Are You Addicted to an Internet Lifestyle?
Do you check your email more than once or twice a day, even when you aren’t at work? Do you surf the internet for recreation for more than an hour a day? Is your relaxation time filled by playing games online or chatting to online buddies? Do you get your emails forwarded to your mobile phone so that you can receive them even if you are having a day off, or when you are on holiday?
If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these questions you may be showing signs of what I'd term internet addiction. You may feel you are always stressed out and on alert.
A lifestyle of being plugged into the demands of the outside world 24/7 is very new in our evolution. From what I’m observing it is not conducive to living a healthy and happy life. We are being encouraged never to go ‘off grid’. Our work and leisure time can easily be eaten up by the internet. We need to exercise a great deal of discernment to cut through the sea of information and only engage with that which is nurturing, useful and life affirming.
The internet is truly a double edged sword. On one hand we have never been better informed and more capable of connecting with others. Social networking sites allow us to make friends across the globe and physical distance is no longer a barrier to keeping in touch with loved ones. Ultimately our interconnectedness may help humanity realise that each of us is an important part of the Whole as we move into the New Age. The internet has the potential to liberate us from our offices and allow us to work from any location. I wrote this piece sitting in sunshine in the garden!
On the other hand many of us feel bombarded with information overload and a pressure to respond ever more quickly to requests and messages. There is a danger that ‘real life’ interactions are impoverished. Instead people are shutting themselves away and losing whole days exploring a virtual world.
As ever we need to bring balance to our lives. However powerful the internet, connecting with the real world around you is still more important for your health and wellbeing.
If you are alerted to every incoming email and message as they arrive then you are not giving yourself quiet space. Sift through your most recent online interactions. Take a look at the last week’s emails and messages. Be honest with yourself, how many were really important? How many truly lifted your spirits and made you feel good? The internet can be a wonderful tool, but it should be your humble servant and not the other way around!
What big goals have you put on hold until you have ‘enough time’ to pay attention to them? If you feel obliged to read and respond to everything online then you’ll be sapping time and energy you could be using to create something. I think we come into incarnation with a purpose and spending a high proportion of our lives online is probably missing the point of being here. It does depend on what you are doing of course. Writing articles that will help and inform people may be part of your purpose, after all I am aware of the irony that you are probably reading this article online! I didn’t say the internet was all bad did I?
It is important to balance your internet time with ‘downtime’ when you are not online and are happily 'unplugged' every day. If you have got used to an online lifestyle this may seem really hard to do at first. There is an addictiveness about being on the internet which you may need to wean yourself from. Psychologically you may be using it to distract yourself from issues in your life that need addressing.
I believe you can also become entrained energetically to the electronic gadgets you use & then if you don’t access them you experience real withdrawal symptoms! Your human energy field is not meant to run at the frequency of electronic gadgetry and you may notice that your moods, immune system and sleep patterns seem to be less good than they used to be. You may even experience ‘tired all the time’ or M.E. style symptoms. Of course there are other potential causes for these symptoms, but over exposure to EMFs is unlikely to be helping.
If these issues concern you then perhaps you could start by logging just how much time you spend 'plugged in' each day and how many times you check for new messages. You may be surprised! Awareness of whether there is an addictive aspect for you is the first step. If you recognise that you are spending unhealthy amounts of time online then you need an action plan.
You might start by limiting the number of hours online. For example if you normally spend four hours leisure time online a day try cutting the duration in half to two hours for the next few weeks. Try spending a day a week completely offline. You might decide on specific times when you can go online and enjoy the virtual world. We set parental controls for my teenage son on the pc so that he has two separate one hour blocks when he can access it if he wants to. It has improved his temperament noticeably. You could set yourself up a user account and add your own 'parental' controls!
Make a list of all the real world, non-electronic activities you enjoy. You might take a walk, see a friend, meditate, go to a class, bake a cake, see a band, garden, read a printed book, or take a leisurely soak in the bath. Make your list as long as you can and keep it somewhere handy so you can refer to it and add to it. Over a week or two you will probably notice that limiting your online time is making a difference to your energy levels and social life. Be discerning and take back ownership of your life!
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