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Thank you for your research, your work, your publications. Feel free to contact me for any surveys or further information, I am eager to assist with my own story. I really want to be eloquent and concise as I describe my last two years online, but everything is still so recent and raw. I had no clue. Looking back, I flinch with embarrassment and humiliation.

Yet I am human, we humans do make mistakes, I can survive and most definitely thrive. New to computers, new to chat, new to fantasy role playing games, in this case, vampire fantasy based on the World of Darkness gaming books series.

And most definitely new to the huge online world of cyber-sex. Two years ago, a young man cross the country who is able to present himself as a charismatic, creative, enticing seducer, tugged me into that world. Nearly nightly I was his provider of fantasy cyber. I was hooked quickly on pleasing this young man, he who is himself hooked on cyber sex and porn at large. He cued me as to what would excite him, I fulfilled his requests. My efforts were elaborate, even involving researching various historical periods and costumes.

Lainahtan, the online nick name he used, was already quite the accomplished cyber seeker. Vampire role playing channels were his favored location for grooming and selecting new play mates, but he also roamed various sex and bdsm channels also. Lain had the whole thing down to a science.

And his need for cyber seemed almost unquenchable. Periodically I would awaken from the drugged seeming trance and wonder what the hell I was doing. I read up on sexual addiction, on internet addiction, on bdsm, and on abuse. Then I would fall back into that trance once again. I am emerging now from this two year long online affair.

Lainahtan was extremely abusive, still is, I ended up in gasping tears many a night, and still am in great emotional pain. I crave something I am not going to get, completion that includes him, I have to do this on my own. And he is online most every single night, seeking cyber or actually engaging in cyber. Lainahtan enjoys violent fantasies, he has quite the vampire fetish, and he guises much of this in pseudo bdsm.

Fortunately in my reading I have learned that true bdsm is safe, sane, and consensual, and does not damage either party.

What Lainahtan does online is not safe, sane, or truly consensual. He is skilled at dragging his partners further and further into violent sexual online encounters. I was addicted to pleasing him, so I did most anything he wanted, I was able to draw the line a few times.

Ideally I would have drawn the line at the very beginning and never ever gotten involved. Lainahtan takes you in his arms and sinks his fangs slow into your throat. This of course pulls his partners in further.

And yes, this all was for his enjoyment, so he could be aroused, masturbate, and experience orgasm. At times he would interact with me without the pretense of any made up character. Again, this is what he wanted, so I did it. And I knew full well that I was not his only cyber partner. We never spoke on the phone. We did email each other erotic stories. We chatted at times just a bit about our actual lives, but the focus was always on the sex.

When I asked for things that would make my experience more enjoyable he became extremely abusive. Withheld attention, insulted, humiliated, claimed I had motives that I did not, the list is endless. Recently I looked over a book on verbal abuse, there he was. I am 43 years old. I know that I have been using my online time as an escape.

From physical and mental disability. From loneliness, fear, anxiety, and other human experiences. I am well educated, relatively savvy about psychological matters, yet here I am. I am a survivor of childhood abuse and even of a destructive cult. To put in plainly, I thought I knew better.

Finding new interests and reviving old ones is helpful. Reading books on addiction and grieving provides excellent support. And there is the whole wide world out there, right here, to explore and enjoy.

I wish I was free already of this sense of humiliation, this addictive rush of needing to please him still, this sense of failure cause he is so very abusive. Redirected attention, insight, time, and a good sense of humor will certainly help me heal. As does writing this out and posting it to you. Thank you again for your vital work. However, the Internet was super fertilizer. All the gossip in other words. Until, that is, I decided that getting him interested would be something we could do together.

Within 2 weeks, he was hooked. Unknown to me, he made a beeline to her and other females in the room as well. She gladly took the bait, as did one other who was 2nd choice. I nor others would have ever guessed he was looking for cyber on the net. Never before I had any cause to suspect him in any way during our 10 year marriage.

He bought a 2nd computer, had a 2nd phone line installed and began literally living in the computer room. All I am describing occurred within a month. He was slick about it — he said he bought the new computer for me…in reality, he was exasperated having to share airtime with me.

