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The Internet

Net Addiction 33

Kelly McNeill writes "Here's an interesting column which deals with the topic of net addiction. Should it be taken more seriously? I thought slashdot readers might want to check it out..." This is a cheesy article, it basically amounts to realizing you're a geek (or at least a net.geek) Most of us realized that long ago.
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Net Addiction

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  • Posted by jonrx:

    This column is about a subject that I'm sure many of us are all too familiar with. Some of us take the subject rather lightheartedly, and some of us would rather ignore its very existence. Apparently it's a real problem for millions of Newspaper readers out there.
    If you don't know what I'm talking about, or it never dawned on you to make an association between the title of this column and its content, the topic at hand is "news addiction".
    I'm concerned that I fit the stereotypical mold of an Newspaper addict.
    I wake everyday (about and hour or two earlier than necessary before its time to go to work), and fetch my newspaper so that I can check out my daily dose of news and opinion sites. I do my best to squeeze in as many as humanly possible before it's absolutely necessary to stop before going to work.
    Someone once asked me why I do this. At the time I didn't have a legitimate answer to give them, but have learned, after speaking with several others with reader habits such as mine, that many gave like responses, which I have since realized is my main reason for continued reading activity. The common response of those that I questioned was that they were afraid of "missing

  • Internet addiction is actually a serious problem
    No, it's not. Some people have addictive personalities. They can get addicted to all sorts of things - including food, hobbies, sex, TV, and web surfing. The term "Internet addiction" refers to nothing new or interesting. It's just much harder for individuals who would otherwise be stuck doing useful work to get money hyping an article about, say, the scourge of turnip addiction.

    Marketing types still don't understand the Internet but think it's very cool and sexy, which is why semiliterate babbling can get published if you remember to include "Internet" or "web" at regular intervals.

  • I live in Cincinnati OH. and about 1 1/2 years ago a woman named Sandra Hacker (her real name) had her kids taken away from her. The reason? She spent so much time online that she neglected the kids and apartment she lived in. Her kids were living in their own garbage and feces. I don't know if the story went national or anything but someone with access to a newspaper archive could verify the story. It was printed in the Cincinnati Post and Cincinnati Enquirer.
    I find myself more addicted to messing around with the PC than surfing. Its one reason I love Linux so much. Its a whole new world to explore.
  • Addiction, even in "pop psychology", is defined as anything which is used in a HARMFUL WAY!

    Using the net to obtain information, to play games, relax, kick back, make friends, start flame-wars, read the news, etc. is NOT, in and of itself, an addiction.

    I am online, I'd say about 40-45 hours a week. Is that an addiction? No. Why? Because it's not done compulsively; because I derive no self-worth from being on-line; because it is not being used as a way of distorting my reality.

    The same is probably true of 99.9999% of all "alleged" net addicts. Psychology has a very bad reputation, precicely because psychologists are quick to ABUSE their own terms and phrases, in a compulsive manner. As such, PSYCHOLOGY is the addiction, NOT the net.


    Now back to your regularly scheduled program...

  • When you put it that way, I guess you could call food an addiction. I know I go through withdrawl symptoms when I try to go with out for a couple of days. I get light headed, tired, irritable. Yup classic withdrawl symptoms. Of course anyone with the slightest medical knowledge knows that's just low blood sugar due to starvation.

    Gasp! Blood sugar addiction! Oh-No...not another addiction
  • I remember being somewhat addicted back in the time where my primary use of the net wasnt for work.

    The one thing that is addicting is the fact that in this oh-so-cold world its far easier to have virtual relationships then real ones. As soon as you realise that you'd prefer some real affection instead of a smiley (or emoticons if you prefer that stupid term) the whole addiction thing will become unimportant anyway.

    The other interesting thing about the column was that it seemed to me he just wanted to tell everyone how cool he is in setting up his e-mail client. :)
  • What about those of us who do Web development for a living? If I have an addiction to the Net, am I beyond hope?

    Ah, who cares - every new technology seems to bring 'addictions'. Before the Internet, there was actually such thing as TV addiction. Now, it's like they all WANT us to spend six hours a day in front of 15KHz flicker rather than polluting our minds with that danged ol' Internet crap.

    Besides, one is not addicted to a technology, one is addicted to what one can DO with the technology. Aside from shade tree mechanics, people aren't 'addicted to cars' no matter how far they drive to get whatever other fixes they need - so why, when someone is addicted to USENET or porn or whatever specific Net-enabled technology, do we say they're addicted to the Net? (The obvious answer is that the people doing the writing on the subject ain't real clear on the technology - it comes from a phone line and appears on a monitor, therefore it must be that Information Superhighway everybody keeps talking about.)

