Hello ….. my name is Reluctant Mom and I am an internet addict …….

So, one of my issues (several) is that I have started slipping further into cyberspace and further out of reality.

I began to dodge real-life things so that I could spend more time on-line in blogs and on forums, and just cruising around the net.

I got really irritated with the kids because if they would just stop demanding time from me I could herd them into their beds, and spend more time on-line in blogs and on forums.

It became extremely important how people in cyberworld viewed me.  CRITICALLY IMPORTANT IN FACT.

Their comments lifted me up as well as smacked me down. If I did not get recognition for it in cyberspace then it did not matter.

I would read, re-read, and re-read my comments to ensure that it sounded right in my head.  It was not unusual for me to read one of my comments 12 – 18 times before pushing send/reply/publish and often changing it several times over.

Each time I read it, I would read a more critical tone into the wording.  I would read the way other people would hear (read) and then I would pre-judge myself (before they did)

Any comment made or given in reply was fraught with angst.  I always read the worst in to what anyone said to me or about me, or as a comment to me.

I would push the refresh button constantly on the look out for the response.  I literally would hang on waiting and waiting for the response.  As much as I dreaded a critical word, I would hang and wait for it.

I would be devastated when my comment would hang there in cyberspace without a reply comment.  My worst feeling was being the last person to comment on a thread.  I felt like I was Jane-no-mates and had killed the conversation when mine was the last comment.

This of course fed into my sense of “rejection” and “I did not matter to anyone.”

Real life and cyber life started blurring around the edges.  I felt that real life was a bit too tricky to remain present in, so the blur of cyberlife became much more appealing and much easier to navigate.

In cyberworld I did not feel as awkward as I did in real life.

In cyberworld I did not feel as self-conscious as I did in real life.

In cyberworld I did not fret over my every word and action as I did in real life.

In cyberworld I did not feel so unpopular and such a misfit as I did in real life.

I felt I was knowledgeable, liked and respected in cyberlife, while in real life I was everything but.

I did not think people had ulterior motives as I felt they did in real life.

Until I did.

Sooner or later, unfortunately I followed me where ever I was.

Sooner or later, I started to feel as awkward, as self-conscious, as guilt laced, and wracked with self-doubt on blogs and on forums.

Every word uttered by everyone was judged according to what I thought of myself.  It was always seen as judgemental/critical and pessimistic, no matter how “jolly” or “supportive” the writer tried to be.

Fortunately I am not a gamer or a gambler.  I have no real interest in throwing large sums of hard-earned money at an imaginary world where I buy cyber-cool brands and furnish my cyber-home and purchase a cow.

I am just not that into that side of it.  Fortunately.

But I will admit that my fixation on blogs and forums and Facebook and googling-random-things did get totally away with me.  It became all-consuming and I totally allowed it to get away from/with me.

It allowed me to hide further away from some of my real issues.  At the same time it fed into my irrational feelings and judgement about myself, and escalated the negative light in which I see myself (and several others around me.)

In short, it skewed my perception of reality.

I really missed my blog, so I have cautiously started lurking around here a bit.

I do miss several other blogs and forums that I used to read/follow religiously.  Right now I just needs a bit of time to “get my shit together” before I start lurking through other people’s lives.

I apologise if I have not been by to visit.  Please do not take it as a personal insult or slight on you. Right now I just need a bit of space to find myself, or at the very least not loath myself.

But onwards and upwards.  Right?

<I thought this was quite an interesting tool.  http://www.keepmeout.com/en/ >

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17 Comments

  1. I have never felt the way that you describe but I have had the internet take over my life.

    At some point you have to say STOP. These are my boundaries. These are my hours. Some are work (in my case: internet) and some are family/me/life on the ‘outside’.

    I think it’s good that you are taking a ‘cyber-breather’ and I can honestly say you are even cooler in real life than on the net! Plus your hair shines more. And you’re really thin. (Insert winking smiley).

    Try and get a hold of The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. Great book. Take the stuff you can apply and discard the stuff not relevant. It’s hard to live in the NOW, but it really is the only way to be really alive.

    Reply
  2. Colleen

     /  September 21, 2011

    RM, Soooo good to see you back!

    How are you feeling??

    I really hope you feel the progress you appear to be making?!

