Saturday, 16 January 2010

Explaining reality ...

Apparently the first step in beating an addiction is admitting you have one in the first place. So here goes ...

"My name is Donna and I am addicted to my computer and more specifically, to stupid virtual games on Facebook."

There .. now it's out in the open, I can hopefully start to implement some strategies to get it under control. I know that 'getting it under control' is nowhere near 'beating the crap out of the addiction with the biggest stick you can find' but it's a start.

I came to the conclusion that I really needed to curb the excessive amount of time I was spending on the time-sucking vortex that is Facebook when my children (who are also addicts and will be undergoing the same withdrawals as me!) started answering requests for their presence at the dinner table, the shower or anywhere that didn't have a computer, with "in a minute. I have to finish harvesting/plowing/planting,/feeding animals or re-arranging my farm/cafe/jungle/island."

After trying over the last week, unsuccessfully, to cut down on the time we were spending on these games, I awoke this morning with a renewed determination to beat this. I called all the boys into my room (where there is no computer competing for their attention) and explained that I would no longer be their 'neighbour' on any of these games and I wouldn't be playing them at all. They could still play but, as it is only 2 weeks until they go back to school, that we would be putting our routines and 'screen time' limits back into place. After their initial panic response that I was taking them off the internet forever was over, they started in with the questions.

"But what happens if I have crops to harvest and I've already used my internet time?"

"They aren't real plants. Does it matter if they die?"

"But I paid money for them!"

"Was it real money .. your own real money .. that you paid for them?"

"Nnnooooo, but they're mine and I want to keep them."

"So you are incredibly worried about some pictures of plants, animals and coins on a computer screen but you aren't very interested in your real bedroom with its copious amounts of toys, books and clothes and the rest of your real life with real people to talk to, real food to eat and real interactions to be had?"

"Yes .. um .. no .. um .. Muuuummm! You're so unfair!"

"Why yes .. yes I am. Welcome to reality! Now go do your chores."

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