American freelance journalist Juneau Demelo published in the edition of The Cut story about how you have used the service to communicate with therapists Talkspace to get rid of Internet addiction. According to the journalist, communicate with a therapist online uncomfortable, in contrast to personal counseling, but the service helped her to spend in social networks in less time. Edition vc.ru published a translation of the material. Comedian Chris Gethard meets with her therapist Barbara for many years.
I learned that listening to his podcast is Beautiful/Anonymous, where he spent an hour talking to a random listener who calls in to his show. During commercial breaks he represents the sponsors of the podcast in a very personal manner. So to send Souvenirs to his wife uses email, and the service Stamps.com. And it seems that Getcharge sits well with his underwear Mack Weldon.
And they sleep with mattresses from Casper. Gethard expresses genuine delight from their sponsors, and it is easy to believe that they have found each other through a process of mutual selection. But since he has Barbara, maybe thats why hes not saying anything personal about the application for consultation with the therapist Talkspace, which is also the sponsor of his show.
I have my Barbara, and although we have something to talk to her, we never discussed my addiction to social media. For this problem in 2015 Talkspace has created a 12-week program, which costs about $33 per week. The idea of the program arose after the therapists drew attention to the problems of patients related to it. The co-founder, Roni Frank, had to travel in the caravan to go through the procedure of “digital detox”.
The service promises that “users will teach the individual strategies to help cope with the impact of social networks on psychological health”. To do this, each user can send is assigned to therapist unlimited number of messages.
On the website Talkspace posted several informative comments from customers, as well as links to studies that confirm that online therapy works. I found a job, where it is stated that the reduction of time in social networks can make a person more happy, less irritable and conservative. The refusal of social networks has always been for me one of the goals (along with the desire to shed a few extra pounds and begin to meditate), I thought I would be able to do without assistance. However, I could not.
I dont know what exactly causes the addiction, but for me, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is a pause while watching TV, standing in line, and of the day, when I exhale that happens quite often. I work as a freelance journalist, because I have no boss who is over your shoulder watching what I do, or forbids you to sit in social networks. As the person with the addiction, I repeat this behavior, even if it doesnt really help.
Sometimes I turn on the link and read the story that makes me rich. Or a friend publishes a selfie, and Im happy to see her face. But in most cases I find that in the city where I no longer live, a latte with beet syrup became a hit, that the child of a guy we once exchanged a single phrase in high school, was one month older, and that Donald trump has committed another vile act, and its supposed to piss me off. And it Angers, but I cant take any action for 16 times a day.
So I decided to use the course of Talkspace. I was assigned Nicole is a qualified and certified therapist. Unlike my offline psychotherapist, she has an account on Twitter, and she uses lipstick. She makes me goal — to try to go into each of the social networks no more than once a day.
There is another problem — not to loathe myself when Im online. When friend the writer publishes stories that I would like to write myself, Im jealous. When I see others post pictures from the trip, you begin to worry that travel too low, or insufficiently exotic places.
But when I get in those places, you begin to feel like a fool, if you publish images. The text “Want you were with me now” becomes more like “dont you want to be with me now?”. I am grateful for all the angry tweets about trump, but part of me is worried, why cant I keep the trend and come up with something original. Over the next few weeks every day I write one message Nicole in the small window that appears when I go to the website.
The message does not exceed a few paragraphs. In response, she usually sends me a text of the same length, typically within one day after sending my message. The whole process is similar to communication in Slack or GChat, but all on the order more slowly. I tell her that I was starting to feel insecure when my submissions dont get enough “likes”, and otherwise, on the contrary, is worried about the fragility of his ego.
The content generated by my friends, it seems to me a bottomless pit, despite the fact that I continue to unsubscribe. I find it difficult to understand who actually stands to unsubscribe in case I offend the person, or miss some important announcement. Very strange to be friends with a woman you met once ten years ago in a book club, just because it publishes stories about their children, which serve as an example for me of carefree maternity.
Brutally you can unsubscribe from someone in your personal life I love, and the Internet — not really. Whether or not to read 27 sad tweets from Lindy West for one really funny. Just imagine, its only 10:14 and her head has come 27 thoughts. Slightly changing the words, Nicole often answers me with my own thoughts.
Frankly, so does my therapist, but between my remark and its answer does not occur daily delay. As in the offline psychotherapy, this raises more questions than answers, and the slow progress annoys me. Nicoles got a flashlight, and my card, and I want to hit X as soon as possible.
So, after 45 of messages sent and received, I made a list of all the things that give me the social network. Distraction (I hate to admit it, but there were times when I was going to apply the cream for hands, but instead were distracted by a smartphone), connection (it happened that I offered a friend to call him, but I am not able to call early Wednesday morning), and confirmation. Thats where I encountered an obstacle. What is the offline equivalent of “likes”, comments and retweets.
Sometimes I use social media to share useful information or to publicly thank them for something other. Although in most cases I dont say directly “thats something Im proud”, it is meant. I wrote the story, Ive finished the campaign, I made cookies, I made a donation. Dont you think this is useful.
