30 March 2014

Addict

How did we live before the internet? Like an alcoholic sitting in a support circle, I need to gulp before admitting that I am an internet addict. But in this I am not alone. My particular addiction has spread like wildfire around the globe. Millions are affected.

When I switch on the computer, I am soon checking my most visited websites. It is a well-worn path. First it's the BBC News and then the football section of that same website. Next it's on to Panoramio and Geograph to check statistics, developments and viewings. Next I'll go to MSN Hotmail to check emails and dump any unwanted advertising bumph that has appeared. Afterwards I check out my blog and any comments that have appeared. I will also trawl through associated favourite blogs and perhaps leave some comments of my own. Onwards to the "Hull Daily Mail" website for news on Hull City and crime in the East Riding. Then it's time to check out the weather forecast by returning to the wonderful BBC website.

It's all like a comfort blanket. I feel a warm glow when investigating these familiar websites. These regular destinations underpin any other forrays into the internet jungle that I might make - online purchases, food recipes, "The Bangkok Post", Ordnance Survey, Booking.com, The Sheffield Star, The Guardian, Wikipedia, Crossword Solver etc..

The internet is a wonderful phenomenon and compared with past generations we are blessed to have it at our disposal. On a daily basis, I continue to feel a real sense of awe whenever I log on. How can this magic happen? I look back to when I was a university student in the pre-internet dark ages. I was a very diligent, hard-working student - immersed in my studies. I spent hour upon hour  in the university library. Often I'd have to order materials from other university libraries or waste oodles of time checking through obscure volumes in the stacks. If the internet had been around back then, the slow frustration of following research leads would have been massively reduced. Far less time would have been wasted.

I am sure that a forensic scientist or indeed a psychiatrist would be able to deduce much about the people we are by investigating our internet habits. The choices we make and our preferences are like footprints in  the sand. I wonder what internet patterns you yourself have gradually established and what they might say about you.

While writing this post, I sidetracked to Wikipedia and discovered that IAD (Internet Addiction Disorder) is gradually being recognised as a problematic condition for many users. It has various different forms. Gulp! My name is Yorkshire Pudding and I am an internet addict...

29 comments:

  1. My name is Molly P and I am an addict too, YP. This is completely mental but my friend, who is 60 years young, and I are addicted to a game called Astro Garden on Facebook. It's just a silly bloody game where you get quests to do and you have to collect things but it's designed to be addictive, but Gladys and me just love it...and Gladdy is SO competitive.

    I also have my favourite things that I look in on every day - blogs, Facebook to see what my rellies and friends are up to, and a few others. I did have a dabble on Twitter for a while but got bored quite quickly.

    As you say, we didn't have all this information to hand when we were young. I could have done my dissertation in no time at all if the internet had been available when I was a student but I honestly think I would feel as if I had cheated and not done the research properly.

    Anyway, it's not such a bad addiction is it? Better than drinking 2 bottles of vino and smoking 40 fags a day isn't it?

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    1. Better than drinking two bottles of plonk and forty fags a day? You appear to be basing this judgement on practical Glaswegian experience Molly. Was it the subject of your dissertation?

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    2. No it wasn't, you cheeky monkey! Thankfully, I am not a typical example of the Glaswegian lifestyle to which you refer.

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    3. Excuse me for rattling your cage Molly. I know that the title of your dissertation was "The impact of large woody debris on fluvial erosion" or something like that.

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    4. Fancy a glass of Irn Bru and a deep fried Mars Bar?

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    5. Aye hen then a pint o heavy an a wee half. On oor way home will stop for haggis suppers wi white vinegar.

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  2. I too am an internet addict but worse than that, I am a technology addict, constantly trawling the internet to read up on the latest laptops, tablets, smartphones, chrome books... The list is endless. Is there any hope for me at all, I wonder? Maybe we should form a self-help group.

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    1. Jenny - This could be a new avenue for your counselling. As nobody else seems to be addressing it much, you'd soon be the obligatory "expert" on breakfast news programmes.

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  3. Yes, my name is Marty and. .
    I finished the day yesterday irritable and with a dull ache in my right eye from too many hours staring at a small screen. Granted, some of it had purpose, such as trolling for some misguided publisher for my book, too much of it was the neverending loop from one email account to my blog to other blogs to the other email account to Facebook and back again.
    And its currently sleeting outside and there are warnings not to drive. Uh oh.

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    1. Welcome to the addicts support group Marty. You have overcome the first hurdle - admitting your addiction. Now let's all join hands and chant "We can beat this thing!"

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  4. You describe my habits to a Tee. I went through university doing what you did...the slow laborious search for information.

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    1. Now it's almost too quick Red. Back then we were like coal miners, chipping away at the coalface of knowledge.

