But this post is much more about easy, practical things you can do right now to start to reclaim your happiness, brain and eye-balls from the internet. So, let’s begin:
STAGE 1: LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DANGERS OF BEING ‘PLUGGED IN’ 24/7
As mentioned, I’ve started to write up this stuff here on spiritualselfhelp.org, and a few good places to start the education process about how human health really works are the following articles:
The main things to bear in mind is that human biology is enormously affected by exposure to electromagnetic frequencies and energy waves. Every electric appliance - from the simple lightbulb on up - emits some sort of energy.
Some things ‘vibrate’ at a frequency that is very close to the innate vibration of the human body, and these things can have the biggest effect on our hormones, biological functioning and brain waves.
Guess what? Internet, TV, FM radio and cell-phones all vibrate in a range that effectively turns the human body into a living ‘antenna’, and can potentially severely disrupt our bio-cycles and brainwaves on just about every level.
- Anxiety and depression
- Feelings of panic
- Mood swings
- Brain fog / difficulties focusing
- Subliminal stress (i.e. the body’s fight of flight response is activated without us even realizing it)
- Hormonal problems and issues
- Fertility problems
- Chronic fatigue
- Severe headaches
- Eye strain and other eye problems including cataracts
- Depressed functioning of the immune system
- Chromosomal abnormalities
- Greatly elevated risk of cancer
And all this is really just the tip of the iceberg! I am working on getting more and more of the science together to solidly back these statements up, but in the meantime, you can sum it up like this:
The more time we spend online, the greater the potential risks to our mental and physical health.
And that goes double for our kids, whose brains are still developing and getting ‘hardwired’.
So learning about how human health really works, and the real effects of internet and smart-phone use on human physiology is stage 1.
Some books you may want to read on the subject include:
- The Body Electric - by Robert Becker, MD
- Cross-currents - again by Robert Becker, MD
- Energy Medicine - by James L Oschman, PhD
- Talk to God and Fix Your Health - by yours truly, Rivka Levy
Smartphones are particularly problematic because as THIS article shows, where a simple cell phone only emits the problematic energy waves when a person is actually talking on it, smartphones emit this potentially dangerous energy ALL THE TIME, even when you’re just carrying it around in your purse or pocket.
Smartphones also enable addiction to the internet in a much more drastic way, because we take them around with us everywhere, and so we can get stuck checking our emails, or news sites, literally every couple of minutes.
So the first priority is to try to get the smartphone use down as much as possible.
Clearly, the best way of doing that is to switch over to a simple phone, and that really might be an option that could work for some people, and especially for children. The more parents stand firm on this issue, the easier it will be for other parents to stop buying their children smartphones.
But many people today feel that they need things like Whatsapp, or that they need to be able to check their emails for work, etc. So what can those people do, to try to minimize the smartphone problem?
Here’s some suggestions:
- Get your smartphone tagged - this is a free service offered by THIS organization in the US, UK, Europe, Australia and Israel, where you can effectively block any sites or functioning on your phone that you don’t 100% require.
Again, you can learn far more about tagging by going HERE.
- Keep your phone in ‘airplane’ mode as much as possible. If you can’t actually turn the thing off (and believe me, I know how hard that can be sometimes) - then at least switch it into airplane mode before you go to sleep.
- Look at switching more stuff over to a regular computer. If you really do need access to Whatsapp, consider downloading their app for your regular computer at home, instead of having a smartphone.
I don’t have a smartphone myself, so if you, dear reader, have any other helpful suggestions for how to minimize its use, please feel free to share your tips in the comments section, below.
One of the best ways of doing this is to oust wi-fi from your home and to use an internet stick instead, so that your computer is not automatically connected to the internet whenever you switch it on.
