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Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

Can You Live Without the Internet?

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Jan 10th 2012

We’ve all heard the old motto, “everything in moderation,” but don’t always take it seriously when it comes to our relationship with technology. We may not realize how addicted we truly are. Writer and researcher, Jim Stolze decided to take a month off the internet to focus on writing a new book and experienced emotions of anger and regret throughout the first couple weeks and then moved to a sense of peacefulness by the third week. I can speak for myself that I notice a physical pull to looking at certain websites or even checking my email. What's going on here? Are all of our technology gadgets slowly and insidiously becoming addictions? 

As a speaker at a TED conference in California, Stolze spoke of the habit-forming nature of the internet and gave some advice for being in control:

The truth is we are all fairly dependent on the internet for our work and at this point even pulled toward it for many relationships (e.g., text, Facebook, Twitter). 

However, we are still truly in the infancy of our relationship with technology as it is today and it’s important to draw some boundaries and experiment with how it makes us feel. 

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Don't take your smartphone in the bedroom.

  2. You will never get to the end of the internet, there is more information in it than you will ever grasp. So it's ok to shut it off, the rest will always be there.

  3. Think before you download an app, is this something that is moving me closer toward connection or disconnection.

  4. Set a time limit sometimes and know when it's time to shut it off and spend face-to-face time with family and friends which is a necessary piece of well-being. 

  5. Don't forget to breathe.

What are your thoughts on your relationship with technology today? Is it getting increasingly difficult to disconnect and take time away? Your thoughts and comments here provide a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

Trying to manage living with technology..... - Janet Singer - Jan 16th 2012

I resisted getting a smart phone for a long time, but finally succumbed a few months ago. After about a week with the phone, I wondered how I ever could have lived without it. There is something irresistible about being able to instantly connect to your friends, work, and information. I realize that if I have it with me, I use it, so when I'm home I put the phone away and interact with my flesh and blood human famly.......until they go onto their computers, of course!

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