33yo - youtube, P, internet, phone, games and M addictions/habits

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by tig, Mar 24, 2023.

  1. tig

    tig Active Member

    Hi all,

    If you'll indulge me, I'll use this thread mainly to log my journey in overcoming an addiction to youtube (and internet and video media generally), as well as porn.

    Why am I using this forum? There doesn't seem to be any forums specifically for youtube addiction. This forum is very active. I used to have a previous journal here. I'm also struggling somewhat with porn addiction.

    Youtube addiction (and internet and video media generally)

    I have been battling this addiction for several years now. I think it comes from a somewhat similar place to porn addiction: instant gratification; novelty; looking through video after video for something to spike my interest; something I do when I'm alone; I'm even embarrassed when I'm at a university library and looking through various youtube videos and other people see that's what I'm doing.

    It has somewhat similar effects on my life to porn addiction: I can waste minutes to hours to days watching youtube depending on how deep I go; it reduces my focus and enjoyment of other areas of life.

    This article sums it up nicely. I'm probably not as extreme as this man, but as I say, I can have periods where I binge for days.

    Over the past few years I've tried several tactics to try and battle this addiction. I'd write out monthly commitment letters to a friend, or just to myself, that I wouldn't watch youtube for a month and if I did I'd pay some money to charity. This sometimes worked, but then, at the end of the month in the days between the previous commitment letter ending and writing the next commitment letter, I would binge ravenously. So my brain hadn't changed much. I think one time I might have gone a good 2-3 months without watching.

    Other related addictions are re-watching my DVDs that I've already seen, for hours on end. This is the same type of behaviour. I've already seen the movie or TV show, perhaps very recently, but I just want to watch a highly emotionally charged scene of the DVD to spike my dopamine. Also looking at sports websites and sports facts (this would often lead to watching sports videos on youtube). When I would cut out youtube/sports/DVDs, I would then find myself scrolling through ABC news or BBC news for controversial news stories. Not as education or becoming an informed citizen, but to find something to spike my dopamine.

    The tricky issue with youtube is that it can be a great tool when used in a healthy way. For instance, in fixing my car I might want to look up how to do something on youtube. I might hear a great song on the radio and want to listen to it a few times on youtube before deciding to buy the album. My lecturer at university might send me something educational on youtube. There might be some great self-development or mental health advice on youtube. My psychologist even recommended that when I'm feeling particularly distressed, to distract myself by watching something funny on youtube.

    So it's a double-edged sword.

    However, I believe that for all the great potential value on youtube, humans have survived without it up until 2005, so I can break the camels back and rebalance my brain by going cold turkey for, say, 100 days. So that's my goal.

    Porn addiction

    I had a previous journal here when I was 21/22. That journal outlines my initial battles. Going several weeks without it, then several months without it. It ends abruptly when I stopped posting. After that I went 4.5 years without porn from about 2013-2018. After 2018 it has been an ongoing battle. I regularly go 1-3 months without it, then will relapse for a few days. Then the cycle starts again. WAY better than before when I was watching for about 30+ minutes every day for years and had PIED. But still, there's room for improvement.

    When I first stopped for about 30 days in 2012, I lost my virginity in that time.
    Shortly into the period when I stopped for 4.5 years, I met my first proper girlfriend.
    So good things happen when I stop.
    How amazing do I want my life to be?
    So I'm going to go without porn (and masturbation) for 100 days. That's my goal.

  2. tig

    tig Active Member

    Day 1* (25/3/23) complete.

    A few urges throughout the day to watch youtube when I was bored, but not too strong. A few urges to masturbate when at home alone, but not too strong.

    *I've been living in my new home since about 10/3/23 and haven't watched porn since before then. So its about Day 16+ without porn. But I want to do no masturbation as well, so starting at Day 1.

    Last edited: Mar 29, 2023
  3. tig

    tig Active Member

    Day 2 (26/3/23) complete.
  4. tig

    tig Active Member

    Day 3 (27/3/23) complete.
  5. tig

    tig Active Member

    Day 4 (28/3/23) complete.
  6. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Keep up the great streak @tig ! It's worth the energy and the effort to derail the old patterns.
  7. tig

    tig Active Member

    Day 5 (29/3/23) complete.

    Already feeling the benefits of no masturbation. Much more horny and interested in sex at a visceral level, rather than just at a mental-"I think it would be good for my wellbeing"-level. Ultimately, I think that having great sex once is worth more than 1000 wanks. But I lose sight of that when I masturbate regularly.