And the choir of the 79 friends telling me what I cant be sure. That Im talented, beautiful, strong, and changing the world. “If you love yourself, and through this love, would feel safe, it would get all what you want. I know its a very personal question, but I think that it is necessary.
Whats stopping you from loving yourself. I really think that if you opened it, you would be much more comfortable to share something with the world. No matter where. In life or in social networks,” wrote me Nicole.
She may be right. But I know a large number of people with dependence on social networks with large egos that continue flipping the tape, because I cant stop thinking about how corrupted our world, and they need to gather more evidence. Or are they already in bed, but they have a need to feel connected with the world. Or their work demands to meet cultural needs, or they are bored, or they are delicious so that they can not even for a second to get out from under the Shine of spotlights.
And I think that people who do not care, do not suffer from addiction. One of my coolest friends, who recently went on a weekend in the desert in search of “revelations” there is no account in Instagram. And the other, which is most of the months of the year spent in travel, published on Facebook only a dozen blurry photos of the landscape.
In addition, unless the person who does not even know the name of my sisters who doesnt see the look on my face, can help me for 12 weeks to answer the question, what prevents me to love myself. It reminded me of the situation when I changed to social insurance and received three free visit to a therapist. During this time I was not able to teach the doctors to correctly pronounce my middle name is Portuguese (which also lowered my self-esteem). Of course, three months is more than three visits.
But if you do the transcription hour session of communication with the therapist, then the volume will work the same as Nicole wrote to each other for a month. But still we continue, and Nicole is trying to convince me that Im too hard on yourself. “Sometimes indifference is a useful skill. But sometimes its so cute when someone is not still.
I wouldnt say that is detrimental for us to want other people to pay attention to what makes us who we really are. In my opinion, the problems start when we pretend to be something actually are not, or trying to please others”,” — wrote me Nicole. She assures me that dependence is produced through biological mechanisms. When our content gets “liked” it, the brain releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine.
This creates a “chemical loop”, which causes us to test the social network again and again. Indeed, when I publish the story you wrote for The New Yorker, I like a dog that cannot stop, and constantly presses the lever of the dispenser with food. According to Nicole, the unpredictability — is also a motivating factor. And when there is an opportunity to get another reward, then we begin to press on the lever with such intensity as if it were a button “close door” in the Elevator.
For every ten boring requests for restaurant recommendations, there is one publication with a discussion about the excesses in the womens magazine for which I write, or notification that my close friend was in the hospital. Due to such random outbursts, Im afraid to leave for too long, even if it means that I have to Wade through sponsorship of the publication of the sale of the collection of designer Rebecca Minkoff, whose photos of hot chocolate, and Bon Jovi jokes.
As much as I fantasized about the destruction of social networks in the style of Tyler Durden from “Fight club” that we all are living in a disconnected world John Milton taught me that the mind can turn into a hell, just about anywhere — digital or not. At school I was sitting in social networks, but I was worried about whether I like someone or not. Many of my online problems are similar to problems in real life — experiences that dont like me, busyness, boredom, irritability. And maybe they are not going anywhere.
Nicole, Im able to work on those things for which it seemed to me silly to pay extra. I was expecting that she will help me set goals or send me some guidelines for the safe use of social networks, but we did it standard, nothing remarkable therapeutic conversation. I told her about whats bothering me, she confirmed that there is worry because of that, and then asked me to think about this situation.
Like my offline therapist, and the realtor who sold us our house, and stylist, and the majority of professionals with whom I worked, including canine, Nicole never tells me what to do. One assumes that if I go into each of the social networks is not more than twice a day and watch whats happening to me. What if me “not to wait for confirmation from others, to feel safe, despite the minimal vulnerability”. Or change notifications on Facebook so they come only when the information publish my closest friends and I didnt have to worry about what youll miss something important.
According to Nicole, her method is similar to the work of the dietitian. Everyone can eat a day not more than 1200 calories and lose weight, but to adhere to such regulations in the long term, you need to find the emotional reasons that cause you to overeat. And with each conversation I know myself better and better.
If you are constantly being told that flipping the tape Facebook is stupid, then leafing through it for the hundredth time, you feel like an idiot. Through working with Nicole I learned how to stop before to open Facebook, and ask yourself why am I doing this and how can I change the course. Sometimes I put the timer for an hour and during this time working without a break, and then interrupted, to water the flowers. And when I again catch myself rolling my eyes at another pictures of ramen from Blue Arpon or the press, which peeks out from under tied in a knot of a topic, I click on the “unsubscribe”button.
Nicole taught me to do so, she helped me see how important I was to stop making myself miserable. However, strengthened my decision to pursue online less time and find it a more useful application, Nicole made it so that it also seemed to me unattractive, and I deleted the app two months after beginning our therapy. Its hard to imagine that I could finish this month, and even more difficult to imagine a person who can spend years in correspondence with someone about grief, insults or destructive trouble.
Although Talkspace motto is “therapy for how we live today” without limits, always online, I prefer to leave all my problems in the office of my present therapist. I go there weekly on Wednesdays and sometimes even have time to stop by the mail.