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US Students Suffering From Internet Addiction 314

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the also-high-on-sheen dept.
PsiCTO writes "American college students are hooked on cellphones, social media and the Internet and showing symptoms similar to drug and alcohol addictions, according to a new study. This probably falls under the no-big-surprise category. CBC Radio 1 played a couple of interviews with students that took part in the study. I especially liked the quote in which the student felt like he had a phantom limb experience with his cell phone."
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US Students Suffering From Internet Addiction

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  • No News Affiliation? (Score:4, Informative)

    by alphatel (1450715) * on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @08:59AM (#35731788)

    Students in the Maryland study also showed no loyalty to news programs, a news personality or news platform.

    Must be why Katie Couric left.

    • The revelation that [paraphrase] "college students have little loyalty to news programs, and rarely watch TV or read a newspaper" is far from it. TV and newspapers are expensive when you're in school, and are often tricky to negotiate in a dorm, which you don't own and are limited in space. What college students DO do a lot of is watch TV programs, but they do it for free on Hulu or network websites or for very cheap through Netflix and iTunes. If people look at the internet and attached devices as enabl

      • by MoonBuggy (611105)

        If people look at the internet and attached devices as enabling a lot more interaction and getting of news, they really can take the place of traditional media sources. Maybe it's of a different type, but choice is a Good Thing.

        I found it particularly odd that TFA states "They maintained a casual relationship to news brands, and rarely distinguished between news and general information." - what is news if not general information? Maybe saying that exposes me as a member of the very generation they're studying, but it's more or less the definition I would provide if asked to describe 'news': information about what's going on around me.

        More generally, the sense of hand-wringing by both the authors and the student quoted seems excess

    • Must be why Katie Couric left.

      Who?

  • My neice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich@ao[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:05AM (#35731830) Journal

    At 16, she is horribly addicted to all of these things. We had my dad's 70th b-day party over the weekend and she sulked in the corner the entire time with her face buried in her phone. When her dad tried to take it away so she could, you know, be involved with the family on this momentous occasion, she threw a temper tantrum I've not seen in anyone other than a 5 year old in the candy aisle at the grocery store.

    She's like that any time I see her - buried in the phone.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      She's 16. She most likely wouldn't be involved regardless of what object was in her hand.

      • by MoonBuggy (611105)

        Absolutely agreed - the tantrum sounds childish and absolutely unacceptable, but it'd be a rare 16 year old who would particularly want to be involved with a group of people well outside her age group who she more than likely feels herself to have little in common with. The lack of basic politeness sounds unfortunate, but I don't think that's the fault of the tech.

        • Re:My neice (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Rakshasa Taisab (244699) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:55AM (#35732444) Homepage
          WTF?... What a fucking low standard we should hold 16 year old's to these days?

          Makes me feel old beyond my years to say that I attended multiple birthdays of 'old people' and managed to look like I was sharing the same reality.
          • Re:My neice (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Antisyzygy (1495469) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @12:51PM (#35734726)

            "The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers."

            ATTRIBUTION: Attributed to SOCRATES by Plato

      • Re:My neice (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AntEater (16627) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:53AM (#35732412) Homepage

        In many cultures (past and present) a 16 year old is considered an adult and often has learned to demonstrate the maturity and responsibility that goes with that status. It is a sad state when a 16 year old has to be treated like a child and even sadder when they respond at a level even lower than the pathetic expectations of our society. I don't understand why someone in their teens finds it so challenging to interact with other adults regardless of age. Yes, the cell phone had little to do with it.

        • Re:My neice (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @10:19AM (#35732706)
          Parents reap what they sow. I think the problem is that helicopter parents coddle their precious snowflakes too much and that encourages the kids to become both brats and ineptly fragile in many dimensions. As counterintuitive as it seems to be for most in society, you shouldn't treat children like babies forever, you need to let them do things on their own, get hurt, make mistakes, learn consequences, etc. Instead I see parents always swooping in and doing things for their kids, leading to the kids never learning anything and feeling entitled to boot, or bailing kids out of even minor difficulties so they don't develop any respect for consequences.

