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I'm Debra, and I'm a blogger

Well, Clare Dudman has a fascinating post on a talk she attended by Professor David Crystal, who writes on grammar and language and had a lot to say about the internet. Fascinating stuff. Part of Clare's post is on internet addiction, and I'm going to take this sentence of hers out of context, because it made me laugh: "In fact sometimes I lie awake thinking about going on-line...." The question he posed is, "... if you visit the bathroom in the middle of the night does it occur to you to check your email on the way back to bed?" Clare's answer is yes. My answer is, if my computer weren't two flights down in the scary, scary dark basement, then I would certainly think of checking. (Though I must say that I often don't feel the same I MUST LOG ON NOW urgency before about 9:00 in the morning, because I find that my online life doesn't pick up much before that. Similarly things are slow on the weekends. Well, the deblog is very busy on the weekends, but my involvement isn't required.)

Well, I just took an internet addiction test here and scored a 41, which makes me according to them a "normal user." But I have my doubts. Thing is, as Bryan Appleyard suggested of himself the other day, I live a good part of my life online. I have friends for whom using the internet is peripheral to their day-to-day lives, but it's not for me. Hmmm. I wonder, is it even legitimate to speak of an internet addiction? The internet is many things: communication by email or instant message, blogging, playing games, watching videos, reading news, shopping, etc. Can you be said to be addicted to the medium that brings these disparate things into your life, or can you only be addicted to those disparate things individually? I can't think offhand of any parallels in real life.... Unless it's similar to saying that someone is addicted to leaving the house, because in leaving the house they get to go shopping and visiting and so on.

Well, any thoughts? It's all an interesting topic.

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Comments

1.

I scored 39. Questions such as 'do you neglect household chores because of the internet?' were somewhat difficult to answer. I neglect household chores alright, but I'd be doing that with or without the internet! I think my frailties and inadequacies pre-date the computer. Although I do like to redirect blame... It's Bill Gates' fault! And that other weasel...the Apple guy...Steve Jobs! I was a productive member of society before they dragged me down.

2.

This really is an interesting post, Debra. I can't stop thinking about it. Perhaps the computer/internet attraction is that we are using the medium as an extension of our brains...we think/we compute. The interaction with other thinkers/computers is a compulsion because the brain is driven to function at all times.

3.

I have a wireless broadband connection and a computer sitting on the floor next to my bed. So Debra, if you had that how often would you be online?

4.

Actually, I'm not in my bedroom all that much. It is a bit inconvenient at times having things in my study, because sometimes I'dlike to be upstairs and logged on. But that would imply a laptop, which I'm not so sure I'd want, just because I find them a little less comfortable to use. It's a quandry. Are you in your bedroom whene'er you write us, Tom? Probably wearing that bandage thing all the time too.....

I like very much to think that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have dragged Susan into the mire.

5.

I am either at work or in the bedroom. Or in the living room. Michel doesn't like the laptop so she uses the desktop computer in the study. Beth has a desktop in her room. Right now I am sitting in bed, Michel is asleep and Beth is IM'ing her friends.

6.

Well I scored 45 - but I don't mind - there's always that blog for me to discuss my addiction with other sufferers...heh heh. Thanks for the link Debra. I think I shall have to go back there at frequent intervals just to see how well I'm doing. I agree with Susan though - some of those questions are difficult to answer - if it weren't for the internet there'd only be something else.

7.

I didn't like the questions that much either. For one thing, a lot of them weren't really pertinent to my life, happily unemployed as I am.

8.

I scored 47. I thought the quiz was silly, though, eg "frequently" and "often" are the same, aren't they?
Seemed to be aimed at students.

I am employed outside the home but use internet and email (in combination) almost all the time at work.

At home I use the internet for virtually all my shopping (books, DVD rental for my children, clothes, food). I love blogging, that's my "social life". Apart from reading and looking after kids, that's all I do. So yes, I am addicted. But it keeps me sane and off the streets.




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About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Reading Herodotus: A Guided Tour through the Wild Boars, Dancing Suitors, and Crazy Tyrants of The History. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
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