Emails can be blocked, phone numbers deleted, photos burned, but my fingers keep typing in the URL of his blog before my mind has time to stop them.

I need a software equivalent of that horrible-tasting stuff they smear on your fingernails when you bite them till they bleed but even pain won’t stop you gnawing incessantly, in your sleep reading running playing working laughing you just keep biting and biting way past the quick and they’ll never grow back if you can’t stop biting biting biting.

Does anyone know how I can tell my browser to never let me visit a particular URL? Self-discipline is the obvious answer. A month in France away from a net connection was more successful, but I can’t live offline forever. I want inanimate support: a simple, clearcut, technological solution.

10 thoughts on “must stop

  1. Frank

    In os x terminal
    >echo “ url” >> /etc/hosts
    >niload hosts / < /etc/hosts

  2. Elin

    – and then when your self dicipline fails – you just remove the above lines, right…..

    Technology gave us a lot, but it also gave us “undo”… maybe you need a different solution, that doesn’t involve technology at all!


  3. Liz

    What does AA call the mentor/buddy who you’re supposed to call when you get the urge to drink? That’s what you need.

    However, you can do it technically, as well. OS X has a built-in configurable firewall. I use a tool called BrickHouse to configure it (rather than dealing with the terminal interface). You can add a filter that specifically blocks http attempts from your computer to a given IP address. Can be found here:

    As Elin notes, you could always change it back. But it would take conscious effort, and it sounds to me like what you want is to deal with your subconscious actions.

  4. Jesper Juul

    Barring living in a country that blocks access to specific web sites on a nationwide-level, I think the best solution is the mental one – convince yourself that it really isn’t doing you any good to be checking that site obsessively. Think about it till you really believe it. Notice how nice it is to work without wanting to check that site all the time.

    That’s obviously easier said than done, but it should be possible.

  5. Anja

    Go read that blog. You’ll love it and hate it and laugh about his wit and sometimes be incredibly bored. – Sooner or later, he’ll turn from a painful memory into some guy with a blog.
    And when you’re done reading his blog for the day, go out and enjoy summer!

  6. Torill

    I think Jesper’s idea is the best. I vote for that. He will be out there whether you like it or not, and the only way to get free of it is to train yourself into living with it. Or alternately Anja’s. That sounds like a good plan too!

  7. Mum

    A techno fix will deal with the habit in your fingers, but will it help if there’s still a deep seated need for information that drives them? Is he OK? Does he feel any anguish/pain at all? Is he putting clues into his blog? Can he still kindle your imagination with an apt metaphor? You already know the answers so you really donít need to check that blog. But as Anja suggests, checking it is OK. Itís already just another blog.

  8. mcb

    I agree with Anja. Just read it until you no longer want to read it. And that will definitely happen, eventually, and probably sooner than you think. Just give it some time, don’t be too hard on yourself.

  9. Jill

    Mm, the just another blog seems a good target. And the technological efforts have all failed, despite good helpers. I guess by the time I started trying to make them work I’d already read your other comments…

    There’s a delicate balance, I reckon, between obsessing and kind of anti-obsessing, which is just another way of obsessing, really. I thought of treating it as quitting smoking and giving myself gold stars (or chocolate) for every day I could not go read that blog. I’m up to three days and 10 hours, now. But is that going to wean me off it or just keep me obsessed? Ah well. Time will no doubt cure this wound as all others.

  10. torill

    One day you’ll discover that you have forgotten to give yourself a gold star. And then you’ll forget you should have gotten one. And then you’re free!

Comments are closed.

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