          Any parent whose children are not, for most purposes, de facto independent by high school is a failure.
        • Re:My neice (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @10:21AM (#35732734) Journal

          I don't understand why someone in their teens finds it so challenging to interact with other adults regardless of age.

          I know people in their 20s and early 30s who don't interact well with other adults unless it's via SMS, Twitter or Facebook. They literally have no concept of how to carry on a face-to-face conservation. No idea of the importance of looking someone in the eye, having a good handshake or listening to someone for more than 140 characters without interrupting them. These same people then proceed to whine about their lack of a social and love life.

          Honestly I can't wrap my head around it. I was a child of the internet age and spent my formative years on IRC but I still know how to carry on a face to face conservation. I still understand the importance of eye contact and body language to human communication. How the hell do people make it to their late 20s/early 30s without learning these skills?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by jonescb (1888008)

        Right. I'm 20, and I couldn't care less about being involved in my family. Why should I be obligated to care about an arbitrary group of people who I didn't choose to be my family. I'll do what I want to do, not what my grandpa thinks I should do.

        • And whether or not I agree with this comment...wtf does technology have to do with it? Last generation it'd have been a book.

        • by feepness (543479)

          Right. I'm 20, and I couldn't care less about being involved in my family. Why should I be obligated to care about an arbitrary group of people who I didn't choose to be my family. I'll do what I want to do, not what my grandpa thinks I should do.

          Being pleasant to the people who dedicated a good portion of their adult lives shoveling food in one end of your alimentary canal and removing feces from the other while keeping you safe and healthy in general is called being grateful. You don't have to like them. You don't have to do what they think you should do. Caring about them simply means being polite and remotely interested.

          Now, if they didn't do that or only did it part way then you owe them less. But someone gave a huge portion of themselve

    • Re:My neice (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rolfwind (528248) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:21AM (#35732006)

      I had a younger cousin around 16 who came to visit from Europe. My friend and next door neighbor suggested that my cousin meet her daughter and another friend and that they go out and have a good time somewhere. Well, the daughter was so buried into her phone texting her friends that she hardly even spoke to my cousin (who knew perfect English) and not even to her other friend. I met her once. I have the feeling that when she is with her friends she texts in real life, she'd bury her head into her phone and start texting someone else.

      I think, by allowing us to seek out the ideal people with our exact interests at the moment, the internet allows us to get into the mindset to discount the people around us as less worthwhile to interact with.

      • Re:My neice (Score:5, Interesting)

        by somersault (912633) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:33AM (#35732158) Homepage Journal

        I think, by allowing us to seek out the ideal people with our exact interests at the moment, the internet allows us to get into the mindset to discount the people around us as less worthwhile to interact with.

        Yeah, that's an interesting point. I had a long distance relationship with someone who eventually came over to live with me, and for a while I weirdly felt like something was "missing". I'd feel she was a completely different person when chatting online compared to speaking for real.

        I even feel like that when speaking to family members, I guess I just joke around more online. So I suppose it's really me who's different when typing than when speaking, even with people I've known all my life.

        • The written and spoken words are two very different things. When writing, the "speaker" uses the structure and syntax of the language alone to communicate their meaning( though some allowances can be made for formatting, etc). When speaking, tone, expression, gestures and immediacy all lend an entirely different character (and confusion) to the conversation.

          You can judge someone's opinions by what they write, but you won't have much luck telling much else about them. It's not surprising; judgig someone by w

      • Re:My neice (Score:4, Interesting)

        by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:50AM (#35732372) Homepage

        Well, the daughter was so buried into her phone texting her friends that she hardly even spoke to my cousin (who knew perfect English) and not even to her other friend. I met her once. I have the feeling that when she is with her friends she texts in real life, she'd bury her head into her phone and start texting someone else.

        I have witnessed this ... two teenagers who have gone someplace together and are now sitting and texting. I often can't decide if they're texting each other, or third parties.

        But, it's usually kind of funny/sad/lame to watch several teenagers, all with their phones out, all with headphones attached to their phones, and all heads down and texting and more or less ignoring one another. It's like self-imposed autism or something, and actually kind of sad to watch.

        I think, by allowing us to seek out the ideal people with our exact interests at the moment, the internet allows us to get into the mindset to discount the people around us as less worthwhile to interact with.

