Addicted to Wrong Speech (internet)

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Addicted to Wrong Speech (internet)

Post by rolling_boulder » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:00 pm


I have noticed in myself an addiction to certain online communities, and the constant stream of mental stimulation that comes from reading and participating in them.

Looking back, I have always had a propensity to become drawn into alternate realities ( MMORPGs, video games, internet, even psychedelic drugs ) but with the insight I have developed lately I can see the benefit of such activities, for me, is outweighed by the harm. What is this harm? I am addicted to these false realities, and use them to escape the true nature of reality. I am powerfully drawn to such escapism, to the point that I can easily spend all day staring into the computer screen. :coffee:

The lack of socialization in my "real life" is self-imposed. I self-impose it because "real" interaction with humans usually seems mundane, boring, pointless, compared to the constant "mental dessert" of going onto an online forum specially geared toward my own tastes and interests.

Applying insight to the online communities that I am so addicted to, I am noticing more and more that they are dens of wrong speech, that is, that the masses of people anonymously using the site can quickly turn to negativity, insult, groupthink, lies, abusive speech, and very much idle chatter. I can see now that for all the benefit and knowledge I have gained from such experiences, many other aspects of my life suffer tremendously at my participation in such discussions. The attitudes expressed by the anonymous hive mind of the internet inevitably bleed over into my real-world actions, and taint my view of the world. Meanwhile I become more and more dependent on the false social stimulation and my lust requires the pornographic images that can easily be found all over the internet.

My question is to all of you,

Have any of you ever experienced something like this? How can I fight this extremely strong impulse to escape from reality?
It is so hard for me to do because in this modern age, everything I do requires a computer with internet access, so my addiction is only a mouse click away.

Thank you for reading and for your kind thoughts.

(I posted this originally in the wrong subforum. Deleted that post and put it here instead.)
The world is swept away. It does not endure...
The world is without shelter, without protector...
The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind...
The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.

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Re: Addicted to Wrong Speech (internet)

Post by fivebells » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:13 pm

Never had the porn problem, but definitely addicted to socializing on the internet. My advice based on my own experience is to look at what you're using the addiction to avoid, and find more skillful ways of relating to those things.

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Re: Addicted to Wrong Speech (internet)

Post by andyebarnes67 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:26 pm

Firstly I want to acknowledge and thank you for your candor and honesty in your question.
I have, likewise, struggled with where my online 'life' fits in with the bigger picture and how it contributes to my dukkha, albeit from a slightly different angle.
My concern came out of how annoyed and irritated I found myself becoming with many of the people that were posting away in, mainly, facebook buddhist groups. I was dismayed at the amount of nit-picking to be found there and the lack of real personal sharing rather than the self-appointed experts on the dhamma that would never countenance any deviation from their own interpretation.
I came to the conclusion that, of the often 1,000's of members of any particular group, there was only ever a handful of people that ever posted. Conclusion, most were reading without feeling the compulsion to speak on every subject. So I further concluded that perhaps those that were raising my blood pressure were possible not doing very well on the path in reality, feeding their ego's via the boards.
Not long until this of course demanded I equally examined my own motives for being an active participant on said boards. Was I not, also looking to build up my own ego, even if this was by trying to help others. Look at me!....
I actually went as far to close my FB and other accounts and went a couple of months with no online networking. I have only just a few weeks ago opened accounts again and whilst I think I am managing to be more selective in how much, and how, I am spending time online, it certainly is something that I need to be vigilent with.
A suggestion re: the use of porn online, you might like to try setting parental controls on your browser, using a random, and importantly, un-remembered password so that you can't turn them off when Mara raises his head. :namaste:
Andy Barnes
My comments are by nature, subjective interpretations from my mind. As such, they are never wrong, They are as they are. They are never right, They are as they are.

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Re: Addicted to Wrong Speech (internet)

Post by Mkoll » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:03 pm

rolling_boulder wrote:Have any of you ever experienced something like this?
rolling_boulder wrote:How can I fight this extremely strong impulse to escape from reality?
I can't say for sure because I still like enjoying and delighting in sensual things. But from my experience with drug addiction, giving something up comes down to just saying no, biting the bullet, and finding something else to do. Some day.

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Re: Addicted to Wrong Speech (internet)

Post by randall » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:19 pm

I always laugh and when this happens, I call it "the bubble" and your actually doing good if you can acknowledge it for what it is. Something you can try is to set aside some time to do these activities (games, what-not), for example you can tell yourself your going online for just an hour tonight after dinner, I'll play vids this Wednesday and Friday for a couple hours(and set a timer). Also just ask yourself if this wasted time was beneficial? and take a few minutes to reflect objectively on how you randomly zoned out then jumped onto the next object forgetting what just happened previously (don't forget to laugh at yourself!), and perhaps after enough times of reflecting you'll loose a bit of interest here and there. Practicing meditation, studying the Dhamma, reading a book before going to bed, and going to sleep an hour earlier/waking up an hour earlier will also help tranquilize that monkey mind were so attached to. :tongue:

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