Monday, August 2, 2010

Intoxication and Addiction

No, I'm not talking about drinking or drugs.  When I was in high school, my father accused me of being "addicted to the internet."  Being about 14, I told him he was crazy, got all indignant and huffy, but accepted the new restrictions on the internet.  I remember being especially peeved that a few months later, he was the one addicted to the internet.  He was always downstairs in his computer room, and spent very little time with us.  When I told him what he told me, he got SO mad.

I was reminded of this when I read about James Sturm's Internet-Free Experiment on Slate.  In his first installment, Sturm talked about all of the guilt and shame he feels when browsing the internet.  I absolutely agree.  Though I'm embarrassed to admit it, the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do at night is check the computer.  I look at my four (four) email accounts, read the daily blogs, spend way too much time on Facebook, and troll for something interesting, occasionally just by hitting refresh over and over.  I once had a program that tracks your internet usage and creates reports for you, but I couldn't deal with looking at how much time I wasted.

I also am a multitasker.  At any given time, I have some form of audio on in the house (between the TV, NPR, or a podcast).  I generally also have a number of tabs up on my browser.  Many times, I've got something in the oven at the same time.

One of my happiest times is when we didn't have television.  We knew that we had cable upstairs (on a 9 inch TV), but had nothing downstairs.  *B* and I read, played games, and listened to the radio.   We cooked together, and we enjoyed nature more.  I'm || this close to unplugging the cable and pretending it doesn't exist.

Are there any non-standard addictions you have?  What do you do to remedy them?


  1. I spend too much time on the computer too. On Friday I started a rule for myself to not check the computer until after lunch. I get so much more done that way! Like you were talking about, I waste more time on it the longer I'm there. There's no reason to check sites ten times a day. If I schedule the time, I find that I actually get things done on the computer that I need to (business before pleasure) and waste less time on blogs and Goodreads (my time-wasting pleasures of choice).

    My other big timewaster is reading. I can never decide if it's a good use of my time or not. I guess it depends what I'm reading and whether I've fulfilled my other obligations first (usually not!).

  2. spending money.
    I mean just shopping and buying things we don't need.
    I don't know if it is a remedy, but every year for one month we go on a spending fast.
    We don't spend money all month.
    We pay our bills (mortgage, utilities, health insurance) in advance, eat out of our food storage and pantry, and make do.
    We don't go out to eat, find free fun things to do, make home created gifts...
    It feels good to conquer a weakness even if for a short time.