorry to leave you all hanging since Tuesday. Its really quite an interesting story, but its protected by attorney-client privilege, so I can't tell you. Suffice to say, we got a call at the office at 3 p.m. Tuesday to let us know we had to file an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order (i.e. an injunction) for one of our biggest clients by 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. So, one of the Jr. Partners and I stayed until about midnight putting it together and then we spent all day Wednesday dealing with the fall out that ensued. FUN times! The Court granted our motion, so it was worth it I 'spose.

Anyway...I have been meaning to do a post on internet addiction, since, well, I started this blog! But CNN apparently has beat me to it! Tuesday, CNN featured an article discussing internet addiction among new mothers. My best friend emailed it to me (although I'd already read it - in a minute you'll see why) and said "wow, this sounds just like ME!" Now, it struck me that she thought that she is addicted to the internet because she doesn't use the internet even 1/8 as much as I do!

We both belong on a message board for moms, but I post and/or reply to posts daily (many days, multiple times a day). She checks it maybe once a week, and usually only responds to my posts... I also belong to several preemie boards.

We both belong on Facebook, but I've belonged for about two years and update my status throughout the day. She just created her page this month and updates her status maybe once a day.

We both have blogs though!!! Her blog is mainly about her super delicious baby boy, and her penchant for all things outrageous and gross (she's got quite a sense of humor).

I have three different email accounts. I just prodded her to get a gmail account this month (for business purposes). I respond to emails almost instantaneously, and it takes her at least several hours to respond, because she doesn't check her accounts nearly as frequently as I do...

Well, the point is...if she's got a problem, then I must be in BIG trouble. Curious as to how much time I actually spent on the internet any given day, I conducted a little experiment - I recorded all the time I spent on the internet for a whole day for personal reasons (much like I account for every .1 hours throughout the day for billable hours...). I didn't account for time I spent on the net on my iPhone, as that would simply be too difficult (which should be telling in-and-of itself). It went down a little something like this:

6:20 a.m. -6:30 a.m. - 10 minutes
9:40-10:00 a.m. - 20 minutes
11:05 - 11:20 a.m. - 15 minutes
12:30-1:00 p.m. - 30 minutes
2:30-3:00 p.m. - 30 minutes
4:30-4:45 p.m. - 15 minutes
9:00 - 9:15 p.m. - 15 minutes
10:30 - 11:30 p.m. - 60 minutes

TOTAL: 3 hours 15 minutes

(plus about 15 "peeks" into Facebook, email or my message board for less than 1 minute a piece, so I didn't write it down).

THREE HOURS AND FIFTEEN MINUTES?!! R U kidding me??!!?? No wonder I feel like I have no time and get nothing done! I'm spending 15% of the day mindlessly wandering the internet! Sheesh.

After passing out and recovering, I began to reason that of course some internet is legitimate. Not all of it is bad... But, clearly, my internet useage is out of control and needs to be reigned in. This very well could be the solution, or at least a step in the right direction, to solving my time management problems! So, ever the planner, I've come up with a three-step program for breaking internet addiction:

1. Make a list of the main uses for the internet that are most important to you. For 1 week, do not allow yourself to deviate from those uses unless absolutely necessary. For me, that would be my email, my mom-board, my blog (aren't you all so lucky!), and Facebook. I really should cut that list down, but baby steps!

2. Decide how much time you will spend on the internet, and stick to it. Set a timer when you get on, and get off when the timer goes off. Do not deviate!! I've resolved to only spend the 10 minutes it takes me to pump (once in the morning and three times during work), and 30 minutes at night. That is a 2/3 reduction in the time currently spent! Plus, if I do it while pumping - that's multitasking right??

3. After the first week is over, allow yourself to expand beyond your "main" uses, but log off immediately if you begin to experience what I call internet zoning - where your mind begins to melt to mush and you find yourself trying to find a reason to keep clicking. If you find your usage getting out of control again, start with step-1 again.

I have a feeling this is going to be a painful rehabilitation period my friends. But, the thought of gaining several hours back in my day is entirely too wonderful!

So, internet addiction - is it real? Do you have it? How bad? Whatcha going to do about it? If anything.... Discuss!!!


  1. Oh my you are an addict! I am lucky that my computer internet experience is limited or I may very well be in the same boat as you! I have no idea how to get to facebook much less make a page and the only blogs I belong to are your guide to life and bennett's journey (which by the way is sorely lacking new pictures to keep Nana happy!). The only sites I frequent are Runner's World and I try and check my e-mail account 5 times a week (during lunch at work) and never on weekends! Maybe its an age thing and your addiction will fade as your hair grays? Or maybe as the boys get older and you have this event or that function and you never have time just to go to the bathroom! I remember when AOL was fairly new and how I use to spend every evening in a chat room or other spots of mischief! Of course at that point in time I was also lazy, smoked like a freight train and never even contemplated a trip to the gym! Now I would much rather spend my time with something that talks back or play with my furry little children now that I don't have the time commitment to every known high school sport and activity my son decided he had to be part of! Then too, my computer at home is behind the times and not even qualified for the 21st century home! But all things change and your addiction will to and will be replaced by something new and exciting like t-ball or soccer and play dates and birthday parties and etc... Try as you might time will cure your addiction.

  2. I know for me the solution will be going back to work since I can't access my blog or facebook there. Even my personal email checking is severely limited. Then when I come home I will undoubtedly spend my time with Elijah and getting ready for the next work day. Waking up at 4 am demands an early bedtime. That will be my cure. Until then- I'm hopeless. ;)