He stayed on the computer from the time he got home until well after I had gone to bed. He ate his meals while on the computer. He became even more snappy toward me and our baby. It became my job to keep the baby away from him while he was on the Internet cybering by now but still unknown to me. He was self-employed so it was easy in the beginning to get away with not showing up at work.

But, he became so absent at work that his boss actually called him in his office about this. He actually began to disgust me to the point where I spent less and less time on the computer myself. She did it when he was online and they were cybering and also if I got online during the day. My husband was getting more and more short tempered with me and more critical. So I was honest with her and said I was on his account checking mail.

But by now I was very upset and wondering what to do to find out. I downloaded and installed it on his computer and let it run all night. I also went to bed early that evening. I was sick to my stomach. By now, he was sleeping on the couch and only requesting oral sex for himself as any type of physical relationship.

And I was no longer complying. Boy was I wrong. They were indeed cybering and had been for sometime. Additionally, he had moved it out to phone calls from work. I tried to get us into counseling, but ended up going myself. My counselor over time was very helpful in showing me what an abusive, abnormal relationship I was in. That was the best thing I ever did for myself and my son, now 2. My husband moved from online to real-time chasing other women, loudly denying it all the while. Yes, I am serious.

At least he sticks to his story if nothing else. It actually took me until now, 1 year later to move out and on with my life. I lost all respect for him and that helped me fall out of love with him.

Once the trust is gone, its only a matter of time. Right before I moved out a month ago, I got back online again and reestablished old friendships. However, my time online is very, very limited. My former spouse is back at it again, this time with the 2 choice of last year. But with something very wrong in her life evidently.

How to Overcome Chatting Addiction (with Pictures) - wikiHow

I just want to add that we have been doing online qualitative interviews with gay and bisexual men or men who have sex with men they meet in Internet chat rooms, or that we were recruiting from Internet chat rooms, and even the guys in rural America are saying that, you know, "I can get online, and in 45 minutes, I can have someone tied up to my bedpost And we really ask people how they thought the Internet was affecting their sexual behaviors and to the T, almost everyone said that it has been increasing the number of partners they have and then either look at that as something really positive-that it is convenient, it is accessible, that it is sort of the greatest thing-and other people are sort of indicating some level of frustration with that, well, while they can get their physical needs met pretty easily, sometimes their unexpressed needs around intimacy might not be getting met, although that can be true in other venues as well, but I think the explosion in the number of partners people are meeting online is really changing that for some of the guys that we have been interviewing.

So, what sort of comparisons can we make between Internet chat rooms and other venues where the goal the sort of the same and very obvious, such as sex clubs; there are sex clubs in the City and a lot of other cities. What sort of trends or similarities do you see in terms of behavior, safety, and expectations?

I think there are a few things. One is I do think it is important to recognize that when people are hooking up, when they are meeting each other online and then going home, that it is happening in an environment that has traditionally been isolated from HIV prevention messages and that whatever your perceptions are of the campaigns that are going on currently in the bars and bath houses, there are posters there; there are condoms available there; there are very visible and active campaigns happening in many communities across the U.

And at some point, in some of the communities where we were asking people online if they were aware of online HIV prevention campaigns, many of the participants said they were not aware or they had not seen them because, I mean, I think the Internet is so large that it takes a really concerted effort to make your presence known and so that when hookups are being arranged completely outside of the arena that HIV prevention campaigns have hit, I think that is worth talking about.

It is also important, I think, to keep in mind that these websites are businesses -- the owners are out making money. What differs from the local sex club, though, in one factor is they are not community-based. The owners could be in New York or be in Ohio and that is where they launched your national website from, and you could have people all over the country using the site.

That does not make you a "local" community organization tied to that particularly community, which then creates a challenge in terms of working with the local sex venue to say, "Okay, we would like you to put up more posters. In our work, it seems that people who attend sex clubs and seek sex at sex clubs seem to be somewhat different than people who are seeking sex online, different from people who may seek sex through more kind of casual street-based or social encounters, and surprisingly, there is actually not a lot of overlap.

People tend to shop in the same store; they go to the same place for sex partners. So, it may be somewhat of a generalization, but people who seek sex in clubs or bookstores generally keep going back to clubs and bookstores; people go on the Internet, go to the Internet. These different venues somewhat attract and bring together different sexual networks.