If that’s not practical - and for a lot of people, especially if they have a lot of people with their own computers in the home who want to be online simultaneously, it isn’t - then explore some of the following programs that let you set times when the wifi signal is turned OFF on your PC, so you can use it without being able to surf:
- FREEDOM (PAID): https://freedom.to/
- SELF-CONTROL (FREE)
- STAY FOCUSED (apps for smartphones): http://www.stay-focused.info/en/
- LEECHBLOCK (FREE - only for FIREFOX): https://addons.mozilla.org/fr/firefox/addon/leechblock/
- WEB NANNY (FREE)
- SITE BLOCKER (FREE)
- STRICT WORKFLOW (If you want to surf a little, but then be stopped at a certain point. See also the next one:)
- TIME WARP
The more pernicious effects on a person’s mood and mental state occurs when we actually watch moving images online.
A person who’s reading things on the internet will still be affected by the technology’s energy waves, but far less than a person who’s actually doing things like viewing movies and other video clips.
Images, and particularly moving images, impact our brains in a much more dramatic, and often negative, way. But if you still want to view things you find online, here’s some practical suggestions for how to minimize the problem:
- Download and view it offline, instead of viewing live-streaming direct via the internet
- Keep the time spent viewing things online to a bare minimum - only watch things that you really WANT to watch, don’t just aimlessly view things online because you’re feeling bored or lonely.
- Download documents and view offline - even better, you can actually print them off and read them the good old fashioned way.
- Listen to audio instead of watching the video, as that has much less of an impact on your mind and physiology. And it’s better again if you can download and listen offline, instead of live-streaming from the internet.
- Pick just ONE news channel to visit - instead of multiple news / information channels. That way you satisfy your news craving, but without wasting too much of your life and time. Use some of the ‘blockers’ listed above to filter out the other news sites, etc.
While I’m sticking this here, as the last stage, it’s really the main way of overcoming internet addiction at its root.
We become addicted to checking the news, or Facebook, or watching movies on Youtube etc because on some level we’re using virtual reality as an escape from our real lives, and in particular, from facing up to our often painful inner reality.
The more frustration, loneliness, self-hatred, repressed feelings, difficult relationships etc a person has - the more time they’ll spend online.
Practically speaking, you might want to consider:
- Cancelling your personal Facebook account and other social media accounts (warning: Facebook keeps the account live for 2 weeks after you cancel, to try to entice you back to using it. So cancel it and then go on holiday somewhere remote for a fortnight…)
- Cancelling any online newsletters / email subscriptions that don’t obviously give you real value or help - like all that stuff cluttering up your email that you spend hours sorting through
- Blocking any sites that are not 100% necessary, and particularly any sites that you’re literally addicted to, including news site - again, use the ‘blockers’ listed above to find the one that works best for you and your needs.
It also requires a strong connection to God, because we only run away from ourselves, and our lives, and our relationships in the first place because we find them so difficult to deal with, and emotionally overwhelming and painful.
We need to firmly hold God’s hand to really have the strength to face up to our ‘reality’, and to accept it, and to deal with it.
Take a look at this book:
The How, what and why of talking to God - for some practical tips on how to start talking to God on a regular basis.
SUMMING THINGS UP:
Minimizing our time online, and particularly our smartphone use, is the main challenge facing our generation, and it’s really a huge problem that realistically can’t be solved overnight.
It’s a good time to point out here that the technology itself is profoundly addictive, and is having an enormous impact on human physiology.
THAT’s why it’s so hard to kick the surfing habit! And what makes this even more complicated is that the industry itself - and the scientific community it funds - is misleading us all about the true dangers involved with the unfettered use of this technology, which is effectively electronic crack.
So, please go easy on yourself, don’t beat yourself up AT ALL if you’re struggling to move things more offline, and keep just asking God, our ‘Higher Power’ for help.
Pick whatever things you think you can do from the list of stuff to try above, and then pat yourself on the back for even just wanting to do things differently. This is an enormous challenge for all of us in 2017, and even a tiny step you take in the right direction can potentially start to change everything around.