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Featured How does one break an obsession?

Discussion in 'Obsessions and Interests' started by KagamineLen, Dec 3, 2020.

  1. KagamineLen

    KagamineLen Video game and movie addict.

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    For example, how can I feel alright with myself if my iPhone is not always handy?

    How can I feel content without hoarding tons of media (which is not leading me to feel content anyway)?

    I feel my life slipping away as I stare at screens blankly.
     
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  2. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I keep my phone by me, because it has important information on it and in fact, it would go with me, in an emergency.

    You have to try and use self discipline. Give yourself little rewards, as you succeed to stay away from your screen for a while.

    Or, if you have to clean, then do a bit and reward yourself with screen time, something like that.

    If it were not for my faith, I would feel useless and very much like my life is ebbing away. But, my faith makes me feel very useful, even if I do not lead a very contented life.

    Since I became aware of obsessions. I honestly never realised I got obsessed. I can control them to a certain point now.
     
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  3. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Same advice I give often on this forum:

    Try a new hobby. Give your mind something to engage with that is different from what you do now.

    Even as much as I'm into video games and tech stuff, even I know it's not good to always be staring at a screen. You gotta have some variety! It's good for your eyes and it's good for your mental health.

    Find a hobby you really like, and dive really far into it. That way, you'll have more than just one obsession to choose from when doing stuff.

    I'd been dealing with a lot of issues myself, which included terrible anxiety attacks, and this is what did it for me. I took up my board gaming hobby (solo) and started learning to draw/paint/whatever (slowly), and also twisty puzzles. None of them involve a screen (unless I'm checking a tutorial like "HoW I hoLd PenCiL!?!?" because I started out the art bit not even doing that right, ugh) and are very good from a sensory standpoint, due to the tactile nature of each hobby.

    I'm not saying you have to pick up 3 at once, just go find one.

    As for the phone... ehhhh. I dont think it's actually a bad idea to have it near you constantly. Why? It's a safety device. I cant stand phones but even I make sure mine is near. BUT, maybe try turning it off. Like, completely off, so you're not tempted to sit there and just poke at it constantly.
     
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  4. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    Get a feature phone. The name is ironic as they're rather featureless. I've done this a couple of times totalling several years. In fact, I'm getting another one this Christmas and getting rid of my current smartphone.

    I pondered what were the most useful things I did with my phone and I got dedicated items for those purposes. A DSLR camera, a sat nav for the car, a high end MP3 player.

    Thus, my smartphone has become redundent. The most time intensive things I use my phone for are a waste of time. Scrolling endlessly through the internet or squandering time on instant messaging etc.

    I'm pondering getting a Kindle eventually too. Not a tablet though. Because, again - I want a dedicated item that serves a useful purpose - reading books and listening to audiobooks.

    Of course, you could argue a phone does all of the above in one handy package, but it's quite freeing to be without a smartphone.

    Ed
     
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  5. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Kindle is actually pretty darned nice. I got one recently, was quite surprised at it. It even does manga, which I didnt expect it to. Weighs hardly anything too. My phone weighs more than that thing does.

    Definitely recommended.
     
  6. Sherlock77

    Sherlock77 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Are you referring to the news?

    Early in Covid I listened to lots of media coverage, and I started to feel anxiety, as time went on I carefully curated the amount of time I spent taking in the news, no more than two hours a day, it was dragging me down because it was 100% bad news, and 95% of the news was Covid related (and negative), there is more balance now in the news compared to March/May

    You have the ability to spend your time doing whatever you want to do, choose to turn off the news, listen to some music instead, go for a walk for a couple of hours, etc...
     
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  7. KagamineLen

    KagamineLen Video game and movie addict.

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    I am actually referring to the literally hundreds of movies and games I have purchased over the last couple of years.
     
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  8. MyLifeAsAnAspie

    MyLifeAsAnAspie Active Member

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    Find an activity that gets you far away from the screens. Tonight I repaired my laptop charger. OK, not far away from the screen but at least I wasn't looking at it the whole time :D. I sure you can find activities to get you away from the screens.
     
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  9. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    Perhaps you can consider your motivation and then go from there. What are you gaining by going to your phone? What are you attempting to accomplish by hoarding media? Perhaps you're trying to fill a God-sized hole.
     
