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Internet Addiction

AngusAngus Vietnam New

Many of us are probably affected by this . Many times I have put off meditating in the evening because of the availability and constant temptation of the internet . How much easier it would be to settle down for a meditation session in the evening if there was no internet . Short of cutting it off from the house , what measures do you guys take to stop the net taking over your lives too much ? I heard a monk say recently that if there was internet at the time of the Buddha there would have been far fewer enlightened beings .

Comments

  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    So how many enlightened beings were there at the time of the Buddha? Did your monk have a number? I hope you don't mind my saying that it sounds like a very odd thing to say! I've found the Internet vastly useful in my own practice. Especially finding the folks (howdy all!) and the discussions and information on this site.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I’m very bad at this, but I’ve heard it suggested that one should just limit “free browsing time” to a couple of hours a day at a standard time, ideally not before bed.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    I’m very bad at this, but I’ve heard it suggested that one should just limit “free browsing time” to a couple of hours a day at a standard time, ideally not before bed.

    I've found this idea to be very helpful for me in most of my media consumption. Make your use more intentional, try not to just surf TV channels or fall down the rabbit hole of You Tube videos. Set a daily limit on your time.

    Also, the more mindful you are the more you will begin to see how bingeing on the internet ruins your state of mind. If you keep up a Buddhist practice, at some point hopefully, you will develop a distaste for that glazed, zombie mind online addiction produces and will want to cut yourself off naturally.

    It also helps to make a point of stepping away for just a few minutes every now and again to do something else, like the dishes or take the dog for a walk or something. It helps break the spell.

    CarameltailkandoHarryH
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    The internet is neither inherently good nor bad.

    It's how we use it that matters.

    As @person mentions above, if you try and be mindful (aware) of what you're doing throughout the day, then you'll notice the affect it's having on your mind.

    Go out for a walk for 30 / 60 minutes after dinner perhaps? Turn it in to a walking meditation session if you can.

    ZendoLord84
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    I regularly take Facebook and social media apps off my phone for "sabbaticals" so I can increase my consistency in practice. I still check social media at specific times of the day, but limit it.

    For those of you who are not affected by temptation, good for you. While I too have no addiction to it, my three stepsons live to game and use the internet. It affects the whole household. Addiction to the internet is just as real as any other addiction.

    lobsterkandoKerome
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Short of cutting it off from the house

    Turn off router before meditating.
    No supply. No 'fix' ...

    Kerome
  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    I do feel a bit protective of this site as it's the one place I get to communicate with other Buddhists, living as I do in rural Ireland, topics of conversation being the weather, what your neighbours are up to and the price of cows!

    HarryH
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    What is the going rate for a cow?

    Mu or is it meow?
    http://sweepingzen.com/nanchuan-kills-a-cat/

    Shroendinger and Damien Hurst had nothing on the hardcore zenith addicts :p

    Would it be possible to create our own inter/indranet to get our sacred cows free ...

    ... and now back to unprotected interwebbing ...

    kando
  • AngusAngus Vietnam New

    There were many enlightened beings at the time of the Buddha . Check it out in the scriptures . Bear in mind that they didnt have all the distractions from the holy life TV , internet , fast food , etc . that we have today .Internet addiction is up there with alcohol and drugs. Constantly surfing the internet , buddhist sites or not , does nothing to free us from suffering which is the purpose of Buddhism . Sure we need some information but once we have that then we must sit and walk in meditation to see suffering , the cause of suffering and the way out of suffering . Sounds like the 4 noble truths . I have just returned from a retreat which made it clear to me the need to put away the computer and get out the cushion .

    lobsterkando
  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    My point was @Angus that we don't know how many enlightened people are out there rught now and that the Internet, for all its potential ills, could be helping more people than we know. Me for a start! There are so many resources now and that has to be a benefit.

