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Monday, February 11th, 2002
1:25a - Net Addiction Levels...


Are you Addicted to the Internet?

63%%-*%-*


Hardcore Junkie (61%%-*-%-*80%)
While you do get a bit of sleep every night and sometimes leave the house, you spend as much time as you can online. You usually have a browser, chat clients, server consoles, and your email on auto check open at all times. Phone? What's that? You plan your social events by contacting your friends online. Just be careful you don't get a repetitive wrist injury...




The Are you Addicted to the Internet? Quiz at Stvlive.com!





Having posted this, I now can tell you that it's relatively inaccurate. Oh, I'm not going to deny that I'm not a bit of a net-junkie...after all, it is a major part of my career path. However, just because someone might, through sheer, blind luck, manage to get a perfect score on a test, doesn't mean that they have a clue.

For one thing, the test has too few questions. I mentioned this in my comments in kshandra's journal (where I first found the link), comparing it to those now legendary "morality" or "purity" tests (it was a sign of things to come when people in my circle tried to get the lowest score possible without dropping below that threshold into "creepy" territory...if someone got a zero, it meant affirmative answers in the pedo and necro categories. Ewww....). Certainly no one wants to answer more than, say, a few dozen questions. And yeah, I know it's all in fun. But it wouldn't have been too hard to come up with key questions and responses.

It doesn't take into account the differences between using the net as a legitimate tool for a job. This is important for those of us who use it as a legitimate tool 8 to 12 hours a day, and THEN use it for personal reasons. Watching television for the same amount of time is only a problem when you aren't a TV producer, or work in a similar field that requires a great deal of time in front of a boob tube.

It fails to fully appreciate how far an addiction really can go. I know people who, when asked to choose between a wild sexual escapade with no effort whatsoever, and checking their e-mail after the flight in and trip to the hotel, will CHECK THEIR EMAIL. I find that annoying (as do the lovers involved. No names, but I'm sure some of you know who you are).

Do I meet and develop relationships online? Sure. But only as a precursor to having OFF line relationships. There is a happy medium, where you can integrate the net into your life without having it be a complete time suck. If given the choice between real human interaction and the prospect of cyber-anything, I'll take the real. Yet net *is* a wonderful way to facilitate gatherings,keep in touch with people, obtain information that you can use to enhance your life. It's like the phone and TV: You can become addicted to it, and use it like a shield (which is at the root of all addiction, really -- the deep seated need to avoid confronting something, whether it's reality, relationships, or relatives).

It reminds me of something I once tried to explain to someone who asked me what I thought sin was (they were an open minded christian interested in what a pagan thought of the concept). I gave it some thought, and summed it up thusly: "If god is love, and love is how you feel in your heart, then sin is whatever keeps you from feeling your heart."

My broader argument was that the Church (which I'm using in it's broadest, non-denominational sense here) couldn't give fuzzy edicts to the average man, and so tried to illustrate very specific guidelines. At some point the guidelines became more important than the thing they were really representing (much like the original intention of banning eating pork, which probably caused some nasty afflictions before the advent of refrigeration, just as one example), in this case the various and sundry ways we, as human beings, can distract ourselves and one another from our hearts.

A lot of the things that people consider an "addiction" or "sinful" would be based more on what they see as "excess"...but excessive to what? I've been a computer geek since 1978, and thus computers make up a major part of my life and lifestyle. Yet they aren't an addiction, as I don't use them to avoid feeling. I use them as a tool to feel more, to communicate, to support people I care about.

Is there a fine line between, say, a "functional" addict who has managed to integrate their addiction in ways that allows them to pass through life with minimal disruption, and someone who's passion or interest in a particular skill or area enhances their life? Absolutely. Anyone who spends time with me one on one knows that I often doubt my life's choices, and will play my own devil's advocate in an attempt to determine whether I might have strayed into areas that are not really conducive to the direction I want to go. Occasionally I discover that I am avoiding going in a certain direction, and kick my own butt before the universe decides to do it for me.

By all means, let me know what you think of the quiz, especially what score you got...and why YOU think it's completely wrong. Or why I am, for that matter.


current mood: geeky

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