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Internet Addicts As Ill As Alcoholics? 260

Posted by Zonk
from the i-can-stop-whenever-i-want dept.
suntac writes to mention an article on New Scientist, reporting on a Stanford study of internet addiction. The study finds that the U.S. is 'rife' with internet addicts, who may be as addicted as alcoholics to their sweet sweet net connection. From the article: "Nearly 14% of respondents said they found it difficult to stay away from the internet for several days and 12% admitted that they often remain online longer than expected. More than 8% of those surveyed said they hid internet use from family, friends and employers, and the same percentage confessed to going online to flee from real-world problems. Approximately 6% also said their personal relationships had suffered as a result of excessive internet usage. 'Potential markers of problematic internet use are present in a sizeable portion of the population,' the researchers note." While obviously allowing relationships to suffer so you can surf eBay is a problem, where is the line between relying on the internet for news and information and addiction?
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Internet Addicts As Ill As Alcoholics?

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  • addicted? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:05PM (#16507119)
    i sure hope i'm first post!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by creimer (824291)
      First post is nothing. I rather wait a few months to get the last word in. :P
    • by bataras (169548)
      DAMMIT! I right click this topic, miss open in new tab and hit open new window and it piss off me. smash keyboard and laptop reboot. i'm SO PISSED OFF. What was this article about anway damoit??
  • by Cyclometh (629276) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:05PM (#16507127)
    Somewhere a few miles behind me, I'd wager.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Tackhead (54550)
      > Somewhere a few miles behind me, I'd wager.

      This is Slashdot. We're so far beyond the line we couldn't find the line even with very long baseline interferometry.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:19PM (#16507453)
      Would everybody quit adding new material so I can get back to work?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by dangitman (862676)
        It's those tube networks, Marge: they won't let me. One quality slashdot post after another, each one fresher and more brilliant than the last. If they only stumbled once, just gave us thirty minutes to ourselves, but they won't! They won't let me live!
  • The meta-article: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:05PM (#16507129)
    The psychiatric community could be rife with "excuse addicts" who are as clinically ill as alcoholics, according to psychiatrists involved in a nationwide study.
    The study, carried out by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine in California, US, indicates that more than one in eight US shrinks show signs of "problematic blame shifting".
    The Stanford researchers interviewed X shrinks in a nationwide survey. Because excuse addiction is not a clinically defined medical condition, the questions used were based on analysis of other blame-oriented disorders.
    Most disturbing, according to the study's lead author Elmo Thorkmorton, is the discovery that some shrinks hide their blame-gaming, or go online to cure foul moods - behaviour that mirrors the way alcoholics behave.
    "In a sense, they're using the blame to self-medicate," Thorkmorton says. "And, obviously, something is wrong when people go out of their way to hide their blamesmanship."
    • by Fred_A (10934)
      If X shrinks say their patients are III. That makes XXX patients in all. Isn't that small for a sample ?

      Shouldn't they interview out of the Latin world for a more varied view ?
  • only 6% ? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:05PM (#16507131)
    only 6% said their personal relationships had suffered as a result of excessive internet usage? I am surprised it is not much, MUCH higher. I know it certainly is in my circle of friends and people I know.
    • by User 956 (568564) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:28PM (#16507613) Homepage
      only 6% said their personal relationships had suffered as a result of excessive internet usage?

      So if internet-related tasks are part of your job, what's the difference between being an "internet addict" and a workaholic?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by thefirelane (586885)
        So if internet-related tasks are part of your job, what's the difference between being an "internet addict" and a workaholic?

        What if you work at a brewery? If you drink constantly and can't stop are you an alcoholic or a workaholic?

        I think I know the answer.
        • by antek9 (305362)
          You may know the answer, but it's the question you got all wrong. Do you know many people working at a brewery? Is drinking their product part of their work? Would any decent brewery interested in succeeding hire anyone with a habit?

          May I suggest a better example: game testers / reviewers? Addicted to gaming, or just another job?
          • by dangitman (862676)
            Well, it's pretty obvious: if they are playing the game to test or review it, and are being paid for those hours, then it's a part of the job. If they are just playing for fun, and not being paid, then they are doing personal gaming.

            It's just as easy for other internet workers. Clue: commenting on slashdot is rarely part of one's job, unless you are a paid astroturfer or viral marketer or something. Most people know when they are doing something for their job, and when they are just goofing off. It's not th

      • by nizo (81281) *
        Workaholic: You spend four hours on the computer and get four hours of work done.