So right now, in terms of STD transmission, which is a lot easier to monitor than HIV transmission, we can find these high risk networks associated with Internet use, which we really do not see with the sex clubs or the adult bookstores anymore.

I think there are data that were presented at the National HIV Prevention Conference last year showing that in California, the proportion of new syphilis diagnoses that were accounted for in bath houses and other sex clubs was shrinking while the proportion of syphilis diagnoses that were attributed to men meeting in online venues was increasing and that that shift was really documented now.

Mark, can I ask, is there a way for other people to give their input in the audience as well? Sure, people can do that and perhaps we could just repeat the comments or the questions. Are you saying that you are finding that the population that traditionally went to sex clubs or adult bookstores is now going to the Internet?

I really see it as a shift. I see the Internet as really opening up a whole new world of sexual networks to a lot of people who maybe never felt comfortable going into sex clubs or never felt comfortable about going into specific bars or venues to meet partners, and this whole thing really started, for me at least, in the Spring of , when I was seeing a patient in the clinic and I said, "How many sex partners have you had in the past two months?

You can't believe it! So is it possible that perhaps there is a demographic change where younger people tend to be more involved in the Internet and older guys go to bookstores and things like that?

Yes, I think that is a reasonable idea, but I don't think it's been well studied. I do not think that those are clear categories, with bath houses here, Internet here.

There are a number of sex venues and sex partners that happen whose only mode of recruitment is through the Internet. I can go online right now and probably find, especially since it is Pride Weekend, 10 sex parties that are happening in hotel rooms, people's garages, out in places like Martinez But one of the things our project is trying to do is we are trying to hookup with the people who go to these sex parties. So increasingly you have people not just hooking up one-on-one through the Internet, but they are signing onto Yahoo!

Yes, I guess, that is sort of my puzzlement. Klausner, said that there is often not a lot of overlap -- and I can see where that is true -- but then in cases like this, there is a lot of overlap. So sometimes I think a lot of the distinctions are perhaps made artificially and so there is some overlap, it seems.

I think you might also want to look at the fact that there is collaboration. There are guys who are saying, "I am going to be at XYZ club tonight. That is part of the availability but I think if you do some research in terms of bar owners and their receipts over the last years, they have shown a marked decrease in clients and some of that has been smoking, lack of smoking, some of that is-at least in this city-economics are such that people are working more hours per day and their personal time is more important to them and if they know that their goal is to get off, then they may be less likely to have the bar venue as a social event.

Maybe they will save that for the Saturday or Sunday night but on a Monday or a Tuesday, Happy Hour is not as important as "I know I can get off efficiently and economically.

So I think it is important to also look at some of those dynamics and where this process is making it more convenient and more attractive. I want to speak to the age issue for a second, and this is hypothetical based on we put together a community advisory board to build a website recently and one of the younger people on the board was basically saying that he was invited to a sex party that he learned about from the Internet and he went, and, however months later, he got the "you may have been exposed to We didn't even talk about it.

You know, it was just like, 'Hey, you going Saturday night? We'll checked out, da-da-da-dah, and then we'll go; we'll party" and afterwards, everybody would show up again. This guy basically said, "I had no idea! So, and not in a In a scary way as opposed to in a "I'm taking care of my health" way. So, it is just to think about the age and the communication and again, the difference between online and offline and how norms are changing. I guess I just want to add sort of a personal anecdote, taking off my researcher hat and putting on my "Gay Man in San Francisco" hat.

A few years ago when I was online a lot, I think that it was interesting to me to sort of observe how in one night being online, I could get asked maybe 15 or 20 times if I barebacked and if I would have sex without a condom or guys that were really hot and cute, and then they would talk about wanting to fuck without condoms and you know, at some level, that starts to almost be the normative behavior that I was experiencing at least.

And maybe it was something about my profile, I do not know -- even though it had that I use condoms in my profile -- but you know, when I went to a bar, that same experience was not happening to me. It was not like people kept coming up to me and asking me, "Do you want to fuck without condoms? I remember in some of our interviews, we asked people how they thought their online life was affecting their offline sexual life, which we had a better way to phrase the question which I cannot remember now but some of the guys said, "No, it's really no different at all.

