Yes. Any activity performed in such a way that it inhibits a person or makes them unhappy can become a disorder, a very real disorder. The exact behaviour is not relevant. It could be counting your steps - people do it obssessively and it gets in the way of their lives and makes their lives difficult - then its a disorder.
2. Or is it a red herring masking depression and escapism?
It can be. It can also be an OCD of its own.
3. And to make things more indeterminate, Isn't more and more time online the inevitable future?
Depends on how you determine "the online". If your fridge is phoning home every time you open the freezer, then you are online, but you don't notice. You drive down the street and your cellphone is tracking your moves and phoning home. You are online. Gluing yourself to a chair to spend all day on Facebook is not the only way to be online, so while "more online time" may seem inevitable, how it is expressed in social practice is something else altogether.
Yes, the odds of winning are 1/175M. But the odds of winning without a ticket are exactly zero, which is inifnitely smaller than 1/175M. Also, they run these lotteries until someone wins, which means SOMEONE has to win. That someone could be you if you buy a ticket. It CAN'T be you if you don't.
Me? I never buy lottery tickets. My life is pretty good. Not wealthy, but rich.
Clearly, that's a stupid idea. So, the notion of eternity is not a good one, as it leads to fucked up contradictions and bizarrities. For example, if the universe is infinite, and it does repeat periodically, then the repetition itself is periodic and is itself a repetition. So, if we have infinite time, time ceases to exist.
So when my laptop fries up I can't repair it with my Snap-On collection of wrenches. So, when something like a laptop fries, I go buy another one. I never buy new - I buy used ones for cheap. I'm not going to fix my laptop or microwave oven or telephone. To imply that I should is stupid.
If that kind of throw-away society is suboptimal for the professor, then the problem is the *throw-away society*, not some deskilling operation.