        Internet addict: You spend four hours on Slashdot and then wonder how you can possibly get caught up at work. Unless of course you get paid to post on Slashdot, in which case all I have to say is, "you lucky bastard!"


        Errr, I think I better go now.

    • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @04:51PM (#16508963) Homepage Journal
      only 6% said their personal relationships had suffered as a result of excessive internet usage? I am surprised it is not much, MUCH higher. I know it certainly is in my circle of friends and people I know.

      I tried to ask all my friends, but when I emailed them and posted it on my web journal, they all said I'm not addicted to it.

      What gets me is that out of 20 friends, only one of them didn't reply within 30 seconds to my email ... he must be in the bathroom.
  • by also-rr (980579) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:06PM (#16507141) Homepage
    While obviously allowing relationships to suffer so you can surf eBay is a problem, where is the line between relying on the internet for news and information and addiction?

    My grandfather attributes his 60 year long marriage to spending all evening when he got home from work (and in his retirement, all day) hiding behind a newspaper smoking a pipe.

    At least these days your wife can IM you to grab your attention when it's time for dinner.... oh, hang on, it's time for dinner. Catch you all later!
  • You don't put an "internet addict"'s life in danger by making him quit cold turkey.
  • III? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Cheapy (809643) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:08PM (#16507195)
    Internet Addicts As 3 As Alcoholics?

    Methinks I need a new font.
  • by Aqua_boy17 (962670) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:08PM (#16507199)
    So what if you're an alcoholic and internet addicted? Does that mean you have like 12% less freinds? I'm not asking for myself personally, but I have this friend...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      So what if you're an alcoholic and internet addicted? Does that mean you have like 12% less freinds? I'm not asking for myself personally, but I have this friend...

      That's what Slashdot is for.
  • by twifosp (532320) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:09PM (#16507223)
    I'm getting pretty sick of all the "Addicted to [insert something here]" articles on Slashdot. As far as I'm concerned they are all dupes of some type or another.

    NEWSFLASH TO STORY SUBMITTERS AND EDITORS:

    There is no such thing as addicted to the internet, or a video game, or anything except for a chemically addictive substance. There are only addicts. These people have an addictive personality and will be addicted to anything to pass the time. There are no addictions, just addicts. Unless it has something to do with a chemically addictive substance, please stop posting these inane flame bait articles.

    I have an idea for a Slashdot post: Slashdot Submitters & Editors Addicted to Posting Pseudo Addiction Stories

    • If you're not willing to suck cock for money to support your addiction, you aren't addicted.

      Anything can be "found" to be "addicting" if you phrase the questions correctly. But instead of "avoiding" other situations or spending time on your "addiction", they need to focus on the actions that an addict will be willing to perform to feed their addiction.
    • by Manchot (847225)
      First off, let me just say that I agree with you about the addictive personalities. I know, because I have one. If I decide to buy a video game, I will pretty much play it straight through whenever I have free time. In general, I have trouble doing things in moderation. This is why I can never drink or play World of Warcraft. (I don't mind obsessing over the occasional finite video game, since it's usually over pretty quickly anyway.)

      Having said that, that doesn't mean that these things aren't any less chem
    • by PriceIke (751512)
      Wow. And I thought common sense had flown the coop years ago. Mod parent +1 Has A Clue.
    • by dangitman (862676)
      You are incorrect, sir:

      addiction [uh-dik-shuhn] -noun

      the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.

      There doesn't have to be a chemical or drug involved. It can be a psychological addiction or a habit. It's still an addiction. It doesn't have to be a substance, it can be an activity.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by twifosp (532320)
        Ok, you have a point. Except it's still wrong.

        In the case of this study, and in the WoW addiction story the other day, it was only a small population of the people who are addicted. If more people are not addicted than are addicted, then the activity is not addicting, the people are just addicts.

        If you take 100 people and give them herion every day for a week, 100 people will be addicted. If you take 100 people and make them smoke a pack a day for a week, they will be addicted. Chemically addicted.

        This

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dangitman (862676)
          In the case of this study, and in the WoW addiction story the other day, it was only a small population of the people who are addicted. If more people are not addicted than are addicted, then the activity is not addicting, the people are just addicts.

