The internet can be very addicting to ADDers. Dr. Margaret Weiss head of the Vancouver ADHD clinic has mentioned at a recent CHADD Vancouver meeting that she saw internet addiction as a big problem for many people with ADHD.
Even if you don’t have a full blown case of internet addiction, the instant gratification and infinite amount of websites, blogs, forums, e-groups games, porn, gambling, chat rooms etc on every possible topic under the sun can be a strong temptation for most people to spend a lot of time on.
It’s even worse for a person with ADD who usually is:
- easily distracted
- has an under stimulated brain and is frequently seeking stimulation
- always looking for something new and exciting
- gets a lot of pleasure out of being in the state of hyperfocus
- short on dopamine, which the internet is an endless source of
Unlike TV, it’s a two way interactive communication, which makes it even more dangerous for some of us.
Adults with ADD don’t usually have a good internal clock and consequently are not often very aware of time, unless you’ve taken steps to actively develop that awareness of time that others take for granted. This can lead us to going to look at our email or find something on one website and we wake up 4 hours later still on the net.
One way to deal with internet addiction or its milder versions is to find ways to break out of the state of hyperfocus that being on the internet often creates.
If you don’t naturally have a good internal clock, you need external ones. Here are 3 Macintosh ones, but I’m sure there are similar ones (probably not as well designed of courses) for Windows too. It’s not a complete solution for internet addiction, but it’s a start, they give you a chance to get up and STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER. Which of course is the first step.
Coffee break allows you to set how much time you want to work on the computer
and how long of a break you want when that time is up. You can even set how many seconds you get for a warning goes off before it shuts you out of the machine and the sounds of the warnings. You can also set micro breaks too. i.e., every 10 minutes a 10 second break
I use this and other than a few occasional problems it’s pretty good. There’s a lite version and a full one.
Timeout is another such program and it’s freeware. Looks like it does everything coffee break does and more. you can play a diferent sound, run an Automator workflow, AppleScript, or application at the start and/or end of each break.
so you can have it pause iTunes and play a short soothing piece of music at the start of a break, then a buzzer and resume iTunes when the break is over.
looks like you can do similar things as coffee break and it adds a timer for routine activities like doing yoga, Qigong or TaiChi. You can set how long you do warrior pose and what sound you want to start and end it with.
FlexTime’s scripted cues and robust scripting dictionary. Design your own cues using AppleScript, Perl, Python, or just about any other language!
You can also use regular timers to help remind you go get off the computer, the advantage of these ones is once you set them up they’re automatic, you don’t need to reset them every time you have a break.
What tools do you use to help remind you to take a break from the computer/net?