How can I do all that at the same time I'm on the computer? I learned to multi-task when I was in high school. I didn't want to use my study halls for homework, I wanted to read books (I'm addicted to reading too), so, since my teachers usually wrote the next day's assignment on the board before class, I would be working on that in class while we were discussing the current day's work. I never had homework because I learned early how to do 2 things at once, and I got to spend all of my study halls reading.
To this day, I'm usually doing at least 2 things at the same time, mostly something on the computer and tv or housework. Hell, I don't even just exercise anymore, I exercise and watch tv (watch tv while I ride my recumbent bike).
When I'm on the computer, I have at least 2 tabs open with different things going on in each of them, sometimes 3 or 4 tabs (Firefox users know what I'm talking about, for IE users, it would be windows open). I may be playing a game, and checking email, or checking a blog (or the feed at fatfu to see if anything new has come up since I last looked).
Now, if they took my computer away from me, would I be any different than I am now? Hmmmm, I'm not sure on that one. I've been at friends' houses for a couple of days and didn't miss my computer all that much, but when I get home, it takes me forever to get caught up on everything that has happened in my online world while I was gone (and this is in spite of the fact that I read anywhere from 500 to 750 words a minute). If I was told that I could never have my computer ever again, whoever told me that would probably get to meet Helga the Bitch Goddess or PsychoBitch from Hell.
If I didn't have my computer, would I do more exercising, get out of the house more, spend more time with people? Nope. How do I know this? Because before I ever got a computer, I hardly ever left my apartment (when I was on SSI and not working, before I went back to work, and long before I met DH). I had no need to, and it drove my best friend absolutely batshit nuts. I went grocery shopping, and shopping for craft supplies and books, but that was about it. I had plenty to keep me occupied in my apartment. I sewed, I did counted cross stitch, I worked crossword puzzles, I watched tv, I read books, and I did ironing and mending for people (and I was usually doing two of those things at the same time).
I don't think I have any of the behaviors they attribute to computer addiction:
1) excessive use, often associated with a loss of sense of time or a neglect of basic drives,
2) withdrawal, including feelings of anger, tension, and/or depression when the computer is inaccessible,
3) tolerance, including the need for better computer equipment, more software, or more hours of use, and
4) negative repercussions, including arguments, lying, poor achievement, social isolation, and fatigue
#1 - well, I have excessive use I guess (is 8 hours a day excessive?), but I don't lose track of time, and I don't neglect basic drives (I think they mean things like eating, sleeping, bathing, going to the bathroom, having sex, right?).
#2 - nope, no withdrawal, no anger, tension, or depression when I can't get to the computer.
#3 - tolerance - nah, my computer is 4 years old, I have all the software I need, and I have enough hours on it, I don't need any more.
#4 - negative repercusssions - well, let's see now, I don't lie about how much time I spend on the computer, I don't have any problems achieving any goal I set away from the computer, I'm not socially isolated (I can shut the puter off when we have guests), and fatigue, well, I know how to go to bed when I get tired. Yeah, I didn't say anything yet about arguments, did I? The only arguments that ever happen over the computer are when DH says something to me and I don't hear him because I'm concentrating on what I'm doing (and that would happen if I was just watching tv, or if I was just reading a book, or if I was just doing a craft). I tend to block out anything that isn't directly related to what I'm doing at the time. Conversation can fall into that category for me. And we don't really argue about it, he just has to find a way to get my attention when I'm absorbed in whatever I'm doing (it's all those years of living alone and not having to worry about someone else, I'm still adjusting to having someone in the same house with me all the time).
I joke about being addicted to my computer, but I could live without it if I had to. I just don't have to, and I don't want to. It enriches my life in so many ways, and makes research a hell of a lot easier on so many fronts. This is an addiction that isn't doing me any harm, and I don't see the need for any kind of treatment for it. After all, it's not keeping me from doing anything else I want to do.