    Now, while we're on the subject of addictions, I'm back down to only two 2-liters of Diet Whatever a day ('whatever' meaning whichever dark cola is cheaper or more appealing on a given day - be it Pepsi, Coke, or even Kroger's generic stuff in the 99-cent three-liter bottles), down from 3 or 4 last month (it fluctuates depending on mood and weather). Now that my nervous system is in a glass case at the Smithsonian, I wonder why caffeine - a substance more addictive than heroin - isn't the real focus when all these journalists want to talk about addictions. I guess certain drugs and addictions are just 'acceptable' so long as there is something more heinous one can point at and say 'yeah but at least I don't do that'.
  • man i thought i was a dork, but this guy takes the cake...
    i can only absorb so much from the 'net before i'm itching to apply that info in some fashion. most ventures on the net are specifically to research solutions to problems, not become a problem in serch of a solution.
  • You know, I thought after going to college I'd seen the worst writing of my life - but no, in the "published" world there's still worse. What the hell does this shit mean? "I log on to the web," yeah, sure you do buddy. Is this translated from another language or something? Other favorites of mine include "my e-mail is a piece of art," "my realization came to me," and my personal favorite "realizing that as I continue, I'm realizing..." I don't think this guy knows much english, let alone what in the hell he's talking about. Let's face it, this guy is so lame he can't even communicate well enough to tell us about his lame life.



  • 18-35 year old men love pornography.
  • On the other hand, I almost never watch television.
    Television? What's that? Is it like that big thing shaped like a monitor in my living room that I put stuff on top of?
  • I can lose myself for hours on the internet. Does that mean I'm addicted to it? Well, I can also lose myself for hours reading newspapers or magazines. All I want is news, opinions, analysis, and more news, and the internet is just one more way of getting it.
  • Every few months someone comes out with this computer/net addiction stuff. It probably sells a few magazines but really stopped being interesting years ago.

    Sure, I'm a geek. At work I'm permanently on the net and have a network in my flat. I also have lots of non-geek friends and a life. The two are not mutually incompatible at all.
  • I'd rather sit on the Net and fill my head with knowledge than veg in front of a TV and watch stupid sitcoms. If I watch TV it's usually for Hockey or Discovery Channel.

    And believe it or not, tons of so called "geeks" have fruitful lives outside of the Net world. It's just on the weekdays instead of watching TV they surf the net, play games or chat. I don't see a problem with this.

    I go out on the weekends like everyone else...drink some beers, see a movie and what not.
    No biggie. People stil lhave this stereotype that computer users sit in a dark room all the time hunched over a keyboard with empty Coke cans and half eaten pizza everywhere...yea some still do but it's not as common as people think.

    But it's still a hoot to drink some beers, and frag at Quake on a Friday night sometimes. ;)
  • Freinds don't let freinds surf the net.

    Get away from the computer son.

    Is there a 12-step program for Net addicts?

    I see the same thing here that happened with the introduction of Atari and Nintendo. Nothing really has changed, just more stuff to do.
  • Get over it, the Net is nothing new. It's been around since people learned to communicate. All the computers did was make it more powerful. I fully expect to eventually see most people wired to the Net w/ some sort of wireless technology inside their head. People are creatures of information and communication, when we communicate information we are using the Net. All the so called Internet Addiction is in realistic terms is when people adapt to the Net faster than the Net can adapt to them. I used to be a serious addict, online about 22 hours a day but I grew out of that need. Now I'm almost always online but I don't start to panic when offline any more because it's always there. At home I have it, at work I have it, when I go to the store I find it there. My Net friends have became my real life friends and I travel a lot and see people. It's totally healthy. The unhealthy thing is making people feel they are doing something wrong. Myself I can't wait to get a copy of ICQ on my PDA so I can converse whenever needed. It's just extremely handy! No longer do I have to not know things, anytime I have a question I can find the answer either from the static web or live from the source via ICQ/E-mail. Half my thinking process is Net-oriented. I don't remember things in detail anymore, I remember overviews and where to find the details. It is like having a HUGE brain. :) On the other hand people that sit online all day looking at porn and stuff are just lame (why? get on there and find a rl date!) but as someone said, that's porn addiction not IA.
  • I've been there. I was a 'net addict when many of you were in elementary school. And high school... I know what it's like to blow an entire week (or month) and get absolutely nothing done except participate in 'net "discussions" (let's not say flame wars, shall we?). Net addiction is very real, and it has real consequences on peoples' productivity. Just like /. is doing to me now... Hmm, perhaps I go get some work done. Discuss amongst yourselves, kids.

  • What isn't an 'Addiction' today, are people who spend 10+ hours a day watching TV addicted?? Of course not, they're just relaxing. The 'Net can be a really engrossing place, and I think this net addiction thing is stupid, people who feel the need to escape will find a way to do so, consciously or not. That article was a piece of crap. It seems to me that people use the word addiction to escape blame for their problems. Instead of saying, 'I need help', it's 'Oh, I'm addicted to ', like it's 'the things fault'. Anyone else agree?? When are people going to stop talking about "I'm addicted to "?? Unfortunately, it's probably never.

    Oh no, I'm on the web for 10 hrs a day, I must be addicted (oh, that's right, it's my job.....)

"For a male and female to live continuously together is... biologically speaking, an extremely unnatural condition." -- Robert Briffault