Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Computer addiction: I haz it

This is just another excuse to have people see doctors, get diagnosed, and take pills for a disease that doesn't exist. It's too funny that Sandy should post this today, after I just finished a survey for where I am in my life and how happy I am with it now and how happy I think I'll be with it in the future. One set of questions was about internet usage, and if a doctor read what I answered, I'd be diagnosed with IAD. After all, I spend about 50 hours a week on the computer, between blogging, reading the news, checking email, reading FA blogs, playing games, keeping up with what's going on in my family, etc etc. Now, in that 50 hours, I'm also cleaning house, cooking meals, watching tv, reading a book, doing laundry, making out grocery lists, paying bills, balancing the checkbook, etc, etc.
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.


  1. I think it's cool she used the same XKCD comic I did on my blog lol. That shit is hilarious.

    (The alt rollover text reads "What? You want me to leave? Then they'll keep being wrong!)

    Screw pills. Ok, except the ones I like. Did I say that out loud?

  2. annie - I thought the "screw pills, except the ones I like" went without saying....roflol

  3. You know, I have a saying: "If it's not a problem, it's not a problem." But when you have pills to sell, you'll make a "disorder" out of whatever you can. I await with baited breath the appearance of Wiping Yourself Frontwards Disorder in the next DSM.

  4. meowzer - it's a good thing I wasn't drinking anything when I read your WYFD. I snorted and scared the hell out of the cat sleeping on DH's slippers........lol...I'd have had Dr Pepper all over the screen and keyboard.

  5. #3 is completely assinine. Every computer I've ever owned needed to be upgraded, repeatedly, to keep up with even infrequent game playing. They don't come with good video cards onboard, or good power supplies for the new video cards, and you're constantly finding new ways to manage the heat output, and then the next generation of games comes along and you need more RAM and a new video card again. Lather, rinse, repeat. Oh, and bigger hard drives, unless you like backing up your data to a zillion dvds.

    I spend a lot of my time playing older games, and I still need a new video card because the one that came with my sweet new machine has almost no onboard RAM. Upgrading frequently really isn't optional for gamers.

    Of course, whoever wrote this probably never played a round of Counterstrike in his life. It's a jungle, upgrade or get pwned.

  6. Ms. Heathen - Usually, people who think others are addicted to computers and gaming are the ones who don't use computers for anything but work, and had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into that. So they wouldn't understand about upgrading for gaming, or even just upgrading so you can back-up the info you have on your computer. I bought a DVD burner for mine so I could back-up all my MP3s (took me 3 DVDs to do that the last time).

  7. Vesta, you are crackin' me up!

    I'm so completely addicted! I'll just add these pills to the ones I'm already supposed to take for ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia, and Apraxia (or is it Aphagia? I can't remember. I guess I need pills for that also?)

    And before anyone asks, NO I don't take them. I'm fine (in denial perhaps, but fine none the less!) Although the ADHD ones do sound kind of fun. They're basically legalized meth. How can that possibly cause problems?

  8. beck - I'd have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to get me to take pills for IAD (and unless the pills kept me unconscious, I seriously doubt they would work, I can be a stubborn bitch when it comes to what I want, and I want internetz nao).

  9. To be honest, when I first read Sandy's post I was just skimming it to see if it was something I was looking for. Her frequent references to IAD reall confused me because IAD is a major airport near my house! I was a little baffled as to what Dulles Airport had to do with the internet. Unless... free wifi anyone?

  10. You sound like me. If I didn't have the internet, I'd just watch more tv and read more books but I would have to pay more than the internet costs to do it.
    I am coming to the realization I have to upgrade my tech a little. I'm using windows 98 on a computer that had been upgraded to a pentium 3 when I got it and the hard drive is starting to make an ugly noise.

  11. I'm still rolling over 'Helga the Bitch Goddess' I know that I'd have to seriously hurt somebody if they took away my computer. I'm a SAHM to two small step sons (ages 2 & 3) having the pc and laptop are about the only thing that keeps my sanity intact. Ok, so some days it slips...but even still. lmao

  12. daisy - my best friend, Pat, gave me that nickname before we ever had computers. Unfortunately, she didn't live long enough to get addicted, so I figure I'm addicted for both of us (because I know she would have been addicted too, and she would have so been into FA if she was still with us).

  13. its better addiction than drug addiction...don't make it serious.....
    Josie Smith
    Suffering from an addiction. This website has a lot of great resources and treatment centers.

  14. Josie - I really don't think computer "addiction" is as serious as drug companies would like to make it (or the psychiatrists). It's certainly not nearly as serious as drug, alcohol, gambling, or sex addiction.
    Those are all things that can ruin lives, not just the addicted person's life, but anyone who is involved with the addicted person.

  15. These are all examples of a situation called computer addiction , Internet addictive chaos or cyber addiction. Computer is basically a machine but excess use of it may cause its addiction. It is a trouble incredibly alike to pathological gamble or habitual shopping.


  16. Spammer. But it so totally misses the point, that's actually kind of funny.

  17. Yeah, that's why I posted it, it's too funny to be taken seriously.

  18. *Smacks forehead* Er...I knew that was why you posted it! Yeah, that :D


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