Wednesday, March 26, 2008

How bad is your problem?

Last week one of the "news" stories on AOL was that internet addiction would be added to the list of mental disorders. As I was researching/desperately seeking amazing blog post content, I read that if you suffer from other obsessive behaviors, you may also be likely to have internet addictions. Luckily, I don't really consider "stash building" to be obsessive. I think of it more as a healthy exercise in making hay today. Tomorrow I may really need that fat quarter or skein. Right?

Here are the serious signs from a website:
You check your email every five minutes, and spend more time in chat rooms than chatting in your living room with friends and family.
Your relationships suffer because of your internet use. Weak relationships are a sign of internet addiction.
Your family and friends complain about your computer use (a sure sign of internet addiction is friends complaining).
You hide the amount of time you spend on the internet. This is a strong sign of internet addiction.
You hide the websites you surf. Secrecy is a sign of internet addiction.
You use your computer to escape problems or avoid reality (this could be a huge sign of an internet addiction or other psychological disorders)
You have a hard time staying off the computer for a day or two.
You feel preoccupied by the internet when you’re not online. This is a sign of internet addiction.

(And I do know of someone who suffers when away from internet connection, even while the beach is right outside the door. Actually, that might be me.)

Top 10 (Not so serious) Signs You're Addicted to the Net
10. You wake up at 3 a.m. to go to the bathroom and stop and check your e-mail on the way back to bed.
9. You get a tattoo that reads "This body best viewed with Netscape Navigator 1.1 or higher."
8. You name your children Eudora, Mozilla and Dotcom.
7. You turn off your modem and get this awful empty feeling, like you just pulled the plug on a loved one.
6. You spend half of the plane trip with your laptop on your lap...and your child in the overhead compartment.
5. You decide to stay in college for an additional year or two, just for the free Internet access.
4. You laugh at people with 2400-baud modems.
3. You start using smileys in your snail mail.
2. The last mate you picked up was a JPEG.
1. Your hard drive crashes. You haven't logged in for two hours. You start to twitch. You pick up the phone and manually dial your ISP's access number. You try to hum to communicate with the modem.
You succeed.

I have a few to add from experience:
1. Forgetting your passwords is a BIG DEAL because you can't catch up on what's happening over at Pat's blog thanks to all that safety stuff.
2. When a blogger goes on "hiatus" for 2 weeks, you feel let down even though she's in the building and would do her best to entertain you in person if you tracked her down.
3. You scan through your work e-mail looking for some coolio updates from people who are better surfers than you are. How else could you find crocheted cookies or a YouTube video for an Ireland book?
4. You really can't remember what life was like before that highspeed connection. And you really don't want to. All at your fingertips: the name of the voice-over guy from the BBC television commercials or the Sir Mixalot video that no one but you remembers, what the weather is like today a world away (good for research on Tonga), how to make...well, anything under the sun. And don't forget the cute dog pictures.

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