    Shoshin
  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    As for Damien Hurst @libster, don't get me started! No doubt when he dies he will have himself pickled and put in a case in the Tate and I can go and pull faces at him through the glass :)

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Angus said:
    what measures do you guys take to stop the net taking over your lives too much ?

    None...
    I don't play games (which seems to be a big draw card for many addicts) ...
    I use FB purely for staying in contact with my children, some family members and a close friend who lives overseas...I check out NB often, I watch the news, some TV programmes and Netflix on my laptop...

    I meditate (cushion-time) twice a day every day (morning & evening) ...I guess one could say I am mindful of the illusion of time and for the most part I like to think I use this illusion wisely :)

    In the long run when it comes to meditation practice, "Right Effort" is important, that is adopting a meditation routine and sticking to it...after a while it becomes habitual...You could say a beneficial habit...

    kandolobsterpersonKundo
  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    I keep hitting u instead of I today, although in the case of Damien Randolph Hurst and his pickled cat Rosebud it was providential. (post modern references are ingrained after years of art training) Another reason I'm not addicted to the net is that computer screens give me migraines O.o

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I love the idea of excuses. Here are some favs:

    • I would meditate if not for women
    • I have to look after my home, spouse, chicken collection
    • The internet made me not meditate

    As you know the early sangha could not become enlightened because

    • not enough karma, food, support team
    • buddha was too subtle eg raising flower (allegedly)
    • following precepts, teaching laity, walking to the next food source

    Despite the excuses some of us meditate. We are dharma whores ...

    kandopersonShoshin
  • BodhiTzuBodhiTzu Among the trees and flowers New

    I read and watch too much Buddhism on the internet.

    Vimalajātilobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    My imaginary chicks have hatched and gone to the other side of the road/path to rooster nirvana ...
    The point is that despite our lobsterian tendencies/human frailty and living situation, we practice, and support each other to become more aware, mindful, compassionate ...

    We succeed because of The Friendly Path aka Buddhism aka the Muddle Way [sic] ...

    Until I am enlightened, I take refuge
    In the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
    Through the merit I create by practicing giving and the other perfections
    May I attain Buddhahood for the sake of all sentient beings.

    https://www.yowangdu.com/tibetan-buddhism/practical-guide-course/week-six-common-prayers.html

    BodhiTzukandoperson
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited August 8

    @Angus said:
    Short of cutting it off from the house , what measures do you guys take to stop the net taking over your lives too much ?

    .....By following the Eightfold path as best as one can ...

    Back to basics :)

    First Noble Truth ...There is Dukkha (Unsatisfactoriness)
    Second Noble Truth...There is the cause of Dukkha (Craving & Attachment)
    Third Noble Truth...There is a path to the cessation of Dukkha (Prescription)
    Forth Noble Truth...The Eightfold Path (Medicine for the Cure)

    Stick to the middle of the path (Hmm the Middle Way) by doing so one tends to Avoid the Extremely low branches and deep trenches on each side of the path...

    However from what I gather it takes "Right Effort & Right Concentration" to keep to the middle...

    Everything in moderation...including moderation

    kandolobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    There I was this past week (This is a true story) developing an internet games addiction. Despite my best efforts to relax whilst controlling killer game robots, I became more tense.

    During meditation, laser beams and killer hunter robots would impact on my meditation. My minds eye was being invaded. O.o

    Eventually I developed neasea and projectile vomiting. :3 Yes it is a symptom ...

    The most common theory about why you get sick is that your body thinks that you have been poisoned and that you're hallucinating the movement that you are seeing but not feeling. This causes you to get nauseated and—if you don’t stop playing right away—vomit in order to flush the "toxins" from your body.
    https://www.lifewire.com/video-games-and-motion-sickness-3562484

    Practicing Buddha Tantra equally fanatically has done me nothing but good. <3

    Internet 0 Buddha Won ....

    personKeromekando
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    In a way every game created makes more dukkha, they all give you goals and imaginary problems to solve. And then they make you feel good by allowing you to resolve the imaginary dukkha, while in fact the real world’s dukkha remains unaffected, you just removed your time and attention from it.

