Are We Addicted?

in General Discussion edited January 2014
To the internet I mean? So often our threads in here focus on everything and everyone but us, I thought: why not one that's "all about us"? Dare I say all about our well-being, even?

Not to sound too 12-Steppy ? (new word!), but even though my 3000-some posts are spread out over many months (I think I average 3 or 4 a day, and maybe 7-10 a day if you combine all the forums I post to), I can't help but feel it's too much. Not a waste precisely, because many topics of discussion are worthwhile, but sort of "misplaced time" if you will. Time not ill-spent, but certainly better spent elsewhere on any given day (lest every bit of work is done, all the "I Love you's" said and the weather be miserable).

I don't gamble online, rarely check out the hoochies and I don't go on buying sprees at Amazon or anywhere else. I *do* play Medal of Honor online far more than I ought to (couple hours a day on average, though usually at night when my fiancee is watching her taped soap opera / her once-a-night brainless sitcom). Yet, surely it can be argued there is some manner of addiction in all this, even if it were all work related there would be. It's the medium more than the topic IOW. And I suspect there are plenty of people in here who post / read / web a lot more than I do each week. Same of the other forums I visit. I get the distinct impression many of them are on all the time, whether from home or work or both.

It seems a very far-reaching problem to me, and one that is by no means limited to "nerds". Athletes, businessmen, housewives, college students, all kinds of people seem to get sucked in on a daily basis.

So I poseth the question: what constitutes an internet addiciton and do most of us qualify, simply by being in here so regularly (even if not for long durations in many cases)?

If we are addicted, what to do about it? Just make a couple "no computer" days each week and leave it at that, or is there cause to make the computer (and more specifically internet) less pervasive in everyday life?

Maybe a feature of 10.4 will be "oLife" (as in "other") where it disables all internet settings, games and wastes of time and forces you to either make something cool (a la GarageBand) or disconnect out of shear boredom.


  • Reply 1 of 10
    pfflampfflam Posts: 5,053member
    I was thinking about this today . . . .

    I heard a psychologist from Harvard talking down the 12-step methods and their tendency to demand that a person label themselves as "ADDICTS'

    he said it (12 step program) has its place but that it tries to be universal and does not follow medical practices of gauging the specific person in question

    but it got me thinking about how I would have labeled myself an alchoholic when I waas 23 even though I clearly was/am not.

    \\but I am really on this computer ALL the time and most of that time wasted. . . . er . . . spent here . . .

    other time spent NOT being as productive making my ART as I should be

    (that's what I DO: make art, and most of it video and electronic)

    so I feel like an ADDICT . . . yes I do

  • Reply 2 of 10
    I am addicted to the Internet like I am addicted to watching television, driving a car, breathing, etc.
  • Reply 3 of 10
    i'm writing a self-help book for people who are addicted to self-help books...the only problem is, is that if it works, that ruins my chances for a sequel
  • Reply 4 of 10
    I'm addicted to the internet, but that doesn't mean I don't do other things. I still manage to work out, play basketball, practice and make music, read(less than in the past, but hey, when I'm on the internet all I do is read news and forums)

    Before I got my Powerbook, when I was stuck using an iMac that I had been using for about 4 years, I noticed, that from constantly using this iMac, my vision had gotten worse.

    it saddens me greatly, because I have always prided myself on having excellent vision, at least, the LCD screen is far less harmful on your eyes than that old buggery CRT(I could actually see the refresh rate, that can't be good)

    but, as maddox puts it, staring at white pages on your computer is not unlike staring at a light bulb all day, which is why his webpage is black with multiple different subtle colors of text.

    either way, I am definitely addicted, currently my favorite webforum is undergoing a massive upgrade to vBulletin 3.0, and while that's cool, it's going to be down till at least tomorrow, most likely later.

    While I am fairly addicted to the internet, I have found myself very able to go cold turkey. Like when I go backpacking, or on any trip, I'm able to put the internet behind me. But when it's there, easily accessible, on my powerbook witih wireless broadband, it's just too easy!
  • Reply 5 of 10

    Originally posted by Ganondorf

    I am addicted to the Internet like I am addicted to watching television, driving a car, breathing, etc.

    eh? can you even BE addicted to breathing..oh wait I get it
  • Reply 6 of 10
    I was thinking about this the other day as well.

    If I am not in a class, visiting friends, asleep, or eating, then I'm probably at my computer. How sad is that?! I love my computer, I really do - she's my baby.