        And, really, except for the fact that now all of the 'cool' kids are doing it too ... how does this differ from IRC, ICQ, AOL/MSN, Everquest, Second Life and all of the other things which have filled this niche before?

        Teenagers have always been withdrawn, moody and sulky ... but now texting seems to basically fill up their day, which makes them look even more withdrawn, moody, and sulky. Some days I'm actually glad I don't have the ability to text on my phone ... it's too reminiscent of MSN or something to me.

        • Re:My neice (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @10:12AM (#35732642)

          And, really, except for the fact that now all of the 'cool' kids are doing it too ... how does this differ from IRC, ICQ, AOL/MSN, Everquest, Second Life and all of the other things which have filled this niche before?

          Well, for one thing, those others were generally done while at home, and not while walking around or driving or other public activities. That seems to be the problem most people have with it. If they are sitting on a bench minding their own business, that's fine, but with increasing frequency their distraction causes problems for others.

          There was a case here in California just recently of another shithead teen wiping out her car because of texting, and another where someone walked right in front of a car because they were so buried in their texting they just wandered into a street. You could argue Darwin Award for the latter, but do you want to be the guy who hit that person? There's still going to be an investigation as to whose fault it was, and, yeah, *that's* a perfect, flawless process, right?

          On the other hand, YouTube videos like the woman who texted her way into a mall water fountain are always gold.

          • by gstoddart (321705)

            Well, for one thing, those others were generally done while at home, and not while walking around or driving or other public activities.

            Only because we didn't have the ability to do them on the hoof. You were tethered to a computer plugged into a wall and a network connection, this is just the logical conclusion. Now, you can be hooked into this kind of stuff 24/7, no matter where you're at.

            There was a case here in California just recently of another shithead teen wiping out her car because of texting, an

        • Re:My neice (Score:4, Insightful)

          by ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) <obsessivemathsfreak.eircom@net> on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @11:18AM (#35733452) Homepage Journal

          But, it's usually kind of funny/sad/lame to watch several teenagers, all with their phones out, all with headphones attached to their phones, and all heads down and texting and more or less ignoring one another. It's like self-imposed autism or something, and actually kind of sad to watch.

          Does anyone here remember what teenagers did before mobile phones? Did you all have unmissable, action-packed adolescences or something?

          I can remember being a teenager and hanging out with other teenagers. They were among the most mind numbingly boring experiences of my life. I can vividly recall spending entire days "hanging out" with groups in towns. Let me give you a typical "fun time".

          Six+ hours spent standing outside shops, on street corners, under bridges occassional window browsing, one 40 minute break in a cafe, and all the while everyone talking complete and utter shite about either music, tv, movies or gossip. One continuous topic would typically be what we'd all see in the cinema later on. Eventually, after hours of idle meandering, legs now aching with pain, the group would finally make it to that place, at which point either a) no money would remain for everyone to see the film, so we'd all go home, or b) everyone would go in and talk continuously throughout the entire film. Later, people would either ring their parents for lifts home, or walk the long mile back to their abodes.

          It was a special kind of purgatory. It was like going to mass, followed by attending a funeral, and afterwards a lecture in the tanneries of ancient Assyria, all mixed in with waiting in a long queue to fill in forms that made no sense. Imagine if you will Silent Bob without the Jay, standing on a corner _not_ having amazing adventures or experiences. Ah, the heady days of youth!

          I'm sure some poster will following this up with tales of their awesome, all-American, action packed teenage socialising. But my experience was that teenagers were as boring as shit. Too old to play, too young to talk, too poor to go anywhere interesting, and too inexperienced to know when their bored.

          Autism?! Autism!!! You think texting on their phones is a form of autism?! Teenagers are intrinsically autistic, monosyllabic, awkward, and uninteresting people. The phones and the internet have nothing to do with it.

      • I think, by allowing us to seek out the ideal people with our exact interests at the moment, the internet allows us to get into the mindset to discount the people around us as less worthwhile to interact with.