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  10. KagamineLen

    KagamineLen Video game and movie addict.

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    I am not ruling out the God-sized hole theory by any means. I wouldn’t be surprised if I willingly converted to some sort of religion within the next couple of weeks.
     
  11. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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  12. KagamineLen

    KagamineLen Video game and movie addict.

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    I used to spend a lot of my life bad talking the Abrahamic religions, but I cannot bring myself to do that anymore. Sure, they were used as an excuse to make blood run on the streets countless times in history, but that is human sin masquerading as acting in God’s name.
     
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  13. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    I'm not sure that qualifies as an obsession. More like normal modern behavior. I occasionally find myself looked at with amazement because I don't have a smartphone glued to me.

    I think the main issue is FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out. I know nothing of importance that can't wait is going to happen on my cell phone. I know there are no urgent, life-changing calls to make. (If you are a businessperson or an on-call worker, this might be different for you.) I figure if the call is important, they'll leave a message. I'll pick it up when I get to it. Which is a hell of a lot more than I could ask for, say, 50 years ago.

    What is your phone actually providing that is worth having it as a leash? Seriously think about what real benefits you're getting and not fantasies of maybe-might. What rewards is it giving you? If you go places with no cell service, you'll discover cell service is really not important.

    Memory is so cheap, there is no reason not to keep media locally. A couple of terabytes is something most people can afford. I have hundreds of gigabytes of photos on a hard drive, most of which I'll never look at, and another couple hundred of music, most of which I will never listen to. No different than keeping shoeboxes full of old photos and stacks of LPs was 50 years ago. It is just much more storage and cheaper.
     
  14. Sherlock77

    Sherlock77 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    On that note, I still have almost every photo I've taken in the last 21 years, whether it's the negatives (in binders), or lots of digital photos (stored on multiple external drives), I probably have at least 500,000 digital photos, I keep them all in case I ever become famous and someone actually wants to look at them :rolleyes:, and since I'm a serious amateur photographer... And I do think they are worth keeping, I do still look at them on occasion...

    A film photo I took (ca. 2006), random stranger portrait, not a portrait session:

    Ashley 01.jpg

    Some digital photography (also ca. 2006)

    Street Portrait 08.jpg
     
  15. _eri_bellehumeur

    _eri_bellehumeur Member

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    A helpful thing might be to find something else to occupy your attention that makes you feel fulfilled. I've fallen into the media trap myself. Smartphones are very helpful in some ways- they can connect us to loved ones and everything we could ever want to know is at our fingertips, so maybe if you're struggling to let it go, use it in a more healthy or productive way instead, like learning a new skill through youtube, or different apps.
     
  16. KagamineLen

    KagamineLen Video game and movie addict.

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    Well, my sponsor has suggested I go back to a hobby I used to do all the time when I was in high school - which is reading classic literature for recreational purposes. And I have now decided to explore Christianity, despite my previous negative experiences with being forced to attend a racist and sexist Baptist church when I was in middle school. I guess becoming a Christian would be the ultimate way to tell my parents to screw off, considering that they are the kind of people who unironically use the profane variety of the term "Bible-thumper". That would not be why I would do that, though.
     
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  17. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    There's a difference between being obsessed with something, dependant on something, addicted to something, habituated to something, and simply lacking anything better to do. Figure out which it is. If something entertaining can distract you, whatever is going on can't be too serious.

    Travel is a way to break out of a habit. Traveling somewhere unfamiliar sets the mapping section of your limbic system working. New scenery carves a new set of vivid memories, memories more recent than your screen. Hearing new languages - or even just new accents - kicks the language section of the brain into overdrive. It becomes too busy to worry about your old habits and worries and focuses on new sources of information.
     
  18. KagamineLen

    KagamineLen Video game and movie addict.

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    I know exactly what the excessive screen time is. It is a sign of procrastination. It is comfort in misery. I know exactly what steps I need to take to pick myself up. I just keep on putting it off.
     
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  19. SchrodingersMeerkat

    SchrodingersMeerkat trash mammal

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    Like OCD obsession, or a special interest?

    I don't know about OCD obsessions because my supposed "compulsions" and "tics" were actually stims that bothered everyone else. They did not bother me. As for special interests, I don't think it is possible. Special interests are my main autistic trait....and my favorite part of being autistic.