It's just like meeting guys in other venues. The first time I had unprotected sex was with someone I met online. I think it has been proven through a variety of circumstances that any kind of prevention message that works for people, and whether it be smoking cessation or sexual programs, the person has to see their risk and the person they are with as people , and the initial conversations online, you do not actually recognize that as a person on the other end of that chat.

Especially the first, "Are you a top? I want to get fucked. So there is that side of this where you are not real on the other end of that Internet connection until you show up at the door. So some of the conversations can be very direct; on the other hand, it is the exact opposite.

You may think you know who that person based on the profile and then maybe they are much hotter than you normally would get in real time and you are not willing to actually step back and say, "I am not going to throw this out.

I will wait 'til they get there to discuss this. There are the differences people read And you put all that together, this is a complicated -- and it is actually not as easy -- it gets complicated because you are dealing with emotions, you are dealing with human nature, you are dealing with sexual desire and half of the equation is not in front of you until 20 minutes before you are ready to take your pants off.

And then to add to that, Frank, if you put "condoms" in your ad, nobody replies. If you put "positive" in your ad, nobody replies. And so what is happening is the top three questions, as Frank can you do that again really fast? Do you wear condoms? So the guys who will only wear condoms and are positive, are learning very quickly how to answer the top three questions in the way that they will get response because they still want to get laid, and then only later, when the person comes to the door, being able to say, "Oh, by the way, this is my situation There was a fellow I have chatted with over the last five years and he shared with me some of his logs.

He is a top, he is an HIV-positive man, tests regularly but his idea of "safe sex" is that he does not ejaculate in his partner if they have sex without a condom. And he will use a condom when the partner negotiates it with him. But it was really interesting when he would say, "Oh, I played safe" and I would follow up, "Did you have the rest of that conversation?

If you have been online for four hours and nobody is giving you any attention, it is going to bring up some personal issues around how much you are going to say "yes" to the next option. But when does that negotiation then happen in real time or offline?

It is perplexing at times because a lot of the same issues happen if you meet someone at a bar. Would you necessarily have these conversations there or wait until you have the person home and then, you know, say, "These are my boundaries. This is my situation. I think the difference is that in real time, we do not expect it to happen beforehand but online, based on profiles and based on these quick three questions, people are assuming it is happening beforehand. So that it is an assumption, you know, and do I even have to say it?

When you assume, you make "an ass of u and me". I think while everything you have said is true, I find that in sex clubs, for example, there is no communication at all; it is zero, and, as unclear as communication online is, it is still something, and now there are data from a researcher here at U. So, while I think all the things you guys have said are true, they are also very positive for prevention strategies that can be implemented on the Internet.

I think while we are highlighting on some of the challenges of [the Internet], I think we all agree that there can be positive attributes to it and it is part of why SafeSexCity. They had made some choices and they wanted to make it useful for them. Some of the other sites have made it easier to set up things such as you get a choice to say "safer sex to be discussed" or not, to help along that way. So it can be great whether you use serosorting, age sorting, other interests.

There are a variety of positive attributes to this encounter. I just want to add to the serosorting. I mean, it is one thing when you are talking about two positive guys using the Internet to conveniently and efficiently serosort but I also think negative guys are trying to use it to serosort and to find other negative guys, and that is more complicated.

Those issues get much less cut and dry. Can you guys talk a little bit more about drugs and alcohol, and how communication is happening around that? I can just say again, anecdotally as opposed to scientifically, but there are lots of people in their ads who are using PnP, party and play, and that that contributes to higher numbers of sex partners, you know, sex going all night, more friction, more chance for transmission of STDs and HIV.

However, as far as prevention goes, we have not figured out any way to reach these guys. When they are online, there is one thing, one thing only. They are online often late at night and not at all interested in anything else that is going on online. If they, perhaps, are having a week where they are not using and then they are going online to look at the news, they are not thinking about health at that point. Whereas men who are not using, particularly meth, will actually look at health messages when they are not cruising.