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  5. For 35 years I sat at a computer 8 hours a day. I was a typographer. Now I'm only in front of it 3 or 4 hours a day, so I see that as an improvement. I'm no longer alone at my computer, I have a social connection with all the rest of you addicts. I also see that as an improvement. My favorite library was at UCDavis, 4 stories of wonder, with half floors and hidden carels where true library addicts would camp out after closing hours.

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    1. Three or four hours a day? Hey that makes you an addict too Jan. Welcome to the support group. Bring Wesley along as stroking that cute little critter will have a healing effect for some of our worst case addicts.

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  6. My first stop is always my email inbox. Then it's blog time; it is part of my morning routine to drink a large mug of coffee (no milk, but VERY sweet) while I read what has appeared over night on my favourite blogs. Only then will I go and check out my own blog, always hoping for some nice and/or witty comments.
    On working days, XING is my next stop, since I do some work-related stuff on that platform. Of course, my work email has already been opened by that time, too.
    Others such as wikipedia or my hometown's newspaper's site are only visited when I have a bit more time (not every day) or want to look something up. I often use wikipedia when doing a bit of research about the books (and their authors) I review on my blog.

    When I was still at school and later at Librarian School and during my work at the library, the internet did not yet exist; we kept a catalogue of the contents of our library with a small catalogue card typed for each and every volume we had on our shelves, plus cross-references and so on. There were rows and rows of wooden chests with long, narrow drawers full of those cards. You could always tell how long a book had already been part of the library's stock by looking at the card: the old typewriters had a different set of types and were of a different material than the newer ones. And the longer I worked at the library, the more often I came across cards that I had typed myself - something that was always greeted with a tiny exclamation mark in my mind.

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    1. I wonder what happened to those wooden chests with their little drawers and your neatly typed cards Arian. Maybe some far sighted individual has saved them for a themed museum - "How We Used to Live".

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    2. I'd like to know that myself. The older chests were really nice, in a Steampunky sort of way, with the wood darkened by age and brass frames for the labels. The newer ones were very functional, nothing "pretty" about them, just clear lines and sharp edges.

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    3. If you could only get hold of one of those cabinets, you could keep your cosmetics in the little drawers.

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    4. And then what would I do with all the empty drawers, after the first one would be filled to maybe one tenth of its capacity?

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  7. My name is Mountain Thyme and .......

    I take medication on an empty stomach when I first wake up and so, in the hour or so before I can have any solid food, I troll lotsa stuff on the computer. First, my e-mail (most of which I delete right off the bat!), then Huffington Post, then some Wikipedia regarding people or things I saw on Huffington (which of course leads to more people and places on Wikipedia), then my Facebook page to see what my old friends are doing. Then pinecam.com to see what is happening and what the weather will be along the 285 corridor. (285 is a road that passes from Denver south through the foothills all the way to southern Texas! But, pinecam.com is only interested in the foothills of Colorado.) Then I check out Pinterest. Then Mr. Pudding's post which I keep separate from all other blogs that I peruse occasionally on Bloglovin.

    Then, at night I spend hours reading books on my Kindle. That, at least, is time well spent!

    So, yes, I am addicted!

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    1. Welcome to the IAD Support Group Mistress Thyme. Take a seat over there by the window where you can watch birds feeding in the garden. Shall I get you a rug? It's rather chilly in the day room. Why are you staring at me blankly? Shall I wipe that drool from your chin? There - there, don't cry. We can help you.

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  8. My name is auntie Gladys
    And I have a friend too busy on the fucking internet to answer this blog entry

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Auntie Gladys. How nice of that young whippersnapper Master Gray for allowing you to use his computer. However, I was surprised to see a lady of your senior years using the "f" word.

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  9. My name is Lee...I am an addict! And I don't give a damn who knows it! I love the internet; and I love my computer! So there!

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    1. Err loving computers isn't entirely healthful Lee - especially when you give them names. What's yours called? Bruce?

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  10. Mine is called "Edgar"...I've named every computer I've had "Edgar". After the computer in that quaint, quirky movie of the 80s...."Electric Dreams".

    Healthy or not...I still love my computer! Next week...akin to everything else we're continuously told what to do or what not to do - or what to eat or what not to eat etc., etc., et al... it will be healthy once again to love one's computer! ;)

    I have no shame or embarrassment...I love Edgar!!

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    1. And I bet that Edgar loves you - especially when you boot him up.

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  11. Like you, I get lots of physical exercise (though most of it on the croquet lawns and in the garden). Like you I spend a lot of time with The Family and friends. I wish I knew what I did with the rest of my time. It passes pretty quickly though.

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    1. Stop visiting "Highland Lassies.com", "Dolly Parton Fanclub.com" and "Cool Aussie Bushats.com" GB! You'll have more time for other activities.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.