    Hmm...

    person
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Kerome said:
    In a way every game created makes more dukkha, they all give you goals and imaginary problems to solve. And then they make you feel good by allowing you to resolve the imaginary dukkha, while in fact the real world’s dukkha remains unaffected, you just removed your time and attention from it.

    Hmm...

    Everything you think, say and do, outside Enlightenment, is dukkha, whether it is talking about playing games or actually playing them. It's all grist to the Samsaric mill...

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited August 11

    But also everything can teach wisdom awareness. Ordinary things are categorized into mundane wisdom awareness. Dharma teachings are categorized as beyond mundane. And why are they considered beyond mundane? And are the mundane things just to be avoided or minimized? Like mundane things like the various arts or logic or linguistics or medicine/healing. Seems somewhat unavoidable to need to have some knowledge of the mundane. But how much? How do we decide what to do with our time? Is that question a mundane or supra mundane question or even could it be divided into different parts some mundane and some supra mundane?

    lobsterkando
  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    @lobster said:

    Practicing Buddha Tantra equally fanatically has done me nothing but good. <3

    Internet 0 Buddha Won ....

    Use the force @lobster - my own OCD focus are films and books, being aware does help but sometimes not much! O.o

    lobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Jeffrey said:
    But also everything can teach wisdom awareness. Ordinary things are categorized into mundane wisdom awareness. Dharma teachings are categorized as beyond mundane.

    Does that mean that any media can have both properties, dukkha and wisdom awareness? It has struck me in the past that most films and books take the form “introduce setting, introduce characters’ problems, resolve characters’ problems, end”. It seems like a sort of tidying process, which gives you a good feeling because you learn about resolving life problems.

    But what we don’t often realise is that these are fake problems and resolutions. They are not situations you will encounter in real life, they are somebody’s constructed illusions not much different from dreams. Just because we can see a movie as if we are there, or in a book we learn about a character’s innermost thoughts as if we are them, doesn’t mean that it has a grounding in reality.

    In a way when you mix yourself up in movies, books or games you end up witnessing or participating in the resolution of imaginary characters’ dukkha or life problems. It makes you feel better but it doesn’t actually change you.

    lobsterShoshin
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    It can change you @kerome. Some books and films are life affirming and provide insight.

    Can anyone provide examples?

  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    @lobster said:
    It can change you @kerome. Some books and films are life affirming and provide insight.

    Can anyone provide examples?

    How much time have you got? :) only about a couple of thousand books and quite a number of films that have shown me so much, given me joy and helped me become the person I am. And it continues............

    lobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @lobster said:
    It can change you @kerome. Some books and films are life affirming and provide insight.

    Can anyone provide examples?

    Perhaps they can. They can certainly make you feel as if you’ve been changed. But is that a good thing or a bad thing, given that so much of it is illusory? Certainly the number of real instances of changes in my behaviour that I’d put down to a book are not many... some due to dhamma books.

    The changes in my dreams though are considerable :) i sometimes dream of space ships or of other worlds, which I doubt I would do if I hadnt read quite a few science fiction books in my life.

    kando
  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    I've never really felt like a single entity, never felt that my personality or identity were fixed. So fragments, moments, a kind of fleeting mosaic, are what make up my memory, my days, my life. I think this is why films mean so much to me, they portray that on the outside :)

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    "All the world's a stage" and we're just playing our part (ad libbing ) in this somewhat addictive play/game ....and that's as you ( or I may or may not) like it ;) ...So say ol' Bill Shakespeare

    kando
  • I totally and completely relate to you, @Angus !

    I waste a lot of my life on online compulsions, usually around news media. It is a real mental health issue in my case. I have gone to therapy for this several times, each time resulting in some improvement for a while.