        Well, we've always discounted strangers you're being forced to talk to as less worthwhile to interact with. As adults, it's something we have to do all the time, so we get used to it. As a child, I remember being placed in a similar situation as the one you described. I didn't have a phone or the internet, but when my parents said, "this kid about your age is visiting, hang out with him" I felt that to be a chore, equivalent with mowing the lawn. "I don't want to hang out with a new kid I've never met.

        • Kids and teenagers don't deal well with forced social situations. They have cliques. They try hard to get in the ones they want to get in, and they try hard to keep people out of them that they don't think are deserving of it.

          And this is different than adults how?

    • by Zapotek (1032314)
      Man messing about with a cellphone is all a 16y.o. could do in that situation. Hell it's what I would have done considering the party's participants .
    • by RogueyWon (735973) *

      In fairness - I'm in my 30s and have absolutely no interest in my mobile phone, beyond its occasional uses as a tool (I can make £10 of pre-paid credit last 3 months). However, while I'm fine with parents and grandparents, present me with a room full of my extended family and I will find something else - anything else - to be deeply absorbed in. I've made the back of a cereal packet last three hours under those kind of circumstances.

      Now, ok, I might just have an unusually repulsive extended fami

    • The college age guy in front of me in a food place a couple days ago had to be prompted three times by the woman working the register before he got his attention off the damn phone text.

      But, you know, I'm sure he was in contact with a colleague about their imminent breakthrough on a cancer cure.

      • by lxs (131946)

        Prompted? Whatever happened to kicking him from the line and helping the next customer?

      • and don't get me started on the fucker who was absorbed in a book.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        The college age guy in front of me in a food place a couple days ago had to be prompted three times by the woman working the register before he got his attention off the damn phone text.

        On the second failed prompt, you step around him.

        Don't be an enabler.

    • Re:My neice (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dreamchaser (49529) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @10:24AM (#35732766) Homepage Journal

      My daughter is now almost 21 and remarkably mature for her age, but if she were 16 and had acted that way I'd have smashed her phone. Parents today are huge enablers of such selfish behavior.

    • At 16, she is horribly addicted to all of these things. We had my dad's 70th b-day party over the weekend and she sulked in the corner the entire time with her face buried in her phone.

      I suspect neither the phone nor its internet connectivity were the real problem here.

  • by geekmux (1040042) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:06AM (#35731840)

    ...mass suicides of students will likely result from the lack of being tethered to their Shitter and Fakebook accounts.

    I really feel for the humans who literally live online and nowhere else. It is sad. Very sad.

    • I really feel for the humans who literally live online and nowhere else. It is sad. Very sad.

      Did you learn nothing from watching The Matrix? If they're happy, who cares? It seems sad for those of us that enjoy going outside once in a while, but at the same time, internet addicts probably think I'm sad for enjoying walking and exercise..

      • The difference being that your body will last a lot longer if you absorb sunlight and exert a little physical strain on it once in a while. Every person I know who is an internet recluse looks and smells like a potatoe. It simply comes with the territory.
  • by captainpanic (1173915) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:06AM (#35731842)

    I told myself to go without internet for 1 hour... to prove that I am not addicted. And I am here on Slashdot to tell you all that I'm almost there! 55 min already... ... oh, damn.

  • by LS1 Brains (1054672) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:06AM (#35731848)
    I know, it really is easy to "forget" your kids are over-doing something when they're NOT driving you nuts. :) But I digress, as parents, we need to set limits on our kids. Our 12 year old is, like most, always wanting to either be on the 'net on his laptop, on his cell phone texting whoever, watching TV, or playing the Xbox. Guess what - we limit his time with each, and send his butt OUTSIDE! The worst thing we can do as parents is to let them grow up without exploring the world around them, and that includes nature.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      don't limit too much.
      if you limit just right, then there's only time for playing, but never to finish, and no time for finding out how the game works.
      and seriously, I'd have been better off skipping high school and staying at home coding.

      anyhow, reading the news was never a sin before the news started getting unfiltered and from the net.

      • anyhow, reading the news was never a sin before the news started getting unfiltered and from the net.

        Spending 12 hrs per day reading the news was always a sin.

      • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @10:16AM (#35732664) Homepage

        and seriously, I'd have been better off skipping high school and staying at home coding.