          That doesn't make any sense. Not all people get addicted to alcohol, but it is entirely possible to become an alcoholic. And that doesn't mean the person was an addict before they started consuming alcohol.

          If you take 100 people and give them herion every day

  • Criteria? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Ashyukun (551101)
    and 12% admitted that they often remain online longer than expected

    That would mean that I might be addicted to showers, sleep, and my morning commute (when I have to drive). Not to mention that finding it difficult to avoid the internet for more than a few days is kind of silly when so many of us have to use it at work. Not that I don't think it's possible to be addicted to the internet- but some of what they're apparently basing it on seems kind of silly.

    • by Darthmalt (775250)
      I'm 22 and I pretty much live on the internet. When I'm at work I have a lot of free time on my hands so thats what I do. When I'm at home even if i'm doing something else I still have aim up and log onto facebook periodically throughout the day. During my normal day to day life I rarely go more than a few hours without logging on much less days. That said If I'm doing something like my summer job were it could be weeks between chances to get online, it's not like I get depressed or go through withdrawal sy
  • by aron1231 (895831)
    This concept was brought up in the WoW addiction discussion, but my belief is that anyone can be addicted to anything they find enjoyable. Same holds true for the internet. Addiction is marked by it's damage-causing nature. Sure, if your girlfriend breaks up with you because of your internet use, you could be considered an adict. If you control your usage of the internet and it does't interfere with the rest of your life then it isn't an issue. Addiction isn't an object, it's a state of being.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by danpsmith (922127)
      Sure, if your girlfriend breaks up with you because of your internet use, you could be considered an adict.

      Or maybe she's just a beotch who doesn't understand being l33t, hax0ring and quality pr0n.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Perhaps she is one of those "people" who gets confused trying to send email and you are a professional nerd who can run Unix System V blindfolded with no beeps? Perhaps your relationship flags because she can't grasp technology and technology is your primary interest? The trouble with this whole discussion is that there is no "one" answer that works for everyone. For anything. People may need a different OS, some want a sports car others want a truck, perhaps one want to play tennis and the other wants to
  • Food Addiction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by paladinwannabe2 (889776) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:10PM (#16507251)
    Nearly 14% of respondents said they found it difficult to stay away from food for several days and 12% admitted that they often eat more than expected. More than 8% of those surveyed said they hid snacks from family, friends and employers, and the same percentage confessed to eating to forget real-world problems. Approximately 6% also said their personal relationships had suffered as a result of excessive weight gain. 'Potential markers of problematic eating are present in a sizeable portion of the population,' the researchers note.
    • by Quadraginta (902985) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:34PM (#16507767)
      In a recent survey 100% of respondents said they felt they couldn't enjoy life without breathing at least some oxygen every day. Cheap and widely available, but dangerously chemically reactive, oxygen is a substance known to produce a pleasant feeling of euphoria in the brain and a sense of 'energy' in the body when inhaled. However, users experience severely unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when use is terminated.

      Over 80% of survey respondents also reported a psychological and almost physical need to 'do' more of the substance when under stress. Nearly all respondents expressed great anger at and rejected any suggestion that they consider quitting or cutting back on their use, and some threatened to become physically violent if any attempt was made to reduce their access.
    • by pilgrim23 (716938)
      In the 1930s, kids who read lurid Science Fiction magazines. In the 1960s kids who joined the rocket/chess/science/math/(and, late 60s, computer club. In the 1970s kids who played D&D Kingmaker and other Avalon Hill offerings, in the 1980s Atari. in the 1990s...you get the picture. If you don't live and breath football scores, know who is going with whom, and the only thing you notice about Homecomming parade is the traffic hold up it presented getting to the computer store that night, you are "weir
  • Television Addicts (Score:5, Interesting)

    by decipher_saint (72686) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:12PM (#16507303) Homepage
    So where are the reports for people who can't do without the Tee Vee?

    Oh wait, right here [sciam.com].

    Could it be that people are addicted to inactivity itself? I dunno, just a thought. Are there book addicts? If so, is it regarded as a problem?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Dun Malg (230075)
      Could it be that people are addicted to inactivity itself?
      All my attempt to declare myself a "leisure addict" have so far failed. The best diagnosis I've been able to get so far is "lazy".
    • by radtea (464814) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @09:48PM (#16512015)
      Could it be that people are addicted to inactivity itself? I dunno, just a thought. Are there book addicts? If so, is it regarded as a problem?