    That, however, is no reason to sit in front of her cute little screen all day, whether I'm toodling around on the web or playing NWN. I have better things to do! I am clearly addicted, and cutting back is one of my recent goals. Possibly the best way to free myself from this addiction is to confront the myriad ways that I could be better spending my time.


    1. Read: Anna Karenina. Reading is one of my favorite activities, yet at the rate I'm going with this book, it will be a year before I finish. Sad! I need to tear myself away and go expand my mind more often.

    2. Draw: I'm an art major, and two of my four classes are art at the moment. My goal is to begin spending more time in front of a sheet of paper, holding a pencil, than I do in front of my keyboard.

    3. Work: Homework, outside work, working out, whatever! These are all better to do than planting myself here. It's not as though my grades are suffering, but there is more I could do to boost them.

    4. Socialize: NOT over iChat. We all need face-to-face contact during the day. It's not as though I don't get any of this, but more is better.


    I may not be as addicted as others, yet I do need to cut back. Granted, I used to spend A LOT more time on my computer (EverQuest addiction ) . Facing the other options , and realizing all of the better things you could be doing is just one way to begin the process of "recovery".

    SO, on that note, I hear a physics homework assignment calling my name...

    edit: I found a grammatical abomination.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    I hear this often, and it's kind of interesting, Through the internet, I am able to keep in touch with all my friends far better than in real life(especially those that live across the country) additionally, as I mentioned before, on the internet, web forums in particular, but also news articles, and any other article, I'm reading all day, which is interesting, because one of the things I'd do if I wasn't addicted to the internet is read more, book wise.

    I just find it so weird how there is that difference, and it's substantial, to reading a book, or to reading equally intellectual stimulating articles online.
  • Reply 8 of 10
    709709 Posts: 2,016member
    Yup. I'm addicted.

    What really brought this to my attention was the 'Folding@Home' thread over in GD. Well, I downloaded the damn thing and now I check on its progress every 5 friggin minutes...a lot like I do with AI.

    Like pfflam, I make my living via the computer (doing very much the same work as he does), so I'm 'here' pretty much 24/7. I've even resorted to pulling the Cat5 cable out when I really need to get work done.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    Good responses so far. I'm pretty impressed that so many of us don't feel ashamed to admit that yeah, we're probably more "addicted" than we'd like to be... but that in an of itself is a sign that perhaps we're not. Also, someone mentioned that while they're around a computer, it's just too easy not to be on, but when they leave their computer behind for a few days, it's no biggee.

    I am the same way, and that is another sign that maybe addiction is the wrong word. People who are truly addicted to anything (who get even a small dopamine rush from the activity) have a very hard time walking away. Even for a day. Makes them surly / depressed / etc.

    I wonder if we've stumbled upon some lesser habit-forming / addictive tendancy, but which except in its more extreme cases is not clinically an addiction.

    Seems we can all agree though that we should be online a bit less than we are. Someone also mentioned how easy it is to keep in contact with friends. The opposite for me: I've got friends who have email and even broadband, and yet very seldom go online. So when I send them some big email about taking a vacation or asking some advice or whatever, they don't get it till like a week later. Irks me no end because when they or someone else sends me an email, it's rare I don't respond with 24 hours (at the most).
  • Reply 10 of 10
    old joke


    Drug dealers Software developers

    Refer to their clients as "users". Refer to their clients as "users".

    "The first one's free!" "Download a free trial version..."

    Have important South-East Asian connections Have important South-East Asian connections

    (to help move the stuff). (to help debug the code).

    Strange jargon: Strange jargon:

    "Stick," "Rock,""Dime bag," "E". "SCSI," "RTFM," "Java," "ISDN".

    Realize there's tons of $ in the 14-to-25yr old market. Realize there's tons of $ in the 14-to-25yr old market.

    Job is assisted by the Job is assisted by the

    industry's producing industry's producing

    newer, more potent mixes. newer, faster machines.

    Often seen in the company Often seen in the company of

    of pimps and hustlers. marketing people and venture capitalists.

    Their product causes DOOM. Quake. SimCity, Everquest

    unhealthy addictions. Duke Nukem 3D.

    Do your job well, and you can sleep with

    sexy movie stars who depend on you. darn! darn! darn!!!

    old article

    The Psychology of Cyberspace - Computer and Cyberspace Addiction
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