        I highly doubt it ... at that age, the last thing you need to be is encouraged to withdraw from further human contact, hide in your basement, and code.

        As annoying as it is, some of the socialization you learn in high school and beyond actually do prepare you to interact with people in the real world. Even coders occasionally need to be in meetings with normal humans -- and I've seen a couple of guys who were completely incapable of that kind of interaction and experienced problems with it later on in life.

        Hell, I've seen guys in their 30's/40's lose their job because the client more or less looked at them and said to never send them back because they were lousy face to face.

        You will almost never be able to survive without learning how to interact; as the old saying goes ... try to be more outgoing, try to stare at the other person's shoes. Maybe even look up from time to time. ;-)

        Don't undervalue how useful it will be to be able to interact with new people in a business setting ... it will come up more than you think.

    • by ack154 (591432) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:18AM (#35731976)

      The article is about college students though... people who are supposed to be responsible for themselves. And while I agree that the parents have a part in this in earlier years, once they're out on their own, there needs to be some self control involved.

      I do find it amusing that they felt so disconnected from their friends, yet no one thought to place an actual phone call to try to meet up with their friends? No media, sure... but they could use a phone as a phone, no?

      • by MoonBuggy (611105)

        It's a little unclear, but the first paragraph of the article (as well as the summary) mentions "cellphones, social media and the Internet" - if they were denied access to all three (the second as a function of the last, of course) then I'm not surprised they felt cut off; if you don't happen to have memorised a large swathe of seemingly arbitrary numbers to punch in to a landline phone, you are cut off without tech.

    • by fermion (181285)
      What I see is that parents are not really willing to impose consequences. The example given, where the child is told to play in a different manner, is not really relevant to school, where the choice is between work and play. A more common problem I see is where the child is given a phone for 'safety', but then when the child abuses the phone it is not taken away. I am not in a position to critizize, but it seems to me that if, for example, a child is failing, and the online record shows that several text
      • I couldn't have a cell phone until I could pay for it and every minute of use, and I don't see why it should be any different for kids now. The other thing is that any sort of 'allowance' should be tied to grades as well as chores, so if they start failing their money dries up. Put these things together and any problems should self-correct. I know it's how I will approach my daughter when she starts school.
        • by geekoid (135745)

          blah blah blah, kids these days, blah blah blah.

          You are applying the 'logic' of a bill paying adult to a young child. If you're daughter has any backbone at all,you will fail.

          What do you do when you take all the money and they still refuse to do anything because they are making a point?
          When yo take away shows, computer, movie, all the toys. so she only has left some cloths a bed and a blanket?

          It's more complicated the you think, and I highly advise getting some sort of real, educated, expert, professional t

        • by tepples (727027)

          I couldn't have a cell phone until I could pay for it and every minute of use, and I don't see why it should be any different for kids now.

          Under your framework, how is a child below a state's legal age to work supposed to call home and ask the parent to please pick the child up at x location?

          • When I was growing up admittedly cell phones were much more optional, but nonetheless you seem to have missed where I mentioned 'allowance'. The other thing is that child labor laws regardless, kids usually work for neighbors when they need extra money, I know I did. I would help them clean their houses/yards/cars ... take care of their pets when they went on vacation, things like that. Not to mention the occasional yard sale.

            Seems a real poverty of imagination... that if money doesn't come from some lice
    • by Mascot (120795)

      What does he do OUTSIDE? Hang at the local mall or gas station?

      My point being, kids differ. When I was 12, I had no interest in sports or any other activities that required me to be outside. Luckily, my parents were ok with my interests being in books and electronics. Didn't mean I was in the house all the time, but when I wasn't I was usually in someone else's. There's no inherent value in being "outside" if that word only means "not in the house". It's what you _do_ outside that matters. Had I been forced

    • Under your framework, do you make sure that you allow your 12 year old long enough time on the 'net to finish his homework? And do you make sure that you allow long enough time on the Xbox to get to a save point? I seem to remember The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask for Nintendo 64, which was notorious for not allowing a save until 72 minutes in, at a time when some parents were limiting daily (or even weekly!) video game time to 60 minutes.
  • Olds? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Look at the date of this article, Apr 23 2010.... Olds for nerds indeed.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by IB4Student (1885914)
      Some of us only go on the Internet once a year. Good luck with that addiction of yours :-/
  • Bit like not wearing a watch - you feel somewhat naked?

    meh.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      how do you wear a watch? You wear cloths, or you watch something. Wear watch something makes no sense.

      hah, I'm kidding. seriously does anyone under 25 wear a watch for any reason other then jewelry?