But that is where it can start. It would be actually interesting to study to see whether really the Internet has made it truly any easier to get crystal in San Francisco. I mean, it is pretty easy to get and whether the Internet actually makes it easier, I am not sure but people can certainly search for PnP partners, they can certainly go to certain websites which are more associated with substance users that network and kind of sort its way out, and there is the UC Prevention site Tweaker.

So that is kind of in response to try use the Internet as a prevention tool to bring people to a harm reduction website like Tweaker. It is also you have to keep in mind, I think, that especially with methamphetamine users, you get so hyperfocused on particular things that the Internet becomes and the use of the computer becomes a great tool; you do not have to go out in publicespecially if you are in the place where you are going to have psychosis or mental health conditions, you are in that place where you are already getting nervous that people are watching you -- you can then pick and choose, you can get You do not have to leave.

You do not have to leave your drugs. You do not have to worry about who is going to see your stash. There is a level that it is a very suitable mechanism for that particular person. I do not find people who use alcohol as likely to be drunk because of their ability to not type when drunk!

You can socialize drunk, you do not have to worry about your eye-hand motor coordination [crosstalk]. It seems like, particularly in San Francisco, that the assumption is that the best way to reach people is online? And I would like to suggest that I think that is not the case. Cabra Diseno just launched a new campaign [www. So they decided that the campaign isn't doing anything online.

They have a website that they have created that they are not doing banner ads and I don't know what else they have done but I wanted to caution about that assumption that the best way to reach online users is online.

And my second comment is, so however we intend to reach these guys, what is the message? And is the message "use condoms" or "disclose" or? I think this was all done historically and they do not work very well.

They may have worked at some point historically but in , and, in San Francisco, I do not think they are the best. I would like to suggest that possibly the message is "How to have a more satisfying sex life - emotionally and physically. I would actually like people on the panel to comment on that because there is a certain intersection between, "failure" is not the right word, but "less than satisfying results" in traditional prevention, which has changed the whole CDC paradigm in terms of prevention in general, for better or worse.

But the perception is that things were not working as well as they could. So, it does raise the question, then, in terms of when you go out on the Internet, do you repeat the same things that in the last years maybe have not worked as well as they did earlier in the epidemic? I guess I will speak to this first, just because I actually was on the community advisory board for Cabra and agreed that it was a really good idea to take if offline, as well as someone who heads a service that does online outreach and prevention.

One thing is that there have been studies shown that gay men in particular, but as well as the bulk of the American population, gets their sexual health information online and reason being, "Well, where else are you going to get your sexual health information? People are not talking to their physicians. In the land of HMOs and minute appointments, you are not really sitting down and saying, "Well, what risks do I have based on I did this last night and this last week?

We are not really an open society in talking to our friends about it, and from parent to child, you know, take it away! This has never been the greatest source of sexual health information. As adults, people are turning to the Internet because it takes away the shame and embarrassment.

So I think there is some difference between a prevention message and sexual health information, and I am learning -- and I think we have enough statistics from the work that we have done together with banner ads on Gay.

So we are reaching They are reading the news, they are reading Dan Savage's column, you know, whatever it is that they are doing online, looking for a movie timetable, and they are clicking.

The click-through rate on those ads is much higher than the click-through rates on chat and personals. And then what is happening is they are actually going to the sexual health information sites that we have set up and they are running through those pages, they are spending minutes on pages -- that is a long time to be spending reading about sexual health. So, I do not think we can completely dismiss online prevention but I do think we have to be careful and not assume that everything is going to work.

We were doing one-on-one outreach for a full year and decided that not only was it not cost-effective, but it was really hard to tell whether men were then going in to get tested after they had an interaction with an online outreach worker. Their follow-through, we provided some incentives for men who did get tested at City Clinic.

The incentives were actually used and redeemed -- about in three months -- which we were pretty happy with as far as testing, but it was not necessarily a clear link and evaluation is sort of what it all goes back to. Very, very hard to evaluate but the online prevention methods, partially because it is new and partially because you have to translate what happens online into action offline. We have done the same. We made that choice not to take CDC or federal funds or, in some cases, city funds so that we can do other things.

Often because I have been a sexual health educator and am known for some of the same programs that get other folks in trouble: Sex club etiquette, you know, things like that.