    I've been on a dry streak for quite a while now so looking forward to breaking that streak. Willing to lower my standards for that. But also wanting to get into a long term committed relationship with a woman.

    Thanks Rudolf!
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2023
  8. tig

    tig Active Member

    Day 6 (30/3/23) complete.
  9. tig

    tig Active Member

    Day 7 (31/3/23) complete.

    Starting to have much more vivid and detailed fantasies about girls I know in real life. It makes masturbation more tempting, but its good to know that that part of my brain hasn't atrophied, and that I'll be able to act out some of these fantasies with a lover one day soon.
  10. tig

    tig Active Member

    Day 8 (1/4/23) complete.
  11. tig

    tig Active Member

    Day 9 (2/4/23) complete.
  12. tig

    tig Active Member

    Day 10 (3/4/23) complete.
  13. tig

    tig Active Member

    Day 11 (4/4/23) complete.
  14. tig

    tig Active Member

    Feeling frustrated with several aspects of my life. Its in moments like this that I want a bit of relief by watching youtube mindlessly, which can lead to a binge, or when I'm in bed, masturbating, which can then lead to porn. Time to stay strong.
  15. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Hey tig,

    do you watch youtube only on your own devices? You mentioned the university library, so I'm not sure. Have you considered using a blocker (like pluckeye) for example, where you can restrict the access to a website so that you can only reach it during a specific time period? That way you could use the positive effects of youtube you wrote about in your starting post without it turning into a binge (if you restrict it to half an hour per day for example).

    11 days is great!
  16. tig

    tig Active Member

    Day 12 (5/4/23) complete.

    Hi Luke, thanks for the suggestion of pluckeye.

    I mainly use library computers and likely wouldn't be able to install it there.

    But either way, I generally have better success when I go cold turkey and rely on willpower, at least when I have sufficiently acknowledged that I have a problem and am motivated to change (I think with my previous attempts to quit youtube I didn't fully admit to myself that it was a problem).

    Ultimately I don't want to use youtube for, say, 30 minutes a day. That will just retrain the instant-gratification dopamine-seeking pathways in my brain, and when the 30 minutes are up I'll want to binge on old DVDs or sports websites etc.

    My end goal is for youtube to simply be a tool. If I need to use a screwdriver, I go and find my screwdriver and use it. Then I put it down and don't use it again until the next time I need it. If I need a specific piece of information that might be on youtube then I'll go and get that information and then close youtube and not use it again until I need another specific piece of information (rather than just mindlessly scrolling through videos because I'm bored and want a dopamine hit).

  17. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Very good points.
  18. tig

    tig Active Member

    Day 13 (6/4/23) complete.

    Thanks Luke
  19. tig

    tig Active Member

    Day 14 (7/4/23) complete. Wooo, two weeks.
  20. tig

    tig Active Member

    Day 15 (8/4/23) complete.

    Add to this list:
    After 14 days of no PMO I had an opportunity* to have sex with a new girl, after only having three other opportunities in over two years.
    Do I need any more proof that no P (and even no M) is beneficial for me?

    * couldn't keep it up.

    Met a girl last night and she came back to mine. Couldn't keep it up. I think that's because of performance anxiety, because she wasn't that attractive, because I didn't have an amazing connection/comfort with her, and because I didn't feel dominant over her and over the situation. I don't think it was ED.

    Over 2021-2023 so far I've only had four opportunities to have sex with a new girl and I actually couldn't keep it up with three of them! These three were not so attractive and I didn't have an amazing connection with them. But the other one I found very attractive and we had great chemistry, and we had great sex straight from the start and for 15 months after that. Which makes me think its not ED. If in future I can't keep it up even when I'm very attracted and have a great connection, then maybe there's a problem.

    I restarted watching porn in 2018. I had sex with at least 6 new girls per year in 2018, 2019 and 2020. But only 1 in 2021 and 0 in 2022. This could be due to a change in lifestyle and becoming more stressed with university, but perhaps porn had a bit of an influence.

    Will be interesting (and pleasurable) to see if I end up having sex with multiple hot girls in 2023. But ultimately I want to start a monogamous relationship with a woman who fits my values and who I can have children with.

    The girl last night gave me a handjob to orgasm. So I must beware the chaser effect over the next few days and not become complacent.

    Last edited: Apr 9, 2023

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