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Internet addict? I can quit whenever I want

A recent article in Newsweek magazine states that the Internet poses the same addiction risk as drugs and alcohol. There are serious studies going on around the world that show that not only can the Internet become addictive but that it can lead to mental changes and possibly mental illness.

Of course, I read this article on MSNBC, on the Internet. When I think of it, I don’t know what I used to do B.I. – before Internet. I don’t use a phone book anymore, and I no longer refer to a dictionary. If I want to know something, I Google it.

In fact, the act of googling is something that did not exist in the prehistoric days of my youth. If someone would have told me that someday I would google everything, I would have laughed and laughed, because google is a funny word.

According to the article, a majority of people check the Internet before they even get out of bed in the morning. I have been guilty of that myself. My laptop is only an arm’s length away at any given time. My only lament is that I can’t take it with me everywhere. But, there are smart phones for that.

I’m afraid to get a smart phone for the very reason that if I did, I would never be unconnected from the net. There is something very Orwellian about constant contact that makes me a little bit uneasy. And now, after reading this article, I know why.

The Internet is an unending wealth of information. It is always streaming, changing and updating us on a million different subjects all the time. And it seems like it keeps us all connected to each other too, with social networking. But the term social network is misleading. Are sites like Twitter and Facebook really social if, in reality, you are tweeting and posting alone in your room?

Ultimately the Internet is isolating and over stimulating. And now that I’ve read the Newsweek article, I can see that it’s just a tiny bit addictive too. I have an insatiable need to know useless information. I will search for lyrics to a song from 1963 that’s stuck in my head until I find it on YouTube, and then I play it, sing it, and share it on Facebook. Who am I?

Why has it become so necessary to waste precious time finding unnecessary information? I hate to admit that I might be addicted to Yahoo News, and other favorite websites.

In fact, I think I can stop whenever I want. Yes, sir. I can just walk away.

Just let me check my Facebook, and my email, first.


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