Like many young people, I live much of my life online. While it can be isolating, the internet can also aid mental health
Last week, in a largely futile attempt to actually do some work, I installed a browser extension that blocked pretty much any website I could possibly distract myself with. Twitter: gone. Facebook: gone. Even my emails, which I obsessively tend to in order to feel moderately productive, were off limits for an hour.
Having found new and imaginative ways to waste my own time, what surprised me most was not how much more work I did, but the sheer frequency with which I attempted to access the internet. I’d incessantly tap “twitter.com” into the address bar, somehow immediately forgetting it was blocked. I’d click on my still-open Facebook tab to check my feed before remembering there was no point. Every time I finished a sentence I’d flit away from my work again, trying to exchange 10 seconds of productivity for 10 minutes of distraction. I knew I spent a lot of time online – but not this much.