I am addicted to the internet, especially social media. I keep checking my phone or computer to check my friends’ updates, see likes/comments or want to see who is following my posts or stories. I often find myself feeling restless or getting irritable if I haven’t had the chance to log on for over an hour. I can while away hours just doing this. Over the last few months, I’ve stopped hanging out with friends and prefer to be home rather than go out and meet people. How do I control this? Please help.
Thank you for writing in and sharing your situation with me. As much as social media is fascinating and fun, it also takes the crown for being a dangerous place to seek affirmation, acceptance, identity or security. It takes great discipline not to let social media steal your time. Being famous on social media is almost the same thing as being rich in monopoly. None of it matters in real life. Being aware that your addiction-like reactions are getting the best of you is the first step towards controlling this addiction. Your worth is not measured in likes, comments, notes or followers but in your ability to love, keep comments to yourself, take note and lead. Take off the internet connection for a few days or ask a member in your family to hide your phone and laptop for you. Discover new ways to distract yourself and keep yourself busy doing things that you enjoy. If nothing comes to mind, focus on learning a new skill or develop your talents. Remember the 3 Cs in life: Choice, Chance and Change. You must make a choice to take a chance if you want to make a change in your life. Let the past make you better and enjoy the rest of your life. Fill it with adventure, explorations and experiences. There is so much in life waiting for you to discover it. Make the most of it. All the best.
I am the only child in my family and as a result I was often pampered by my family. I am quite used to getting my way and sometimes when it doesn’t happen I get upset and feel very angry. I’m also not used to taking correction from peers and others in authority. I know that sometimes their feedback or suggestions might actually benefit me but I struggle because of my ego issues. What can I do to change this?
Thank you for your email and for discussing your predicament with me. Taking correction from people is difficult depending on how you perceive it. It is not how often we make mistakes but how we correct them that defines us. You ought to consider yourself truly lucky to have people who care enough to offer suggestions and feedback. It’s common for people to choose to be ruined by praise rather than be saved by criticism and correction. Take a deep breath and process the feedback calmly. Keep in mind that true friends say good things behind your back and bad things to your face. Don’t let praise get to your head and correction get to your heart. While praise is important and makes us feel good, being able to take correction positively will only make you better. More often than not, constructive criticism makes us stronger and helps us grow as a person. Be humble enough to see your mistakes, courageous enough to accept them and wise enough to correct them especially when you know you’re benefitting from it. Focus on growth – when people stop giving you feedback and suggestions, start to worry then! Remember that correction is the best medicine for progress. Good luck.
You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending – Carol S Lewis
Your mind is a powerful thing. When you choose to fill it with positive thoughts and focus on the positive experiences, positive things tend to happen. Stop and ask yourself – what am I living for and what am I dying for? Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens. If you do not experience anything, it is impossible to gain knowledge. Life is only as good as you make it.
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(The columnist is psychologist and counsellor, currently working as a school counsellor.)