      Addiction has two aspects. One is biochemical changes in the brain which make certain types of choice difficult or impossible for the affected person to make. The other is the social or personal consequences of the person's choice being physiologically limited in that way. Generally, if someone has their choice limited in a way that is not personally or socially relevant (coffee, anyone?) it isn't treated as an addiction, even though the biochemical changes associated with addiction may be present [Note to pendants: yeah, coffee is probably not addictive in the biochemical sense. But I'm sure if you're smart enough to know that you're smart enough to get my point.]

      It's best to think of addiction as a perfectly ordinary physiological limitation, just like being crippled. A person may have a crippled finger (minor and not significantly affecting most day-to-day tasks, like a book addiction) but it is so mild that we would be unlikely to think of them as "crippled". Whereas if they had crippled legs we probably would. Of course, like any other physiological limitation addiction may be overcome by clever work-arounds, excercises of one kind or another, and various therapies. Some people may be able to do all of this recovery work on their own, just like any other physiological limitation.

      People who believe that "choice" is some magical power unrelated to the physiology of the brain may want to claim that addiction is a causeless moral failing rather than a disease, and is best dealt with by punishing addicts until they impose their mystical "will-power" on the chemisty of their brain. I bet beating cripples would get some of them to walk, too (see the details of "treatment" of the shell-shocked in WWI for particularly horrific examples of this kind of thinking.)
  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:15PM (#16507371) Homepage Journal
    Since this information could lead to slashdotters realising they have a problem, getting help, and not patronising this site as much, he's decrasing shareholder value through loss of pageviews with this article!

    Zonk, we care, you can get better!
  • I would argue that Internet abuse will happen, as much as it happens to alcohol/gambling/name-your-addiction.

    I wonder why the same behaviors are rarely, if ever, studied for television viewing?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by skelly33 (891182)
      This sounds exactly like that you used to hear "them" saying about T.V. to me. My guess is that anyone who has the perpensity for escapism is going to find themselves a solution no matter what the activity...
  • I'm sure a large number of people use the internet primarly as a tool to generate income and wealth... If the length of time one spends on the internet is equal to the amount of money that one makes, it makes sense for these money-oriented people to spend as much time as they can on the internet, working. I wouldn't call that an addiction to the internet, I would call it an addiction to money. Is being addicted to making money a psychological disorder? Maybe to the "money isnt everything" crowd, but not m
    • by EggyToast (858951)
      The big thing, to me, is that an internet "addiction" isn't passive. You have to interact with stuff on the internet to get what you want. You have to choose which sites to read, which videos to watch, which stuff to respond to or supply with your own thoughts.

      None of that exists with television, where you simply sit down and turn it on. Heck, even watching a TV show on DVD is better than watching broadcast TV, as you choose to put it in and how long you wish you watch. Similarly, many other addiction

  • by rickkas7 (983760) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:21PM (#16507491)
    The article seems to say that non-essential Internet use is bad.

    My goal is to spend as much time as possible doing non-essential things. It's called relaxing, and is a fine alternative to working.

  • Moo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chacham (981) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:22PM (#16507509) Homepage Journal
    Is it an addiction, or is it where people want to be?

    Alcohol has a similar case. Some people are addicted, in that a lack of alcohol, and the body wants more and more of it. Other people simple enjoy the stupor and dullness to the pains of life. While both cases may have a physical addiction, addressing these cases are different. The first is more physical, the second psycological.

    Internet addiction can also be broken up similarly. Some addiction are activities that the Internet allow for. Buying things, purient interests, gambling, or rather, actions that can be done in the real world--and indeed are--but the Internet makes it easier. These people are not addicted to the Internet. They are addicted to activities, and the Internet just made it easier, convenient, or maybe just plain possible.

    However, there is a second form of Internet addiction. That is gaming (as in WoW), socializing, garnering information, blogging, etc.. The main point here is not always the activities, rather it is created a second world, perhaps even a form of Avoidance Behavior. (This can be broken down further as to whether Internet usage is the cause or the affect.)

    Even then, Extraverts who spend their time on the Internet probably have a problem. Introvets, not as much. They like being alone, and grow by being alone. Excessive Internet usage may be one-sidedness, not an addiction.

    Overall, usage of the Internet is not an indicator of addiction. Personality and intent are. And even then, i would wonder what the real dangers were.
    • Great post, but there's a slight point that you left out... in physical addiction, the body suffers when it lacks the substance it is addicted to. Anyone that knows true alkies sees how they can get "the shakes" or similar symptoms when denied alcohol. In other cases, withdrawl can be quite a bit more severe.

