The comments on my last post made me realize that maybe I wasn't clear. I do not in any way think spending time on the internet or Facebook or playing computer games is inherently bad. I think if you find those activities fun/relaxing/rewarding then there is absolutely no problem. I also find them relaxing and rewarding---at times. When I get on Facebook to see pictures of my cousin's wedding in India that there was no way I could attend, and get to see faces of so many relatives I haven't seen in over 10 years---that is kind of cool! Looking through my sister's monthly photo dumps of my niece and nephew is heart-warming! Getting on my Buy Nothing group and snagging something I needed or finding a taker for something I'm trying to get out of our house is super productive! I'm not actually planning on quitting FB because I find it overall more useful than it is harmful. I'm certainly not quitting "the internet" because I find blogging and reading/connecting with other bloggers to be a really good source of support and connection.
What is different between what I just described enjoying, and what I really want to stop doing is the intention behind the activity. Now I know this is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days (like the word "un-blowuppable"*) and I do tend to hate on those things (see also "mindfulness") but I can't think of another word that really gets to my point. It is one thing if you are purposefully (purpose could be a good synonym for intention? motive?) choosing to spend your free time checking on blogs, participating in a FB group, or playing a game on your iPad. Its quite another when you actually planned to do something else (even if that "something else" was sleep) but for some reason you started scrolling and couldn't stop and then that time is gone. Or you were playing with your kids and OMG they are taking forever decided which truck is the mommy and which is the daddy and lets just check FB and 10 minutes later its "Mommy! Look at ME!" and oh well, its time to go to work now anyways, so much for using the mornings well.
Or (and this is what happens to me), you remembered something stressful that happened and eek, its making me anxious, and I do NOT LIKE to feel anxious---must forget about, must distract, must disconnect----oooh GOMI. aaaahhh. that's better. Oh, look at the time! Has it really been that long? And you never dealt with the stressful thing or figured out a way to not be so anxious about it and the next time that thing comes up you are back at square one. The whole reason I started going to therapy was that I didn't think distraction/numbing/disconnecting was a super-healthy or sustainable way to deal with anxiety in the long term. I wanted to learn how to face my fears head on and also how to talk myself down when that chest-tightening/going to throw up feeling first starts to comes on.
I specified "in the long term" because I think that if something is short-lived, YES, you do what you can to get through it. And when you're in the moment, like I said before, maybe playing a little 248 or clicking some link-bait, if it releases the pressure, is probably a good outlet. But its not a "treatment" or "cure" for anxiety, which is why I'm trying to limit that specific use.
Now that I've muddled the picture completely...