People have asked, "When are we going to put those on the site, so we have been in the studio about a month now doing video clips, right down from how to give a blow job, how to clean out your butt using a shower shot or an enema system, to relaxation techniques so that you can avoid tearing, to a full gamut of toys to condoms, how to choose different condoms.

So we are mixing them in to create a catalog of sexual health because there is no We need to have more clear visual and written messages that create gay male and gay bi-male sex as a healthy opportunity instead of being limited so often. So it definitely, I think, there is a difference in encouraging education on how to make healthy choices about what you do or do not know sexually and prevention, and incorporating them. I think you have to put the prevention into the traditional prevention framework.

If you think about primary prevention, we are trying to reduce exposure, awareness, education, risk reduction and certainly awareness on the Internet may not be the best way to do an awareness campaign.

When there is an outbreak of syphilis in San Francisco, it is usually done through the media, through billboards, through other kind of targeted street or venue-based population techniques. But if you want to get more into the knowledge and more in-depth area, I think that the Internet does afford a great way to enable people who are motivated and interested to really learn more, and then the challenge which in primary prevention right now is can the Internet afford a feasible and effective means for risk reduction?

So are there interventions that can be done and to date, there have not been any successful Internet-based risk reduction interventions. It is very difficult to retain people in cohort studies and that is a big challenge. And second part of prevention is what we call secondary prevention or early detection of infection and timely treatment. Now here, the Internet does provide an opportunity through an example of our online syphilis testing service, where we had about 10 people access new syphilis tests a week through this online syphilis testing service and we can in a more rapid diagnose a new case of syphilis and bring them in to treatment, also, treatment services by providing information and linking people to Magnet, to City Clinic, to primary care providers.

You can bring people into the fold of medical care. So I think it clearly depends on what your goals are in terms of what kind of prevention you want to achieve. I wanted to make sure we talked a little bit about successes Over the past year or so, we have been doing qualitative interviews with staff at AIDS service organizations around the country who were doing online prevention programs and I thought Alberto [Curotto of CAPS] would like to talk just briefly about we found.

I can give you my chair. Well, I would say that the most common form of intervention that has been reported by CBOs is outreach in chat rooms.

It is cheap to do; that is the main reason why a lot of CBOs use it. A lot of times they do not have any funds for this specific type of intervention, so they just use volunteer time or time from existing programs to do it and, in general, they report a lot of success. The successes are very anecdotal, though. There is no evidence that they work but there are a few organizations that have used more complex methods such as creating a website that has education tools or, you know, video streams or a variety of web-based resources and to which men are referred, so intervention does not really happen in real time.

It is just people are invited either by email or in physical locations, they are invited to visit the website. These interventions are generally much more expensive. Like everything on the web, there is always a very large cost to initiate something.

Then the hope is that if it works, it is there, it is online and live and people will continue to use it, but the initial costs are really, really large and CBOs normally cannot afford it. So that is what we found. So, Alberto, you talk about help worker outreach, websites and right now the City Clinic website is the second most frequently used website in the City after the jobs website Now without a comparison group, it is difficult to know what other means of outreach would have created.

We have also been involved with what is called "moderated chats" on Gay. K, is one of their more popular sites and then ideally, as Alberto mentioned, you want to do something that is going to be permanent and effective with what you might call a structural intervention.

So how can you essentially change the environment and we have been dabbling in this. You really need, obviously, the buy-in of the Internet service provider to really do something significant and the types of things that we have done was on Craigslist, under the Men Seeking Men header, there is kind of an informational warning, if you will, and then some embedded links to safer sex chat forum and you can count how many people go to the safer sex forum on any given week so you can get some outcomes there.

So I think that there is a lot more that could be done. But evaluation, as you mentioned, is very difficult and in one comparison group, you do not really know but you can do other types of studies from street-based interviews, from cases and non-cases and find out whether their exposure to the Internet was protective or facilitated their access to health care.

I think what we also found from our qualitative interviews that we collected over the past three years is that one big problem in this online hookups is communication. Communication online is not clear. It seems clear, but it is not. And this somehow has issued into the campaign that was mentioned earlier in the Castro MUNI Station, that is geared toward people, men who hook up online, but it focuses on communication.

