I picked up a pamphlet today at work just because I wanted to see what my company considered an “internet addict.” It might not even be my company that thinks this way, but the company that produced this pamphlet sure does. It’s an Internet Addiction Self Assessment test that attempts to help a person determine if they are an internet addict with a set of “yes or no” questions about your internet use. I know good and well that I would be in denial if I said I didn’t use the internet all that much. I LIVE on this insane jumble of random people’s thoughts. I love reading news, writing blog posts, watching YouTube, and podcasting. I wouldn’t know what to do if there came a day that I no longer had the internet access that I enjoy right now.
On to the pamphlet!! I’ll share with you a handful of questions that are on this thing and let you also determine if you need to seek help for this disease that plagues America. Here we go! Answer as honestly as possible!
Do you stay online longer than originally intended?
Do you hide your online interactions from your significant other?
Do you lose sleep because of late-night logins?
Do you find it hard to stay away from the internet several days at a time?
Do you fear that life without the internet would be DULL AND JOYLESS? *emphasis added
Do you go online before other chores or duties should be done?
If you answered YES to one or more of these questions, you may be experiencing internet addiction.
How crazy is that!! Answering to even ONE of those questions could mean that you are an internet addict. Needless to say I am DEFINITELY an internet addict according to this test. I think it’s a pretty bad test in general though. Those are just a handful of the questions, but most of them are along the same vein. I think it’s clear that 90% of the population is getting to the point of at least answering yes to one of those questions. I’m definitely not ashamed of it all though. I use the internet as a tool for many of my hobbies and I see it as being no more dangerous to me than riding a horse is to a cowboy. It’s just a tool I use to accomplish many goals that I have.
I think this pamphlet plays into a fear that people have about new technologies. Every time something new comes along, we try our best to prove that it’s dangerous to the youth and is an addictive habit. We did it with rock music, video games, and drugs….okay so the drugs thing turned out, but hey! I don’t think the internet is dangerous and you’re probably not dangerously addicted until you go into convulsions when you can’t update Twitter for 10 minutes. We all need to use this tool, and it’s time we get over the absurdity that is internet addiction. Most of those questions, I think, are thinly veiled questions about your porn watching habits. If you answered yes to any of those and you were thinking about porn, you are addicted to PORN…not the internet.
HAVE A NICE DAY!