  • Not just kids (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Xian97 (714198) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:12AM (#35731918)
    I have several co-workers I see with their face buried in their phone every time I walk by their cube. Internet usage is monitored where I work (even this post) so they see it as a way to bypass the system. Before they put in Websense the same co-workers were on the web all day - they still are but now it's through their phones. The ones that were Internet addicted all went out and got smart phones when Internet usage started being monitored.
  • Their parents' generation is addicted to their cars, while their grandparents' generation is addicted to their newspapers.
    • A little defensive, are we? Really, this one's not a generational thing.

    • by symes (835608)

      Their parents' generation is addicted to their cars, while their grandparents' generation is addicted to their newspapers.

      Not really. Certainly there is some reward from reading a paper, driving a car, and so on. And (many) thoeries of addiction see immediate rewards as key to addiction. Where they differ is in frequency. Receiving a text message from a friend is mostly a positive experience - that little ping indicates someone somewhere thinks you are relevant. That is very slightly rewarding, just like cars and newspapers. However, the issue with sms is that it can be a very high frequency activity. Small, regular high frequ

  • by Xacid (560407) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @09:30AM (#35732100) Journal

    I can say I personally went through this. Once I realized what was happening (not going out as much anymore, gaining weight/getting out of shape, neglecting my family, etc) I ended up shedding a lot of these things over the course of about a year. First cable tv went (hell, I only watched 3 channels most of the time and quitting would save me money), then WoW (again, would save me money, and was getting stale).

    However, these weren't my biggest addictions in the slightest, but I wasn't quite ready to give up on facebook and similar social networking things. It didn't seem like much at the time. Afterall, I was still being "social" and wasn't becoming reclusive. It was essentially a substitute for hanging out with real people in real life. And besides - a lot of us got together on Fridays for movie night. Thing was - even during these movie nights I'd still be checking facebook despite everyone close to me was right in front of me.

    The straw that broke the camel's back was over a benign status I posted: "Aww snap, time for daddy day care!" as my wife was going out with some friends and it was going to be one of my first times watching our baby daughter solo. Two women somehow took offense to this comment and proceeded to man-bash like crazy, nevermind that I'm actually sticking around and being a father. It boiled down to one woman basically calling her husband worthless and both of them saying I was a shitty father ("It's not daycare, it's PARENTING!"). And I know, I know - I should know better than to get riled up over trolling - but these are people I know in real life - straight up being offensive. The only person who could have came to my rescue was my wife. She sees all this when she gets home and is like "wtf is wrong with those bitches?" I reply "well, do something!". I needed help. I was getting attacked by two angry hens!

    She replies "LOL" in the facebook thread.

    I fucking LOST it.

    I counted on the one person who could get me out of this mess - save my name on the internets - and she didn't pull through. How dare she? ...

    The next morning I felt like such a goddamned tool once I put all this into perspective. I came to the conclusion that I was far too invested in things like facebook and virtual people that I promptly initiated the processes for deleting most of my online identity.

    Around the same time I was reading a book (How Pleasure Works by Paul Bloom [amazon.com]) that really forces you to think about how you put value into the things around you. So I had to ask "does x add value to my life?" As a result, here I am still on slashdot, still have my cellphone, but I'm outside damned near everyday, starting getting back into playing hockey and taking it more seriously, seeing more of family, and in way better shape than I was.

    Overall, I'm much happier and feel like I've gained a much higher quality of life. I'd say anyone thinking about the same - go for it and never look back.

    • However, these weren't my biggest addictions in the slightest, but I wasn't quite ready to give up on facebook and similar social networking things. It didn't seem like much at the time. Afterall, I was still being "social" and wasn't becoming reclusive. It was essentially a substitute for hanging out with real people in real life. And besides - a lot of us got together on Fridays for movie night. Thing was - even during these movie nights I'd still be checking facebook despite everyone close to me was right in front of me.

