Are you addicted to the Internet ?

Sky News writes about Internet depression and addition.

Whilst I won’t touch on the depression side of things I must look at addition.

The study says

Her team identified a small group of 18 hardcore internet users who spent many hours online each day and were classed as “internet addicted”.

“While many of us use the internet to pay bills, shop and send emails, there is a small subset of the population who find it hard to control how much time they spend online, to the point where it interferes with their daily activities,” said Dr Morrison.

“We now need to consider the wider societal implications of this relationship and establish clearly the effects of excessive internet use on mental health.”

This interested me somewhat and I went on to think about my Internet usage, the past, the present and where it has led me to today.

Anyone that knows me well, will know that for many years I have been interacting online, writing, getting ahead of trends and generally ‘being online’.  It all started in 1994 when I was one of the first people I knew to ‘get online’ and ‘surf’ the web.  At the age of 11 (still in 1994) I got to know my cousin in Australia ( A web dev guru) who I had never met, very well (all online).  I had a website, I was signed up to numerous e-mailing lists related to Mini’s (ahh them where the days!) had an ICQ account and built up a few friends (who I still have today) that I had never met (and still never have).

Today, things are a little bit more advanced.  Nearly everyone I know has either a facebook a/c or twitter (including my Aunt), even my Dad spends an hour or two a day sending emails and converses regularly with his brother in Australia via online, even my Grandmother SkyPE’s with my other cousin who has just moved to Australia.

I have a twitter a/c, bebo (?), facebook, blog ( a few ) and numerous other online sources of knowledge and places to publish.  When I rise in the morning, the first thing I do (after kissing my wife and Daughter good morning) is check my email, twitter and facebook.  THEN I get on with the mundane tasks of live, like breakfast and childrens TV.  If I want some news, I head to BBC Online, Sky Online or my twitter newsfeeds.  I spend about 8 or 9 hours online everyday (on average).

And where has all then gotten me ? Well for a start work wise, A few years a go I ran a web dev company, I currently work for the largest WISP on the island of Ireland, I run a very successful online scouting store and I advise some companies on online marketing.

Personally I have a twitter and facebook a/c, keep a blog and use all of these methods to meet new people!  Now hear comes the ‘how can you meet people online?’ question.  Well its simple, over the past few years I have made some great scouting contacts who my troop has had joint camps with, personally (and mainly through twitter) I have met some great tech heads from the area and together we formed Open Coffee Lisburn, a Bi-Weekly meet up to discuss many things, from business to modems, to mac’s to politics – great people !  In business I use facebook, linked in and forums to forge business contacts to expand our network.

Just today I used the net to complete on two deals, organise two scouting events and sort out who is going to the pub to watch the Ireland rugby match on Saturday.

I use the Internet to communicate in a way that suits me.  Simple!

So it would be wrong to base this article on solely me, so I turn to my scouts and I am thinking are they addicted to the Internet? well no, they have facebook, bebo (some twitter) and other online outlets.  My Brother (also one of my scouts until he turned 18) is 18, he has a blog, twitter, facebook etc and what does he do ?  Well the same as me, he uses it to learn, communicate and organize things… will he go into the online business, probably not – he wants to be an accountant or something else boring but I am almost certain he will use ‘online’ to make that business the best it can be.

So am I addicted to the Internet ?  I am afraid I don’t understand the question.  How can I be addicted to something that not only my businesses are built upon but something that is a way of life ?  In the 60s, 70s and 80s were experts claiming that certain people were newspaper addicts ?  I think not…………. your comments are welcome.



4 Comments on “Are you addicted to the Internet ?”

  1. Warren says:

    Nothing annoys me more than the statement “addicted to the internet” without it I’d know about a 1/5 of what I do, leads to so many opportunities and new things. It’s the people that spend their time solely on facebook etc. it’s not about how long you spend at all, it’s how productive it is for you.

  2. wordwand says:

    A good article that touches upon a delicatye issue indeed.Surfing the net has changed considerably,all of my free time is alloted to the net : tending my blog, contibuting to forums and of course reading -emails.the rythm of my life has been affected by the net and I can’t imagine myself living without it.

  3. rolf says:

    The definition of addiction states that you are doing something you have no control over, and it interferes with the things you would want to be doing. So it’s really simple.

    If you spend every waking moment on the internet, but it doesn’t interfere with your life, you’re healthy, and it doesn’t bother you, it’s not addiction.

    If you find yourself being anxious when not on the internet, or you grab your phone to tweet while you actually should be leaving for work, and you notice that it’s controlling you instead of the other way around, THEN you’re addicted.

    Spending much time on the internet is not the problem. Not being able to control yourself while on the internet is the problem.

  4. Allan Kappa says:

    Very interesting way to market on facebook. I also found a way to automate several very powerful methods of getting users. You can grab ID by groups or pages or wall posts with this program. Then once you have the IDs you can do a friend blast to your logon or sudo profile. This by passes the captcha codes too. There is also a cool chat program that you can setup scripts and keyword to work with. This program, when I use it I can see a spike in my site traffic. It is amazing…

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