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When Sir Barry asked us if we could live without the Internet for a week, I was confident enough to say yes. But only for a week. And only, if there isn’t any assignment that requires research and must be submitted within the same week. And then as soon as I can open the Internet, I’ll most likely spend the entire day checking for updates, opening my accounts, my mail and playing Pet Society in Facebook.

I must say that as a student in the modern times, the Internet has become very, very convenient. It makes doing research and home works a lot easier and cheaper. If we had to go the library every time we have an assignment, I probably wouldn’t have time for all my other activities. Besides, going to school even if I don’t have a class just to go to the library would require my father to give me an increase in allowance and defeats the purpose of having a class schedule. Of course, if the Internet is not readily available, I would have no choice but to do that (and I wouldn’t really mind because a ruined schedule is better than not being able to comply with my requirements). And this just goes to show that even if the Internet has been making it easier for us to do most of our daily tasks (those that require manual labor is, of course, excluded), we CAN live without it. It would be nice to have it but we need not let it rule our lives.

I would like to say that I am one of those that are not totally addicted in using the Internet. And here are a few ways on how I was able to avoid the “affliction”:

Impose a certain number of hours of when you will use the Internet and STICK with it. It doesn’t necessarily need to be at the same time of each day but really, if you go beyond five or six hours straight, I think you have to tell yourself to stop. Aside from the fact that it’s bound to affect your eyes, it’s good to remember that the front of the computer is not the only place in the house. Perhaps there are times when you really NEED to use the Net for long hours (e.g. cramming with your home works). But I refuse to believe that this necessity is an everyday requirement.

Avoid too much online games. I play Pet Society in Facebook but that’s all. One or two of them might be able to ease your boredom or your need to relax your brain but more than that, and all at the same time, could get you in trouble. Playing online is not the only thing you can do with the World Wide Web, you know. I know of a lot of people addicted to Farmville and all I can say is that the game has a schedule and you must be able to manage that well or give it up.

Do household chores. My parents don’t believe that our family needs a helper in the house. Thus, my sisters and I are expected to help with the chores. And honestly, I’m thankful for that because I get to exercise even a little without the need to go out of the house. A completely sedentary lifestyle is dangerous to one’s health after all. We’ve got to move once in a while. Besides, I could bet that your family members find it easier to talk to you when you’re not logged in to cyberspace. Thus, you not only get to exercise, you also get to bond with your family.

Have time to do other activities. As for me, my idle time usually becomes my reading time. And just like other bookworms, I tend to forget that I have an online pet that needs feeding or that my mail has reached a hundred or so.

If your friends are your reason for going online, schedule to meet with them once in a while. Nothing beats a kwentuhan session over good food. Besides, chatting with your friends online may keep you updated but seeing them in person is much, much better.

Bottom line is that you should be able to CONTROL yourself when it comes to using the Internet. There’s more to life after all.