      To compare so-called "internet addicts" to this is quite a disgrace to those suffering from real problems. I'm sure next they're going to start calling internet addiction a disease.
    • by Darthmalt (775250)
      I would argue that there is also a third type that appears as addiction but isn't. Boredom. If I have nothing else to do but sit at home I'm either going to watch tv or get online or both. If I'm at work with nothing to do which is often (student job) I'm going to get online. The net result is that I spend many hours a day online. But if I had something else to do or if somebody called in the middle of this post I wouldn't hesitate to head out the door without even finishing the post. /obviously no one call
    • It's just how you like to spend your free time? Some people have a lot of free time (particularly single people without children). There's probably very few who spend it staring at a wall, so you find some way to fill it. Maybe you watch TVs or movies, maybe you quilt, maybe you play games, maybe you surf the net. Whatever. I think you'd find a large number of cases where it's simply something people like to do with time they have to themselves. Are the people who watch around 4 hours of TV per night (which
  • by Anon-Admin (443764) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:22PM (#16507511) Homepage Journal
    The real question is simple and not answered. Is the addiction detrimental to ones life, health, etc.

    You can easily get addicted to anything that you enjoy, from Pot to Sex it is all addicting. There is no real story here.

    Just don't let your addictions rule your life and you will be fine :)
  • by tringstad (168599)
    Why must an addiction to content be seen as an addiction to the medium by which that content is conveyed?

    In the 80s, when 900 numbers were at their peak, and you regulary heard and saw reports of people being addicted to paying for phone sex, they never called it "telephone addiction".

    I find it really hard to believe that "More than 8% of those surveyed said they hid internet use from family, friends and employers" actually applies to using the internet, but is much more likely that they are hiding what

  • While obviously allowing relationships to suffer so you can surf eBay is a problem, where is the line between relying on the internet for news and information and addiction?

    There isn't a fine line - there's a 10 foot high wall, clearly marked with Day-Glo orange stripes and strobe lights.
  • The Line (Score:5, Insightful)

    by umbrellasd (876984) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:26PM (#16507567)
    Where your bank account goes from black to red.

    Here's a different scenario. Over 90% of the adult population is addicted to work. Why? They do it every day. They have to do it every day. If they don't do it every day, it becomes a problem. Questions are asked, finances are in jeopardy, relationships are endangered.

    Kinda fucked up, isn't it? Why isn't work an "addiction"? It keeps the bank account in the black and the population as a whole in a constrained environment with significantly limited freedoms (by narrowly defining what you can do and requiring you to invest most of your time and energy in it). But you just watch people come unglued if they unplug from work. Yep.

    There's your line.

    • if you stop doing something compulsively, do you cease to live?

      before there was money, there was hunting and gathering. people did that for 16 hours a day. was it an addiction? well yeah: it was food. but if you stop eating food, you die

      so is food an addiction?

      well you can stop playing WOW and live. even if you stop with heroin your life will become a living hell of withdrawl, but you'll still be alive

      but if you stop acquireing food, you die

      likewise in a capitalist society, if you stop working you cease to
  • At least the Internet doesn't give you cirrhosis.
  • Vice != Addiction (Score:5, Informative)

    by faqmaster (172770) <jones.tm@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:28PM (#16507623) Homepage Journal
    I get tired of every bad habit or vice being called an addiction. If you've ever experienced a true addiction involving a chemical with a biological component you understand the difference between an addiction and a bad habit.

    You might feel uncomfortable when you try to change a bad habit. You might even fail to change it, deciding instead it's easier to indulge your vice than to change.

    An addiction is a totally different animal. When you kick heroin or cocaine or alcohol you become physically sick. Not just emotionally uncomfortable, but physically ill: sweats, vomiting, dizziness, blood pressure fluctuations, etc, etc. When you are addicted you are physically compelled to seek out your chemical. Every waking moment is dedicated to procuring your next fix. You look for it like you look for your next breath. It's hard to convey, but try to imagine giving up breathing.

    All your willpower to quit and all your effort to clean up can be at your disposal, you tell yourself, "No, not ever again," even as you reach for the needle. You weep as you consciously choose a chemical over family, job, home, self-respect, everything.

