I have noticed in myself an addiction to certain online communities, and the constant stream of mental stimulation that comes from reading and participating in them.
Looking back, I have always had a propensity to become drawn into alternate realities ( MMORPGs, video games, internet, even psychedelic drugs ) but with the insight I have developed lately I can see the benefit of such activities, for me, is outweighed by the harm. What is this harm? I am addicted to these false realities, and use them to escape the true nature of reality. I am powerfully drawn to such escapism, to the point that I can easily spend all day staring into the computer screen.
The lack of socialization in my "real life" is self-imposed. I self-impose it because "real" interaction with humans usually seems mundane, boring, pointless, compared to the constant "mental dessert" of going onto an online forum specially geared toward my own tastes and interests.
Applying insight to the online communities that I am so addicted to, I am noticing more and more that they are dens of wrong speech, that is, that the masses of people anonymously using the site can quickly turn to negativity, insult, groupthink, lies, abusive speech, and very much idle chatter. I can see now that for all the benefit and knowledge I have gained from such experiences, many other aspects of my life suffer tremendously at my participation in such discussions. The attitudes expressed by the anonymous hive mind of the internet inevitably bleed over into my real-world actions, and taint my view of the world. Meanwhile I become more and more dependent on the false social stimulation and my lust requires the pornographic images that can easily be found all over the internet.
My question is to all of you,
Have any of you ever experienced something like this? How can I fight this extremely strong impulse to escape from reality?
It is so hard for me to do because in this modern age, everything I do requires a computer with internet access, so my addiction is only a mouse click away.
Thank you for reading and for your kind thoughts.
(I posted this originally in the wrong subforum. Deleted that post and put it here instead.)
With loving kindness to all beings.