Thursday, March 13, 2014

I'm Addicted

Yesterday was the 25th "Birthday" of the Internet.  Well, according to something that popped up on my newsfeed and Wikipedia (and you know they can't put anything on the Internet that isn't true) it was the Internet's Birthday.

Ironically enough, I spent much of the earlier part of my day thinking about how I seriously need to "unplug" more.  I even looked up signs and symptoms of addiction...now granted, they were talking about substance abuse but if the shoe fits, lace that bitch up and wear it.

Hi, my name is Hot Ash and I'm addicted to the Internet.  My earliest memory of the Internet is attempting to do research in 5th grade.  I was confused by it.  Eventually, I realized what an awesome resource it was and all of the cool things I could see and do with it.  I could type in anything and get a bunch of cool information simply by adding ".com".  Unfortunately, this logic also led me to my first exposure to Internet porn.  While it leads to something delightful now, a  decade or so ago hotchocolate.com led to pictures of scantily clad, large black women.

Awkward.

That soon gave way to AOL.  My best friend and I would chat with boys, lying about our names and ages late into the night.  That's how we spent our sleepovers...listening to music or watching some chick flick while we painted our toenails, ordering Rocky Rococo's pizza with pepperoni, onions, and green olives and then later that night creeping upstairs and talking in chat rooms until the wee hours in the morning.

When we were 13, this was one of our favorite songs

I've played more online games than I can name.  I can't even tell you how much Lemonade Game I've played after being introduced to it at school.  In college, we spent hours playing Newgrounds Adult Games like "Orgasm Angel" (which we never won, by the way).

As an adult, I use the Internet CONSTANTLY.  I'm reading recipes.  I'm blogging.  I'm updating statuses, tweeting, sharing photos.  When we order out for lunch, I'm looking at the menu online.  I'm using maps in the car.  I'm checking prices at the store.  I'm checking my bank account balance.  I never wonder what happened to someone, I just look them up.  I have access to 5 email accounts from my phone.

Speaking of email, I've had the same personal email address since I was 12.  I've also had a number of Yahoo! accounts that were attached to the messenger (so that changed frequently as teenage girls tend to change screen names on a whim).  I have Gmail for my Android phone.  I have Gmail for this blog.  Since the age of 12, I've had at least 15 different email addresses that I can remember

You cannot avoid the Internet anymore.  Which is awesome, but unfortunately I'm starting to feel as though it is running my life.  It sounds sick, but I live on the Internet. When I wake up in the morning, I look to see what happened since I last checked it 5 hours before.  I read through my personal newsfeed.  Then I go and check the More Than Cheese and Beer Facebook page for notifications.  Then I check email.

Need to make plans?  Facebook messenger.  Need something to do?  Facebook stalk or Twitter Trends.  Use website to track food, calories and weight.  Use app to track mileage.  Get current events online.  Watch a movie online.  I get up and then I spend my entire day on the Internet.

Every waking moment.

And I'm starting to think I have a sick, severe problem.

I spend so much time online, that online interactions have begun to exhaust me like real interactions.  As an introvert...people, while I love them, are like exercise for my brain and sometimes I have to just stop.  Being pinged all day long, and the persistent flashing blue light on my phone makes me sigh and roll my eyes.  It's not that I don't love these interactions, but the fact that it is nearly constant is causing feelings of severe overload.

I wonder if there is an Online Anonymous group...I think I'll go Google that....

1 comment:

  1. I am also completely addicted to the internet, and I am wondering if blogging has made it worse. I switched my notifications for Twitter and Facebook off on my phone so that I don't get updates the second something happens. That doesn't seem to change the fact that I'm still on those sites way too frequently. I was also horribly addicted to Pinterest, but that has slowed down a bit, as it seems like I have pinned everything I can possibly pin.

    Also, I'm an introvert too, and I totally get what you're saying about online interactions being just as exhausting as real interactions. I had to schedule some time in today just to respond to emails and comments. Ha ha like I really get THAT many, but still it's exhausting sometimes trying to respond to everything in a timely manner.

    Oh, I have a confession: I was totally addicted to Candy Crush for a while. Kind of embarrassing, but I couldn't stop. I'd be laying in bed at like 1:00 AM trying to discreetly play the game while my fiance was sleeping next to me. Then I'd forget I didn't mute it first. He'd wake up to the Candy Crush music and be like, "Seriously? Candy Crushing at 1:00 in the morning?"

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