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My addiction

Slashdot has a thread about a debate over whether Internet abuse counts as a true addiction. (Yet another taxonomic question!) Here’s what I posted in response. Since it was rated 1 (out of 5), you’re not going to stumble across it unless you have your filter set to “Masochist.”

Thank God!

I myself have been showing disturbing signs of being compulsively human. I’ve noticed that I feel an urge I simply cannot control to be social. This really began to scare me when I tried not to talk and found that after a mere seven hours – seven hours! — I said, “Howya doin’?” to the bagger at the supermarket. I didn’t want to. It just slipped out. I couldn’t control myself. Ever since, I’ve given in to my urge – yes, I know, I’m sick – answering the phone when it rings, responding not only to questions but to mere pleasantries, and even initiating conversations when they weren’t strictly required.

It’s a nightmare. And it gets worse.

it’s not just that when I’m with others, I – ugh! – participate in destructive social rituals like caring what people are saying. Even when I’m alone, kind thoughts about other people invade my consciousness. I feel an impulse to wonder what they’re thinking and what matters to them. I try to focus on computing pi or to remember the 1955 Dodgers starting lineup, but I just can’t shut out those images and feelings.

Sometimes – and I’m so ashamed to admit this – I use the Internet to sate these shameful urges.

Admitting all this in public is, I can only hope, the first step towards healing. [Tags: ]

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