This can fuel loneliness, which results in excessive online chatting. Try to push yourself out of your comfort zone a little each day. Make plans with a work acquaintance. Make small talk with a barista at a coffee shop. If you're feeling stressed, try to find a healthy activity instead of the internet.

Exercise can help reduce stress, as can activities like yoga, deep breathing, and meditation. Addiction rarely happens without warning. If you have an online chatting addiction, try to figure out what underlying stressors may be fueling your need for constant online contact. If you've had issues with drugs or alcohol, you may have developed an online chatting addiction to cope. Oftentimes, addicts replace one addiction with another.

You may also have an underlying mental illness. If you've struggled with depression, anxiety, or other troublesome issues in the past, this may be contributing to your chatting addiction. Talk to others who struggle with addiction. You are not alone. Many people struggle with some form of internet addiction. If you do not know someone who has a chatting addiction specifically, you may know someone who's addicted to their smart phone or something like Facebook.

Reach out to others who struggle with some form of internet addiction for support. You can all agree to get together for internet and smart phone free time. Share progress with other addicts.

You can all help each other be more accountable for your actions. For example, you can try to compete with one another in terms of taking computer breaks. Try offering a small prize for whoever can stay offline longest. Set goals for yourself. Most people cannot quit chatting cold turkey.

As you strive to get away from the internet, set small and reasonable goals for yourself. For example, set aside two hours in the early evening for internet chatting. Only go online for those hours and stay away from your computer or phone otherwise. You may need some help at first. If you're an addict, it may be hard to cap your time at a certain number of hours. You can look into applications that can block websites during certain hours of the day.

You can also have a family member help you power down your computer or laptop after a certain amount of time. Find ways to make it harder for yourself to access the internet. You can make small changes to your home to make it harder for you to get online.

For example, never take a smart phone or tablet to bed with you. Turn your computer or laptop off instead of putting it into sleep mode. Store your laptop in a hard-to-reach place when you're not using it. If it's out of site, it may be easier to forget about the urge to chat online. Exercise can help curb a variety of addictions and may be beneficial for chatting addiction.

Aerobic exercise can help keep feelings of depression, which often fuel addiction, away. Exercise can also provide a distraction that will keep you off the internet. Incorporate a workout into your routine the way you would incorporate something like brushing your teeth.

Pick a form of exercise you like, as you'll be more likely to stick to it. If you hate running, do not expect to do a nightly jog. Instead, try something you enjoy, like riding your bike or swimming. Internet addiction is sometimes driven by escapism. A good book can provide an alternative to talking to strangers online. Take out a library card, make a trip to your local bookstore, or browse titles online or on an electronic reader.

If you don't read much, think about your taste in TV and movies. If you love true crime shows, you may enjoy detective novels. Find a variety of distractions. It's easy to stay offline if you have a lot to do over the course of a day. There are a variety of hobbies you can take up that will keep you off the internet. Get involved in your community. Volunteer for an organization you care about.

If you have pets, invest time in them. Play with your cat each night. Take your dog for a walk. You may chat heavily on your smart phone.

Work on limiting the amount of times per day that you check your phone. For example, do not allow yourself to check your phone in social settings. Only allow yourself one phone check per two hours while working. Leave your phone when you do certain activities. Keep your phone at home when you run to the store or go take a walk. You can think about temporarily transitioning to a phone that does not have internet access.

This way, you'll cut out one means of access to online chatting. If you're struggling with addiction of any kind, a therapist is necessary.

If you have chatting addiction, you may have an underlying mental illness that's triggering your need to go online as a form of self soothing. Seek out a therapist if you have a chatting addiction. You can ask your regular doctor for a referral to a therapist in your area. Make sure you look for someone who specializes in addiction and recovery. You can also find a list of providers through your insurance. If you're a student, you may be entitled to free counseling on behalf of your university.

Try cognitive behavioral therapy. The types of therapy for chatting addiction vary. Oftentimes, cognitive behavioral therapy is very effective in treating addictive behavior. CBT teaches you healthy ways of coping with uncomfortable emotions like fear and anxiety.

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