Thursday, July 17, 2008

Confessions of a Computer addict

Several months ago I discovered something about myself I don’t like. I have an addiction to my computer. I would spend most of my time on the computer. There was always something I was dong, looking at, and working on or needed to be done. Everything was “in a minute I have to finish this” or “Can it wait I am working?” Sometimes I would go all day not eating because I become too caught up in what I was doing or just did not feel I had the time to make or grab food, or I would eat at the computer, even dinner.

This was affecting my life more then I knew. My husband was never happy. He was always upset that I was on the computer yet again. My kids were acting out to get my attention. Even though I thought I was paying attention to them I was actually in the same room with them but always on the computer. My kids would be asking me to play with them and I would have them play on the computer desk so I could keep working as I played with them. That did not work very well. My family felt that I cared more about the computer then them.

After months of my family complaining I finally realized they were right. I had gone to the parenting class, the Incredible Years, to try and deal with two kids that were always acting out. One of the first things we had to do was identify wheat we did with our time, and how much time did we really spend playing with our kids. It was a real eye opener for me. I really did spend almost all my waken moments on the computer. No wonder my kids were acting out to get my attention. It was the only way to get me off the computer.

This had to change; it was not healthy for my family or me. I had to drastically cut back on the time I spent on the computer. Harder to do then I thought it would be. I told myself I did not have a problem and could walk away from the computer anytime. Not true. I work from home, on the computer and as everyone knows work is never done. Then there was all the socializing I did on line. I was multi-tasking like crazy to try and do everything in a day and never could and my family was paying the price for that. Family time was all of us in the living room, the kids playing or watching TV and me at the computer desk, working.

We moved our computer/office to the basement and made a rule that when the kids are home we stay out of the office and off the computer. It is still hard to do. You don’t know how much you depend on or use a computer everyday until you restrict your access to it. We are always checking emails, looking up information like phone numbers or doing price comparisons online. That is not including how much we use the computer for work. We are still on the computer more then we should be but things are better.

I wonder if there is a place computer addicts can go to for help? With my luck it would be an online website. This is not the same as trying to quit drinking or smoking. Computers are such a part of our lives and how we socialize now. I have to be able to work on a computer all the time and be able to stop and separate work time from family time. It would be easer if I did not work from home, but then I would still have a computer at home to tempt me.

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