Friday, January 13, 2012

Drug of Choice

Internet addiction causes changes in the brain similar to that normally seen in people addicted to alcohol and drugs such as cocaine and cannabis.

Sufferers have a hard time reining in their use of the Web, and typically spend unhealthy amounts of time online, to the point that it impairs their work or family life. Denied access to computers, Web addicts may experience withdrawal symptoms

-- CTV News, Discovery, and Fox News


I find this news so distressing, I immediately google “Internet Addiction." There are 40,000 entries, including a link to Wikipedia, where, I'm sorry to say, the data looks pretty darned solid. But I like to do my own due-diligence. I cross-check with NYTimes.com, Economist.com, and a guy who blogs from his basement in Omaha. The last vehemently disputes the findings of the other two. He suggests the truth is buried somewhere in Obama's birth records, easily accessible if we all don helmets covered in copious amounts of aluminum foil.

Continuing with the research, I post “Do you have an internet addiction?” to my Facebook Friends. I’m working through the 30,214 replies. The jury’s still out, but most of them say “no.” What a relief.

Except, I suddenly notice, among my Friends there are only 10 names I recognize, and I played dodgeball with half of them.

Now I’m on Amazon, looking up Cannabis. All things being equal, I figure I'll choose my own addiction. I’ve found 50 dealers -- 16 new, 28 used, and 3 collectable. At first glance, Amazon is more expensive, but they promise next day delivery. Plus, the second-hand markets sneak in lots of shipping and handling costs.

What’s a body to do? Thank god for Yelp.

33 comments:

bandit said...

Tin foil hats are silly. I put it on my windows.

dbdubya said...

I think you should start a 12 step program for people addicted to the internet.

"My name is Karin, and I'm addicted to the internet." The first step on the road to recovery is to admit you have a problem.

What's good about this program is that after you have a meeting where you all sit around and talk about your addiction to the internet, you can go drink wine together.

Anonymous said...

When we're free of the internet addiction, let's raise a glass. (Make mine Bombay, splash of vermouth.)

GG

Paula said...

If you get Amazon Prime you get free shipping on your addiction AND their idea of Netflix (addiction), all for $79.00 per annum. It's a deal of a steal.

Mister Earl said...

I like getting together in person with fellow bloggers, but I can't wait to get home so I can email them and comment on their blogs. In-person interactions are so fleeting, but email and blog comments are forever.

Margaret said...

Indeed. It's quite a dilemma. I'd say more but I'm merely surfing.

altadenahiker said...

"Of all sad words of tongue or pen – which are the saddest? It might have been."

We can Delete, before we send.

amy said...

i'm sort of worried about this.

Anonymous said...

Me too.

alex said...

there's a tinge of irony in Googling "internet addiction."

Ken Mac said...

Iv'e internalized the internet. I'm well beyond addiction, it's a spiritual machine..

altadenahiker said...

It's old style, Alex. I'm using a hammer. But Kenny Mac pinged the server.

Shell Sherree said...

Sorry, I have to go and find some munchies.

Portland Chimney Repair said...

I love your blog. Happy New Year!

Birdman said...

I see where this can happen... to get trapped easily.

Katie said...

I feel lucky to be old enough to have gotten all the way through college without computers. (Senior year in 1986 we thought the guy in our dorm who had a Mac was a total snob. He also had one of the first CD players, when only about 5 CDs existed. We laughed at him and listened to music via cassette on our Walkmen and boom boxes.) For me the computer is a cool and amazing tool (stream a movie! buy a plane ticket! video chat with my 8-year old nephew in NY!), but there's a lot I like to do that doesn't involve being online so it's easy to shut it off. That said, if you're going to serve wine at the internet addiction program, count me in.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Webaholics Anonymous - free, downloadable recovery

Bellis said...

I realized I was addicted when I had terrible withdrawal symptoms during the 30 hours we were without electricity recently.

Let's do something about it! You can be my (online) Buddy who controls the hours I spend on blogs and Facebook, and talks me through crises on Google chat.

Cafe Pasadena said...

Instead of "drug", it might have been a more tactful choice of words to say, "Communication Device of Choice."

Desiree said...

I can stop anytime I damn well please. Or when the electricity goes off during high wind storms.

altadenahiker said...

None of you tweeted this piece, which just goes to prove you can't handle the truth.

(Oh, Portland Chimney Repair, you're so sweet. How much would it cost to ship my fireplace to Oregon?)

TheChieftess said...

Hi! My name is theChieftess and I am an internet addict. Did I hear there's a wine party after this meeting?

Vanda said...

I'm sure there's an online support group.

Petrea Burchard said...

I don't think I have a problem.

Anonymos2 said...

Six posts in thirteen days, I've only read five of them.

As you can see: No addiction here.

Kaori said...

If there is an Internet Addicts Anonymous meeting, I will be there. They have doughnuts, right?

altadenahiker said...

I'm sure we could come up one or two if we really tried, Petrea.

Doughnuts at what will apparently be a wine bar? Oh, why not.

CafePasadena said...

Xperts say before you can deal with a problem, like addiction, you have to admit you have a problem.

Bec said...

I'm still holding out with no Facebook or twitter but I'm commenting from my new phone with a data plan . . . Guess I'll be joinIng you for those wine bar 12 step meetings

Petrea Burchard said...

Haven't you ever heard of denial?

I have not been on the internet all day. I have not.

Ms M said...

There must be an app for this...

Susan Campisi said...

"Except, I suddenly notice, among my Friends there are only 10 names I recognize, and I played dodgeball with half of them." Ha!

I have to say I felt pretty damn popular on my birthday with all my Facebook Friends.

Do you think the internet's a gateway drug? I'm craving some harder stuff these days.

altadenahiker said...

You're right, Susan. There is probably something even more insidious waiting around the corner.