      What is amusing is that you've hit the nail right on the head. I am sitting here writing this post and looking at my Facebook chat list. Most of the people who I used to be out with on a Wed night are online on Facebook. More to the point, things like MSN and ICQ that used to be busy aren't. All those people moved over to Facebook as soon as it had chat because it has "games". I bet if I actually bring up the page I'll see dozens of game updates and other nonsense from them.

      Another point is that the Interne

    • by Nyder (754090)

      Dude, it's called going Emo, we all do it online, once in awhile. Some peeps do it all the time, most don't.

  • that's a useful tool you used everyday doesn't mean you are addicted.
    I could take their clothes away and they would have a strong desire to get them back. That doesn't mean they are addicted to cloths.

  • Excellent, now all I have to do is quit grad school and I'll be able to leave slashdot long enough to get some work done.
  • by Nyder (754090) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @10:15AM (#35732662) Journal

    Look. Mental addiction is just mental. It's bullshit. You bitch slap the person till the get in fucking line.

    I was a herion addict for 15 years or so of my life. I find that someone considers even comparing drug addiction to cell phone addiction to be very fucking insulting.

    For example, when I would get put in jail (and i would, on occasion, because thats where real addiction can land you), I would get physically sick without my dope. I'd end up puking, having the runs, not able to eat, wishing i was dead, or better, that i could get well (which I didn't realize at the time, i was getting well, by not using!).

    Anyways, this is bullshit, and insult to anyone who's built their life back up after losing it to a truelly addictive thing.

    • by Laxori666 (748529)
      heroin addiction is mostly mental. hey after you were in jail and finished withdrawing, why did you start using again, once the worst was over? you were an addict for 15 years? did you realize, say 2 years in, that if you just stopped cold-turkey for 2 weeks you would then have no more physical dependence on it? was it worth doing it another 13 years in exchange for those 2 weeks of pain? (especially if you already had been through a few days of the worst in prison). true there are terrible physical with
    • Look. Mental addiction is just mental. It's bullshit. You bitch slap the person till the get in fucking line.

      Go study some brain chemistry and come back to us with an educated claim. Addiction can have triggers that are not due to chemicals introduced into the blood stream. That does not mean that the addiction cannot cause actual physiological symptoms and be a serious hurdle to overcome.

      Judging the hardships of others purely based on your own experience is simply arrogant. With your logic no one on this planet should commit suicide since there is no chemical messing with their brain.

  • Really, is this what we're calling everything where people can't exercise a little self-discipline?

    Our culture seriously needs a giant cup of "Grow the Fuck Up".

  • While I can't stand the organization for its politics, policies, origins, higher-up administrators and more recent scandals, I will admit that going out and camping once a month with zero electronics helped give me the patience I need to proudly say amongst a group of internet addicted college-student peers: "Nah, I'll check [my e-mail] later."
  • Can we as a society agree to stop misusing words that have very serious connotations like "Addiction"? Addiction is a very serious disease and using it to describe something as silly as people spending too much time online socializing than doing actual work or study belittles those that have true addictions.
  • I've been a netizen for 13 years, the most formative of which were during the height of the dot com bubble when I was in college. I was addicted long before smart phones and Facebook. But as I matured and realized that the Internet was 90% crap (like most of life), I found myself spending less and less time each day online. The same thing will happen to the majority of these college kids. If you use social media to enhance your real life relationships rather than substitute them, it's fine. My little c
  • Suffering, really? I'm reminded of that scene from Office Space:

    Bob: "Looks like you've been missing a lot of work lately."
    Peter: "I wouldn't say I've been *missing* it, Bob."

  • by calmofthestorm (1344385) on Wednesday April 06, 2011 @11:05AM (#35733310)

    by Arthur C. Clarke? Not so much in what is happening, but by the older generation's bemoaning thereof.

  • How many of us are drinking our coffee while doing our daily digest of /. while at work? How many of you have answered an email while driving/watching your kids/insert your relevant activity here? Just because we are older and frequent different sites than "the kids" doesn't mean we aren't addicted in some fashion to the Internet and our technology devices either.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers

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