If you’re like me in 2017, your phone is your drug of choice. My insurance didn’t provide me with any internet abuse rehab options. (Though at least one place exists.) I was sick of being a NEET and spending all my time online, so I gave my phone and laptop to a friend because a lot of people on Reddit had talked about this “cold turkey” approach. Cut to me asking for my devices back a day later. My friends were all too nice to actually hold me accountable. So I descended back into the murky ocean of online lurking, my life experience reduced to an endless scroll, searching for novel information and parasocial fantasies.
The cold turkey approach and similar “digital detox” methods are very popular in the “no surf” community. I see the appeal, it’s tempting to blame the internet on all of your problems and assume you’re better off without it. For hardcore internet users, which I believe is becoming the norm for young and old alike, it’s just probably not realistic or even all that helpful.
Cut to 2021- I’m in school and employed. I’m still an “internet person” but my phone screen time is around 2.5 hours per day when I used to hover around 15. I use my laptop for school and only fall into endless scrolling hell when I’m particularly depressed.
“Put down your phone and go outside.” didn’t work for me. I went to therapy. At some point I gained the ability to actually experience life directly, to be present in the current moment. I realized that the reason I had no life is because I was constantly escaping it. I had to start feeling my feelings. Running away wasn’t working.
That's the tldr; of how I escaped NEETdom. The recovery process is a bit more complex than I've alluded to, maybe I'll make a part 2 in the future.