    Yeah, if I try to give up coffee I might be uncomfortable for a few days. If I stop playing video games I might miss it for a while. But I won't throw up and have cold sweats for three days. Video games and internet and such can't be addictions, not without some serious pre-existing personality disorder.
  • by Salvance (1014001) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:30PM (#16507663) Homepage Journal
    "Nearly 14% of respondents said they found it difficult to stay away from the internet for several days"

    Based on this same logic, we'd almost all be addicted to: driving, eating, refrigerators, using the toilet, showering, sleeping, and drinking. Sounds like we have a national epidemic brewing. If we can't figure out a way to get the 95% of the people who can't use the toilet for more than a few days outside doing something more productive, we may fall behind the rest of the industrialized world in technological and sociological accomplishments.

    OK, on a more serious note, I think the article fails to drill down to the heart of the addiction - porn and games. The 6% of respondants who said the internet ruins their relationships are likely staring at photoshop enhanced boobies or playing WOW for 16 hours a day ... not clicking refresh every 5 minutes on the CNN homepage (although I'm sure those people exist too). I don't feel like the internet itself is an addiction, but rather a easy medium for addicts to gain access to their vice.
    • by PsychicX (866028)
      The 6% of respondants who said the internet ruins their relationships are likely staring at photoshop enhanced boobies
      Damnit, where did you get Photoshop CSI edition? I can't find it anywhere, and it's just not worth living without an Enhance button...
  • by COMON$ (806135)
    What a blatant misuse of statistics. I swear stat abuse is the lifeblood of media now adays.

    That internet is an evil place!

    Ten bucks says these people that are hiding the internet use from friends, family, and co-workers are also porn addicts. It isnt the internet it is the person feeding an addiction aside from the internet, if the net wasnt there they would just find different avenues.

    The people who have a hard time being away from the internet for more than a few days arent surfing, they are proba

  • the existence of Nerds, Geeks, and Dorks was confirmed by a new study on internet addiction.

    Seriously though, the internet is something it is mostly self destructive, not like alcoholism, and once you are able to step away, you are fine. I have had my periods of time where I spent 16 hours a day on the computer, but then I went outside and all was well. Many of these people are socially inept people who have a social life online - so what, better than the alternative of TV or becoming some weird freak who

  • Those statistics are incredible low. I was thinking that perhaps, there might be a problem. Then I read through their stats and have to think - "Wow! Guess it's just not anything close to a big deal. Good!" Yay! Good news for once.
  • Some people's famlies depend on them to make damn sure the internet is working day in and day out and they get in deep shit whenever something goes wrong with it. Indeed, I met my wife by helping her connect her modem to the internet years ago and to this day one of the only thing that drags my out of bed early is when the freakin' connection goes down.
            This real world situation hardly fits into the scenario they were trying to paint with this "study".
  • I'm not addicted. I can quit at any time!
  • "Do not use intoxicants. Even beware of coffee. [google.com] It is one of the most powerful nerve and brain stimulants. The coffee habit is as easily formed, and as remorseless, as the alcohol habit. After a while, if excessively used, it produces its sure result; your faculties have been sharpened by this intellectual emery-wheel until the edges begin to crumble. Your mind becomes dull..."

    --Albert Jeremiah Beveridge, 1905, "The Young Man and the World"

    The rule is very simple. Any pleasurable things I don't do are dange
  • I can't say I have an addiction to the 'Net, but I'll admit a kind of strange addiction to Lumines(PSP). Once I get a game going, if you don't have anything to do with colored blocks falling to a musical rhythm, then I won't pay attention to you. My wife claims to have flashed her boobs at me while I was playing, and I didn't notice. :-)

  • Lets see other things most people find it hard to avoid for days.

    Checking Mail

    Paying Bills

    Doing their jobs

    Keeping up with their Childrens school work

    Watching the News and/or Weather reports

    Shopping

    Just add the word online to the above and suddeny they become an addication.
  • The problem here is the fact that the internet is used for a multitude of things. One can say people are using the internet too much, but for a lot of people it's taken the place of reading books/reading the news/watching tv/talking on the phone/playing video games/listening to music/etc. That doesn't mean it's healthy to be sitting in front of a computer for X hours at a time, but no less healthy than sitting at home for those same X hours reading a book/watching tv/...you get the idea.
  • Great, so now I'm addicted to the internet??? Christ, I need some gin....
  • According to Slashdot, the US is a internet backwater where hardly anyone has an internet connection...at the same time we are "rife" with internet addicts.
  • But I can't wait to play Internet Addicts III.

