Generally don't post on Fridays, and certainly not this late in the day, since the Internet pretty much closes for the weekend, or so I am told by fellow blogger Greg Kim. But a couple reasons I write. 1.) I was contacted by a former classmate in Miami, who has asked if I will appear via Skype for the writing class she is now teaching re: blog writing. It's funny to me that she thought she had to ask. I've been pretty clear about my willingness to appear in any and all forums to promote my singular agenda:
But the other thing that caught my eye was this, which is trending high on Yahoo News, the only reliable news source (http://tinyurl.com/d26otq).
SIGNS, SYMPTOMS, TREATMENT, AND SELF-HELP
Risk factors for Internet addiction and computer addiction
- You suffer from anxiety. You may use the Internet to distract yourself from your worries and fears. An anxiety disorder like obsessive-compulsive disorder may also contribute to excessive email checking and compulsive Internet use.
- You are depressed. The Internet can be an escape from feelings of depression, but too much time online can make things worse. Internet addiction further contributes to stress, isolation and loneliness.
- You have any other addictions. Many Internet addicts suffer from other addictions, such as drugs, alcohol, gambling, and sex.
- You lack social support. Internet addicts often use social networking sites, instant messaging, or online gaming as a safe way of establishing new relationships and more confidently relating to others.
- You’re an unhappy teenager. You might be wondering where you fit in and the Internet could feel more comfortable than real-life friends.
- You are less mobile or socially active than you once were. For example, you may be coping with a new disability that limits your ability to drive. Or you may be parenting very young children, which can make it hard to leave the house or connect with old friends.
- You are stressed. While some people use the Internet to relieve stress, it can have a counterproductive effect. The longer you spend online, the higher your stress levels will be.
How do people become addicted to the Internet?
To relieve unpleasant and overwhelming feelings
Whenever people hear I used to be a junkie, I almost invariably hear a variation of the following: "Never did hard drugs. Used to smoke cigarettes though. Which I hear is harder to quit than heroin." Like it's a pissing contest or something. No, no it's not. Quitting smoking is removing a splinter to kicking dope's Chlamydia test. To quote Jules, they ain't in the same fucking ballpark; they ain't even the same fucking sport.
Took me a while to figure out why people always say that, or why they will introduce some other element of having been addicted to something. There is no glamour, no glory in being addicted to anything, and being addicted to drugs is about as low as a man can sink. You do awful, awful things that you will be ashamed of for the rest of your life when you are an addict. You allow yourself to be humiliated and relegated to a second-class citizen, and will seriously do just about anything for a fix. There are great number of addiction stereotypes that aren't true, like you don't make any real friends while you are using, or you'll never have a high as good as your first. But that one is true. If you are one of the lucky/blessed ones to get clean, you will have a lifetime of memories to look back upon and cringe endlessly over.
So why is everyone in such as race to compare dick size? The word "junkie" gets dropped so casually, attached to everything from "pop culture" to "fashion." Way back I received some hate mail (http://tinyurl.com/3z9ny4w), and if you read that letter you'll infer the same twisted logic. I don't want to say "jealousy" because only a brain-dead turd could possibly envy someone giving handjobs for nickel backs behind the Gas 'n' Go, but it's not that far off.
When I hear about stuff like "Internet Addiction," I have the same reaction, as though there is pride in affliction ("Ooh, me too, me too!"). You can spend too much time online, sure, and if you look at those high risk categories, I am pleading fucking guilty, right down to the "moody teenager" defense. But "addicted"? It reminds me of Bob Saget at the AA meeting in Half Baked.
Some doctors say it's hard to define addiction. But I think the "I sucked a dick for it" is a pretty good barometer, whether figuratively or literally (and, no, I never got that bad. I was about...a...week...away).
That's probably enough for today. Besides I haven't checked my e-mail in seven minutes. And I might've missed that acceptance letter from Norton!