Fix your internet escapism — Robin Wils's website

Last modified: Sun, May 29, 2022

Table of Contents

Internet escapism

People often unwillingly escape into the internet instead of using it as a tool to find information with. One big reason for escaping into the internet is the fear of missing out. We should solve this problem to prevent escaping into the internet, while keeping the benefits it offers.

Solving this problem will create new challenges which solutions shall be stated for as well. Keep in mind that your values might be different from mine. Set your own values.

The fear of missing out

The fear of missing out is often associated with a lowered quality of life. Regretting to miss out on something is a weakness. You can focus on the past all you want, but that is not going to change anything.

Social media

You might open up social media because you got a message or notification. Once you opened social media you likely spend more time on it than expected. Possibly because of the endless scroll and recommendations features. Most social media have separate messaging applications. Attempt to move to those. It might be best to create one last post with information about how to contact you once you do this. Email or messaging applications are possible alternatives.

I see video platforms as an exception. I suggest that you keep those and that you try to find ways to get rid of the recommendation systems. It prevents watching content which you weren’t actually interested in.

You can install unhook.app on your browser for YouTube. Clear most channels which are only about forgetful entertainment. Focus on learning material instead. Entertainment can be fine, but what is the point if it is forgettable?

Gaming

If you play games you likely encounter the fear of missing out as well. You fear missing out on specific rewards. During the day you might think about a task you still want to complete. Games are an art-form, but many are made with addictive features in mind. I suggest to pick one or two months in a year to play games in. Or try to create your own values around gaming.

Phones

Phones often are used when people are bored. This avoids them from engaging more in conversations. Consider removing any applications on your phone which you do not use to message others. Attempt to not use your phone when you are bored. Phones seem to be designed to make you addicted, instead of being designed for one “need”.

Movies and books

People sometimes want to see a movie since they do not want to miss out. Seek movies which aren’t forgettable, or have creative value to you. Don’t consume every movie which becomes a trend. Watching movies or reading books all day makes you less creative, since you might stop thinking for yourself. Instead you use, or abuse the creativity of others.

Other

As you can see this list can keep growing. Try to figure out how to detect the fear of missing out, and apply your own values to your own life. It is often easily findable. Figure out which tasks in life are forgetful, and not rewarding to you. Tasks like taking a walk, being bored or eating might be forgetful, but they serve purpose.

A boring way of living

How misinformed you must be to call this boring. Addiction to one of the systems above limit your creativity. You receive room for other hobbies after you escaped from that. As result your life will be more meaningful.

Although it is likely that you will get extremely bored during the first days. This is caused because your brain is used to free dopamine hits “rewards” of the things you previously used. Decrease certain activities if it is too hard at first, possibly replace activities with different ones.

Boredom is a natural thing which you are supposed to experience in life. It makes you more creative. Being bored is healthy, and makes you question things. I suggest picking up new hobbies.

Hobby suggestions

Philosophy

The most important hobby I suggest to pick up is philosophy. Most people do not engage into it purely for fun, but to explore themselves. Explore your own values. Do not underestimate how interesting, and useful philosophy can be. It shows you which perspectives others have. It can learn you to spot bad reasoning.

I went from a book from Plato straight to Nietzsche, which is quite a big step, but it is doable if you use your time to get more information about other referred philosophers. Seek someone which has similar values as you, or the opposite of your values.

Other hobbies

It could be interesting to keep notes, or make a personal website. Other hobbies you can pick up are for example making art, or participating in some sport. Keep yourself busy with things. Try to treat certain types of escapism like some sort of poison.