I saw my first case of internet addiction recently and I don't just mean someone glued to their computer screen. The person I refer to was experiencing withdrawal symptoms after less than 24 hours off the computer. Symptoms strong enough to warrant medication, if you believe in the science behind tranks. I know, I know, it snowed a lot in Boston, global warming must be a liberal hoax.
But I digress . . .
I am reviewing my own online activities to determine the cost/benefit of my time there. I think, like most addicts, I have control of the urges that call me. Being a psychologist, researcher and pseudo-scientist I am undertaking a methodical review.
At this point, I have a couple of observations.
A. My overall web-surfing commitment has only slightly increased; however, social media, in particular Facebook, has replaced a good portion of the time I had previously devoted to national and international online newspapers. There certainly is a correlation to one's overall understanding of world affairs based on where you get your news. I wouldn't want my views to be Facebook formatted. On the other hand, the Daily Show remains a stolid source of commentarial sense and nonsense.
B. I do not have social media connections other than on my home computer. No cell phone surfing, no tablet, I can't even spell PDA. I generally don't carry my cell with me, only on long trips. Outside of the apartment, I am not connected, not sending, not receiving. When I walk out of a theatre I am discussing the performance with whomever attended with me, as opposed to the younger half of the audience who are texting their experience before Arlo has left the building.
C. Unfortunately, I have seen one too many "15 Most Exciting Ways To Something or Another" and I know way too much about what happened to the cast of M*A*S*H and Welcome Back Kotter. And the cats, don't even mention the cats. Did you see the one with the jaguar and the crocodile?
D. On the other hand, I am now in contact with friends from 50+ years ago. Some of those rekindled friendships have become very gratifying and I'm not even going to mention the shared recipes for all things chocolate.
I'm going to continue to mince around with these ideas for a week or so, but I can say I am considering at least a month long break from sharing any more pictures of my lunch, my million coin win on MyVegas or my deeply held feelings about bigotry disguised as religion.
So, on social media use -- How about you? The comments are open.