Step Away from that Computer if You Exhibit these Symptoms


Do you suffer from these five symptoms?

(1) Panic when you can't get online.

(2) Get lost on the internet for hours.

(3) Find friends and family less involving than your online life.

(4) Check email first and last thing, i.e., incessantly.

(5) When snorkeling wonder how to access your Blackberry underwater.

If so, social worker John O'Neill at the Menninger Clinic in Houston, working with its Professionals in Crisis Program, says it's time for you to pull the plug.

Whatever success the Menninger clinic may claim to have in breaking American professionals of their crackBerry habit, China is pursuing more, how shall one say, forceful treatments to cure people of internet addiction.

NEXT: Urgh! A YouTube War

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  1. 50,000 snorkelers die each year from Blackberry related accidents.

  2. crikey! A sting blackberry!

  3. You call it “internet addiction” I call it “evolution”

  4. Other than 2), that sounds like my job description.

  5. 10 points to VM for a funny post.

    15 points from VM for needing to identify himself as the true author.

  6. 1) No, not unless I need to pay bills.
    2) Yes, sometimes. Especially when I should be working.
    3) Not usually. I do sometimes discuss things that online friends have said as if I knew them in meatspace. I.E.-“You should have heard Jennifer and Grotius going at it today.” At which point I have to explain who those people are.
    4) Yes.
    5) No.

  7. This works out well since 20 March 2007 is interweb cleaning day. Everybody should do a full shutdown on their computers until they receive the e-mail that the interwebs are clean.

    After turning the computer back on, make sure you do a full defrag and reformat.

  8. I’ve found I can reduce my internet surfing dramatically if I only check out pr0n sites. 8 comments in and nobody’s made a porn joke. Ya’ll must be way more mature than I am.

  9. “Check” my email? How quaint.

    I haven’t “checked” my email in over 10 years. I have programs to do that for me, that’s why God invented POP3 and IMAP — to release us from the drudgery of having to check email.

  10. Ron, where is your disclosure? I do not for one second believe that this post isn’t motivated by some peripheral material gain.

  11. Guilty as charged for offenses 1, 2, & 3. But not for 4, checking email. Receiving email gives me work to do and messes up 5 or whatever other other recreational activity I might choose to be doing. It’s the cellular telephone, more than the Internet, that dings my peace of mind.

    My 80yo mother is the only one who restricts her calls to Sundays at 10:00AM, after church, with the expectation that this is the time I might be ‘home’.

  12. As with all these “signs of addiction” lists, it seems that the author is either (a) trying to drum up business for his/her counseling service, or (b) woefully unfamiliar with the activity at hand.

    Take 1. for instance. If you have to use the Internet to get your work done, it’s understandable that you get upset when it goes down. Even if you use the Internet only for pleasure, you will begin to look forward to using it, which would explain getting irritable. This is no more a sign of addiction than getting pissed that your car won’t start when you want to go to the movies or something. Unless you’re getting sick, or experiencing pain from withdrawal, it’s not an addiction.

  13. it’s not an addiction

    If you access the internet more than three times a day or ten times in a month, you may be addicted. (Amounts may vary by body weight.)

  14. I think you could probably snorkel and text–you just need a heavy duty ziploc bag……

  15. It’s kinda funny the way the Internet usage is measured. I’ve had the ‘pleasure’ of being in large-organization meetings where IT people, who ought to know better, measure Internet usage by how long a user dwells on a web page. Browser tabs, multiple instances of a browser, or minimized browsers are not considered in their calculations of improper Internet access.

    “Susan, in purchasing, was looking at for a whole week!”

  16. (6) Spend anything more than a few minutes on the internet trying to justify how much time you spend on the internet.

  17. I just realized I have an addiction to my wife:

    (1) I panic when I can’t see her.

    (2) I get lost with her for hours. (In the lose track of time sense; I’m an excellent navigator.)

    (3) I find friends and (the rest of the) family less involving than my married life.

    (4) I see her first and last thing, i.e., incessantly.

    (5) When snorkeling I wonder how to…. Now that’s getting a little personal. But yes.

    Do I need to break it off??!?

    It appears John O’Neill wants to redefine addiction to mean anything one really enjoys. The concept of process addiction enables this semantic drift, but I don’t think that it is a useful linguistic adaptation except to alarmists and scolds. Sort of like “sex offender,” the literal definition can be far, far tamer than the connotation implies. People who abuse this gap are prevaricating. They say X which is literally true, but which leads people to believe Y, which is false, the jerk.

  18. Great post, Maurkov.

    I spend a lot of time on the internet, but that’s because I’m addicted to reading. ; >

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