Real Life Stories of ChangeBreaking Free from Internet Addiction - Chong Ee Jay
Addicted to the internet and inappropriate content, Ee Jay remarkably turned his life around with his parents' support.Gradually hooked
Back when the internet was a novelty, Ee Jay was a young student who got his thrills from exploring the internet after school. “I started off with random website surfing. Friends then introduced me new sites, and gradually I went into chatrooms and searched for inappropriate content,” he said.Full-fledged web addiction
It was only when his parents' nagging increased that he realised he was excessive in his web usage. Often, his parents had to pull him away from the computer for meals and nag at him to log off the computer to sleep.
During school hours, his thoughts would drift back to his online activities. In order to spend more time online, he started to lie to family and friends, saying that he had schoolwork to do and was unable to join them for gatherings.
Eventually, he withdrew into his online world, which spurred him to neglect his responsibilities and roles even further. As a result, his studies got affected. “It was a vicious cycle that reinforced my addiction and obsession with the internet.”Road to recovery
Finding his life spiralling out of control due to his addiction, Ee Jay finally came clean with his parents about his lies and the inappropriate content he was viewing online. “They were disappointed with my behaviour at first,” he reveals. “But after seeing that I was sincere in wanting to seek help, they decided to take active steps to help me.”
With support from his parents, Ee Jay finally broke free of his addiction after a year. He currently enjoys a well-balanced lifestyle.Advice to youths
Learning from his experiences and now sharing his tried-and-tested tips as a cyber wellness coach and member of Media Literacy Council, Ee Jay maintains that striking a balance with online usage and other activities is key. His advice to all, “Always remember that the internet is just one form of leisure, just like any other activity that we engage in. Don't use it to the point where you neglect other aspects of your life.”