Breaking the Internet Browsing Cycle

Here's How to Motivate Yourself to Get Away from the Computer or Smartphone

Breaking the Internet addiction that you might've spent years developing subconsciously as a bad habit won't be an easy task. And it can't really be done overnight either. 

About.com Web Trends focuses on showing you all the cool websites, apps and trends that you can take advantage of online, but that doesn’t mean we don’t recognize the need to completely unplug from the web every once in a while. Going offline for at least 24 hours can give you a big refreshment boost, and that can be a really good thing for your overall health.

If you find it hard to step away from the computer, put your smartphone on airplane mode or shut down your iPad, you’re not alone. It's not easy to unplug when the online world is so accessible, but here are five essential things to keep in mind when you know it's a big problem.

Also recommended: How to Kick Your Facebook Addiction

Focus on the in-person relationships that make you so happy.

Spending Time with Friends
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Connecting with people through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is not the same as connecting with them in person, and it never will be—no matter how advanced technology becomes one day. Do yourself a favor and call up a good friend or family member (yes, call, instead of text) and plan a coffee date or something. You’ll be glad you did.

Recommended: Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Networking

Focus on how you'll actually get to disconnect from work.

Working at a Computer
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With technology all around us, we’re connected almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Most of us with office-based jobs have blurred the line between our personal lives and life at work. Although you may feel tempted to regularly check your work inbox from your smartphone on your day off, remember that work/life balance is important. It’s not easy to do, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

Focus on stress management.

Reading a Book Outdoors
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Getting overwhelmed by all the information available online these days is a common problem that most of us probably don’t even realize we suffer from. Remind yourself that you can do just fine without needing to scroll through your Facebook feed for a day or two. We’ve sort of become wired to consume as much information as we can, and that can add to unwanted stress, anxiety and depression. If you're feeling any of these symptoms, it's definitely time to take a break.

Focus on getting more active and indulging in more of your hobbies.

Mountain Climbing
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We all know how hard it is to get off the couch or out of that desk chair when all of our machines keep us planted on our butts for hours. Unplugging from the online world will give you the chance to do something you enjoy — whether that may be a short walk through a local park or a hobby that you love to indulge in. It’s good for your health, both mentally and physically.

Recommended: 10 Free Online Fitness Sharing Apps for iPhone & Android

Focus on the sleep your mind and body both need.

Woman Sleeping
Photo © Simon Winnall / Getty Images

The Internet probably keeps you up at night. Whether it’s email, YouTube or an intense game of Angry Birds, it all adds to sleep deprivation -- not to mention that nasty blue light that confuses your brain and makes you think it's still daytime! Instead of spending that extra hour or two fumbling around online before bed, do something relaxing before you hit the hay. You’ll probably feel a lot more refreshed, and it might even make you wonder why you don’t make a regular habit out of it.

Recommended: 4 Ways Too Much Internet Browsing Can Negatively Impact Your Body