The internet has evolved into a wonderfully useful medium for learning new things, staying up on the news, shopping, and keeping in touch with friends on social media. It seems like an invention perfectly designed to engage and draw the ADHD brain into an endless rabbit hole where significant amounts of unproductive time can be spent.
Why is it so compelling? It provides an individual with ADHD instant rewards, lots of stimulation, and an almost infinite variety of things to explore. Ultimately it can become more of a compulsion than a useful activity.
If you find yourself in this situation and need to cut back on your Internet time, here are some suggestions:.
Finding interesting activities to replace your screen time – Identify a specific alternative activity to replace some of your screen time. The specific activity could be anything – take up a new sport, learn a language, or engaging in social situations where you meet new people. Making time for the new activity allows you to naturally reduce your online time. And even if you end up using the internet as part of your new activity, that will be more purposeful than open-ended browsing.
Set up specific times when you go online – For instance, don’t allow yourself to browse the internet for pleasure until you’re done with all your work each day. Setting strict rules for yourself in advance may be the only way to limit your screen time because you can’t really trust yourself to say when enough is enough in the moment.
Cut the connection at home – This is, admittedly, a drastic measure. But if too much unproductive screen time is a problem, it may be necessary at least for awhile. It can make your home environment a sanctuary from the distractions of the Internet. You can still use the Internet at work and other places. After you have become more disciplined about your screen time, you ca always restore the home connection.
The Internet provides us with many benefits. It is hard to imagine life without it. But that doesn’t mean it has to take over. Keeping unproductive screen time in check can make the rest of life a lot more enjoyable.