    Where can I find copies of the first two games?
  • by fwr (69372) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:55PM (#16508137)
    What if you're an Internet addicted alcoholic?
  • I'd comment, but I'm kind of blurry eyed from 12 hours of straight non-stop news feeds and blog reading.
  • 12% admitted that they often remain online longer than expected.

    When you consider the effect of buggy browsers, combined with confusing, poorly-designed web sites, this is just the normal situation for all of us. It's not a symptom of any problem in the user at all.

  • This just in: Over 90% of Americans are suffering an addiction to electricity!

    Nearly 89% of respondents said they found it difficult to stay away from electricity for several days and 75% admitted that they often use more electricity than expected. More than 98% of those surveyed said they hid electricity use from family, friends and employers, and the same percentage confessed to using electricity to flee from real-world problems. Approximately 86% also said their personal relationships had suffered as a
  • Nearly 86% of respondents said they were able to stay away from the internet for several days and 88% admitted that they rarely stay online longer than expected. More than 92% of those surveyed said they do not hide internet use from family, friends and employers, and the same percentage said they do not go online to flee from real-world problems. Approximately 94% also said their personal relationships do not suffer as a result of excessive internet usage. 'Potential markers of beneficial internet use are
  • Time to start IA meetings.

    I mean - internet addiction can have pretty bad consequences.

    I'm sure I heard last night on the news about how a internetting driver killed a pedestrian. And the one who beat his wife whilst internetting. And the women who slept with an fat ugly pig of a man because she was internetting.

    Actually - the last one may be true.
  • by petrus4 (213815) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @04:48PM (#16508907) Homepage Journal
    If my net connection goes for more than probably four hours, I psychologically cease to function more or less entirely. Although that said, it still didn't stop me getting into a long term relationship, and although my girlfriend is a heavy net user herself, we still eat and do various other things together.

    There are reasons why my life is so net-centric, though:-
    • Before I first started using the net in around 1994, my life was pretty much completely devoid of purpose. I'd dropped out of school a year earlier with a ninth grade education, and at the time felt like a social outcast, though later realised that I hadn't been anywhere near as much as I'd thought. Once I got online, I started learning about Web development, Linux, and IRC scripting...Unlike at school, where I'd felt like a constant failure, (my marks were consistently terrible) I was finding things that I could actually feel that I was good at. The education system isn't designed to actually benefit people...it's primarily designed to psychospiritually break children so that as adults they become subservient to the society that exists at the time. Any genuine education that you might happen to get during that process is entirely incidental.

    • For reasons I don't understand, with the sole exception of my girlfriend, pretty much every offline friend I've had has at one point or another stabbed me in the back, and that's included genetic family members. My father booted me out of home completely without warning, and one of my cousins stole from me incessantly. Communicating with people online means that while I get some form of socialisation, people aren't able to get close enough to me to be able to harm me...which I've found that tragically, they inevitably do if they are allowed to get close enough.

    • Offline contemporary reality, to put it simply, just isn't very nice. Australia, England, and America currently all have fascist governments to varying degrees...liberalism and the health of democracy in these countries is at an all time low. Our leaders are absolute monsters, and it doesn't matter how much we complain or protest about the way they are treating us and other people...they don't care. The environment is in the toilet...A cousin of mine got back from visiting China not long ago and said she'd found out that there are no birds in Beijing because the air pollution is so bad...Makes me wonder what that's doing to the humans that are living there. We also can't travel anywhere unless we find the idea of being killed by some nutcase vainly trying to protest our governments appealing, who probably actually feels fairly similarly towards our governments to the way we ourselves do, truth be told.

      I realise that in light of that, simply advocating moving online in a wholesale sense might sound like the proverbial ostrich maneuvre...but if I knew of something I actually *could* do to change the political situation, I'd possibly do it...there just doesn't seem to be anything that can be done. I actually feel as though the only thing I really can do about the offline situation is to keep my head down as much as possible...and the net means I can at least construct some semblance of a life for myself while I'm doing that.
  • Ok, what if I want to avoid contact with my peers, and do something that I'll end up spending more time on than I planned? Is there something I can do which they won't call me "ill" for doing, or am I just already ill, and I should just pick an addiction and run with it? ;-)

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming

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