    Reply
  3. Anne

     /  September 21, 2011

    Wow! And I thought I was the only one who did that stuff! If I didn’t get a bunch of comments or “friend requests” I would feel even more pathetic for feeling “personally rejected” by the whole of the internet, would take it as just one more confirmation of my wrongness or whatever character defects I had that made people not like me.

    I gotta say, I don’t understand how you can put this out there so bluntly like you do. I wouldn’t have the guts. I don’t have the guts. It took me 10 minutes just to compose this comment. And my name and face aren’t even attached. Thank you. I’m sorry that that you’re stuck with this thing too and am grateful to you for sharing a bit of it. Not that I’d wish it on anyone but I appreciate knowing I”m not the only one. Take care.

    Reply
  4. thelma

     /  September 21, 2011

    hello there, i am very happy to read that you taking it slow as this is what makes life a little more balanced. thinking of you.x

    Reply
  5. Kiki

     /  September 21, 2011

    So happy to see 2 posts from you today (I think I am the internet/blog obsessed 1)

    Really wishing you all of the best on your road to recovery!

    Reply
  6. Glad you are back, and making progress! The Internet is very addictive… When to stop? When to stop? Only one more post to read/ to post / link to click on…

    I wish you would put all this stunning writing of yours into a book. You can even compile all your “depro” posts into a book about depression? Not much editing would be needed! I love your way of looking at things!

    Reply
  7. This happens to me at times. When life gets too tough I head for the internet. Then it calms down again and I head back to reality.

    The way around this though RM is to set up blogs, FB and twitter for the kids and K – that way you can all communicate ONLINE! It really is a rather ingenious plan don’t you think.

    When the kids start fighting you can block, defriend or close the page and there is silence!

    Seriously though – when anything starts affecting us negatively we have to reassess, step back and make a change!

    Reply
  8. Be well & gentle with yourself x

    Reply
  9. I so get it. It’s so easy to get swept up in cyberspace and not in real space.

    your post made me think today – I don’t want to be so into my blog that I forget about the real little kids behind the blog

    all the best to you on your journey 🙂

    Reply
  10. Can really relate to your post. I found myself at some stage ( after blogging for about a year ) over-thinking every single word of a post…will this one be offended?……will that one approve?….I lost the “me” in my posts trying to please the “world out there”. That’s not the point of my blog though. The point is to have a unique record of my life as a human being and as a mom. Back to “i’m gonna say it my way : take it or happily leave it”.

    Reply
  11. Spirited Mama

     /  September 21, 2011

    Hey Rm

    Nice to have you back. Uhm… Yes, it’s scary how we get so involved in other people’s lives yet we never actually really part of it. I’m there too, as I come and chek in on peolpe’s blogs etc before I get my day started.

    But I’m finding a balance. And I find that reading about other’s lives, experiences brings me back to reality so that I can have my aha moment and say “I can so relate” and I need to sort my shit!

    So now, welcome back. Let me get back to work and sort my shit.

    Peace

    Reply
  12. Man. I really needed this today. You have no idea. Also, I could have written this, word for word. So true, all of it. Completely.

    Reply
  13. Sharon

     /  September 21, 2011

    Glad to have you back Celeste!
    I have learned recently that cyber world can lull us into a false sense of friendship. It was a rude awakening for me, and I suspect for you too, to realize that just because we form part of a community, these people are not necessarily our friends and that community and friendship are very different.
    It’s a hard lesson to learn but a valuable one, it makes us smarter in our online dealings and more careful of sharing too much of ourselves with those who are not our friends.
    xxx

    Reply
  14. Ladybird

     /  September 21, 2011

    hey, hun
    Thinking of you.
    And hoping and praying that you’ll find peace sometime very soon.
    “if He brings you to it, He’ll carry you through it”

    Reply
  15. PS. The irony of that funky tool is that you’re using the internet to warn you of your internet usage. Where’s that slippery slope I was on about …

    Reply
  16. Wow. You have really made some incredible insights these last few weeks.

    The real world is so much prettier than inside your computer. You’ve just gotto pick who you spend your time with carefully. That’s what I do.

    The slippery slope is that everything revolves around the internet. Work. Paying bills. Booking movie tickets. You can even order your groceries. It’s finding a balance that is really hard.

    Baby steps.

    Reply
  17. I am really sorry to hear that. As usual, there is not much I can say except that I am sending you positive thoughts. Always enjoy your writing. Peace to you soon!

    Reply

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