Sunday, April 5, 2009

Do You Suffer From Internet Addiction Disorder?

I decided to take an online test developed by Dr. Kimberley Young to see where I stood. According to the results my score was 46, with this comment:

You are an average on-line user. You may surf the Web a bit too long at times, but you have control over your usage.

I do find that a bit difficult to believe, so maybe I didn't answer some of the questions honestly or correctly. One plus for me, I suppose, is that I'm a single man and therefore I don't disrupt anyone's life, get angry with others who interrupt (since there's no one to get angry with), and I can spend all the time online I want without anyone to complain. I do notice that often I'll defer going out and engaging in real life social activity just to be on the Net, as it's much less complicated than having to deal with people, and I can be a real cyber-hermit. I'm certainly not anti-social, and I couldn't afford to be as a full time cab driver, but that's an "occupational hazard" I can't avoid. Given a choice, I'd rather be on the Net.

If you'd like to take the test, go Here. According to an article on Wiki, IAD, or Internet Addiction Disorder, is being taken more seriously by many studying the phenomenon. I'd say most of us have some form of addiction to something, and being a frequent Internet user I know too well how domestic duties and other real life responsibilities can be neglected in preference to being online. I keep telling myself I'll cut down on certain online addictions, like posting on message boards, which I view as even more addictive than just being online itself. When that debate starts, and you're in the middle of it, you don't want to leave your opponent with the last word. Or maybe its the connection with real people on the other end of the line. I don't consider blogging (also listed as an item of addiction) as serious, because I blog at leisure, and because I know no one is waiting for a response I can take a break to do what needs to be done. Furthermore, I know I'm not the only one who has expressed real concern about the time spent on message boards. When I stay away from them I do feel better and in more control - and things get done! I've also noticed that at times I was glad to get away form the computer when I've returned to work and the real world. All play and no work makes Jack a bit nerdy.

I've been posting on message boards for nine years this July, and to be frank, I have no idea what this has accomplished, but there are some fond memories nevertheless, but since I post mainly on US message boards I've only ever met one other poster in real life, when he visited Australia. I don't use chat sites, ICQ, etc, or Facebook (see my previous post about this). What I've also noticed is that posting on message boards can lead to unpleasant feelings arising after debating or arguing with others. Few "relationships" have been stable, because of the argumentative nature of message boards. I haven't come across any where it was all smooth sailing.

So once again I'm vowing to stay away from message boards and stick to the safer blogging. Here's hoping to a more productive life, on and offline, and that I don't cave in. Don't hold your breath, though.

Related Links

1) Internet addiction disorder

2) Center for Internet Addiction Recovery

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