    From both therapists and others I gathered that Internet addiction is a grave problem for many people. But it is also problem that is not talked about much. Internet is new and rapidly evolving and psychology just hasn't caught up with how deeply it can engage our minds and affect their workings.

    The best approach (which was suggested by a therapist) for me so far has been to introduce strict "windows" for all online activity that is not strictly practical or clearly beneficial. And then to be ruthless about sticking to those "windows". It is hard and I often fall, yet nothing else has worked for me at all.

    I wish you the best. I know how this feels, especially with so many people just not understanding this particular struggle.

    Kundokando
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    The best approach is to go cold turkey, remove all games and distractions from the computer, delete any kind of interactive program, and turn the damn thing off. Then, take it to a friend or relative, and ask them to look after it for you for a while hence, anything between 6 weeks to 6 months. Let them pick a date on the calendar. On that day, they should call you and ask if you want your computer back. Chances are you may well say yes, but you won't be in any hurry.

    kando
  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    That is great advice @federica and I may have to take it in regards to this site! You guys are too damn interesting :) <3

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Yes; I would encourage members to be skilful and mindful in their involvement and contributions. Everything and anything can be transformed from commitment to compunction without care and concentration.
    I am here out of necessity
    No other member is.
    It's not "Hotel California" after all...

    (

  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    But it's such a lovely place B) checking out for a while dudes.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited August 16

    Thought you might like an update on my killer robot game addiction:

    This morning after nearly two weeks of developing imaginary skills. I realized my behavour was being hijacked, even after it made me literally sick ... The game was controlling me. It took me a long time of playing to build up my squad and play against other robot teams. It is not a sport, with social benefits. It is false adrenaline, escapism of the most useless kind. Inferior even to Facebook or Twitter. Don't use those either ...

    [Be strong Lobster] Deleted my account. Removed app. Cold turkey. All acquired tokens, robots, skills gone. I would have to start again. No way. Wot just happened?

    What a total waste of time. :3 O.o 🤖

    federicaKerome
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Way to go, Lobsie!

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    That was strange @federica - obsessive. I used this forum as my reason. If you delete the game you get newbuddhist bragging rights ... 🤪🙏🏽🕊

    Thanks guys 🙏🏽🌈💗 you saved me ... You are heroic ... <3 B) :)

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Well done @Lobster, I’ve been there once too, found the game was overtaking me and ended up having to delete it for the sake of sanity. It was not easy, felt like removing a rib.

    So NewBuddhist bragging rights are definitely yours B) ;)

    lobster
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    For games I have found a strategy to indulge that is beneficial. Before I play game I have a long list of things to do. Not so many things that there is literally never time but enough things that a significant is accomplished. So first: read 20 minutes of optional type, Meditation, read or hear dharma, do everyday chores and a chore of the day that rotates according to my list, exercise, brush teeth, go outdoors 20 minutes, think of or help someone else, do something creative, and if possible do something you don't want to today!

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited August 16

    I feel that strategy will be helpful @Jeffrey to those with a variety of addictive behavours ... from eating to Internet from gaming to exercise.
    For me it is replace with total abstention. It started innocently, 'best games on the Ipad'. It was a very good game I settled on.

    I would rather be a chanting, meditation, yoga addict.

    My name is lobster and I am an ex gaming junky ...
    Phew, narrow escape ... :)

  • Chess learned me a great deal about karma and life in general. I play almost every day. But I dont crave it.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    It's worth noting that our respected OP joined in 2017 and he has managed 5 visits, the last, as an observer, on the 13th.
    This could mean several things, including the fact that he has succeeded in conquering his addictive demons, and is successful in his efforts, or that he has failed and is thoroughly engrossed in his games and cannot respond ('sorry, otherwise engaged'...!)

    Whatever. If he wants the thread re-opened, he need only drop me a PM.
    Thanks to all for offering their invaluable and constant support.

This discussion has been closed.