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Archive for October, 2006

Computer Addiction: Horrible New Scourge

Addiction mythology has had an astonishing effect on mainstream thinking. Yesterday’s newswires hummed with the recent scientific discovery that record numbers of citizens are being sucked into cyberspace, right through their desktop monitors. According to Stanford University scientists, the United States is full of computer addicts who are using their computers for non-essential purposes, often for 30 or more hours per week.

Most disturbing to the Stanford Scientists, was the discovery that many computer addicts hid their Internet surfing and computer activities, and, even worse, they actually used Internet activity to change their moods, to make themselves feel better. In other words, they were medicating themselves by watching YouTube movies and engaging in chats and other cyber-adventures.

Of course, this is alarming, but we should rest assured that funds are being allocated for the treatment of these very sick, cyber-crazed people. There are already a good number of online resources for computer addicts, provided prospective clients prefer the online cure to the online addiction.

Let us hope that the Stanford University scientists do not soon decide to investigate the extent of book addiction. I have relatives, including chldren and grandchildren, who can be found reading books at all hours of the day, often when they would better be otherwise occupied. I am sure they are attempting to change their moods by reading books, and I suspect they are even enjoying themselves, experiencing genuine pleasure as they blithely flip through page after page of printed text.

I am re-assured to know that the Stanford Scientists are not book addicts, and have not experienced the intense pleasure of reading, a life changing experience that can have lifelong consequences. I doubt they will be found reading anything at all, and I suspect none of them have actually read a book, cover-to-cover, in their entire lives. We can rest assured we are in good hands with a social service system so well prepared to guide us all through the obstacle course of life, including its many addictions such as computer addiction and book addiction.

Some of you may have noticed my writing addiction. I can’t stop, and I can’t predict the outcome of any given writing episode. One sentence is too many, and a thousand sentences is not enough. I write day after day, year after year, and I am hopeless that I can resist the desire to write, write, write.

I’ve been this way for ages. A decade ago, I wrote another piece on computer addiction. Unlike this very serious piece about the Stanford discovery, the last article was a joke. In other words, I was just kidding. I didn’t really mean the article to be factual, as this article is. If you can tolerate some writing done for the sheer enjoyment of writing, go to this link to Computer Addiction: Horrible New Scourge. You may not like it, but addictions are not often enjoyed by others.

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