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As humans we all invariably have our vices. For some it’s alcohol, for others drugs, for some nicotine, for others food. We get addicted to things we enjoy, and it’s sometimes hard to kick the habit after years of living a certain way enjoying certain pleasures in life. Believe it or not the Internet is no different from other vices, and it can draw you in and refuse to let go without a fight.

Joel recently write an article urging everybody to take a break Take A Break From the Internet - You’ll Thank Yourself Later [Opinion] Take A Break From the Internet - You’ll Thank Yourself Later [Opinion] Oh, the Internet. One of the most world-changing inventions of the past century, perhaps even in all of human history. Never before has everything been so available in so little effort for so low a... Read More from the Internet. It’s his opinion that doing so, whether it be for two minutes or a year, can be of great benefit. It may be hard to imagine taking such an extended break from the online world, but it does throw up an interesting topic ripe for discussion here on MakeUseOf.

This Week’s Question…

Are You Addicted To The Internet?

In this week’s ‘We Ask You’ column we want to know what kind of relationship you think you have with the Internet. Is it a very small part of your life that you can easily imagine shunning for a prolonged period, or possibly for ever? At the other end of the scale do you find yourself sitting and clicking mindlessly around the Web for something, anything, to do on an evening? And were this behemoth of information and entertainment to be taken away would you cope?

The Internet is clearly an addictive entity – and it is an entity (see The IT Crowd video clip below) – but do you find yourself pining for it when it’s no longer available? I must admit my laptop is the first thing I reach for in the morning, and if there is ever a problem with my connection I panic. Granted, this is because access to the Web is an essential part of my job, but it has still made me question whether I myself am somewhat addicted to this other life.

Have you chosen a night in trawling the Web over going out with friends or visiting family? Has the Internet ever adversely affected one of your relationships? Are there any techniques or programs Cut Through Procrastination With These Pomodoro Technique Apps & Software Cut Through Procrastination With These Pomodoro Technique Apps & Software Procrastination is a malady that pervades students and workers in all corners of the world and it infects amateurs and professionals alike. As a writer, I suffer from procrastination on a daily basis. Some people... Read More you have used to counter the addictive nature of the Web? We want to hear from you on all of the issues raised above.

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Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what You Told UsOne reader will even win Comment Of The Weekwhich will be included in the follow-up post! What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

‘We Ask You‘ is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to start a conversation. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: Paull Young

  1. 7987627e5cfdd26789fd0cac537539e7
    July 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    I spend a lot of time online but I know I need it for work. I try to draw the line when I feel necessary.

  2. Craig Snyder
    July 7, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Yes, and not even ashamed of it.

    • Dave Parrack
      July 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm

      I don't think you should be ashamed of it. But addictions aren't positive things. Have you ever found it's had a negative impact on your life?

      • Craig Snyder
        July 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm

        Definitely, but I feel the good points heavily outweigh the bad. Like any addiction, it's got drawbacks that are probably unhealthy in multiple ways.

        I feel like it's a lot easier to justify being addicted to the internet rather than some other addictions I can think of, like smoking.

  3. Jon Steedley
    July 7, 2012 at 5:50 am

    I'm afraid so.
    I usually do my email, and catch up on the news every day.
    ONLINE, of course.
    Why would I want to waste even more time, watching TV,
    when I can pick+choose the info *I* want,
    instead of being 'force-feed' the *news* propaganda.

    Have a GREAT day, neighbors!

  4. Manide
    July 5, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    The internet is by far the most time consuming addiction I have. It became so six years ago, when I bought my first PC. This changed my habits. For instance, how did my days begin...
    -before PC: wake up, shower, breakfast, make my room to look OK, job...
    -after PC: wake up, PC...PC...well - PC again, fast shower, fast breakfast, PC, forget about my room, job...
    I know I'm wrong and I can't blame Google Reader, Facebook, Twiter and Google + ... I'm weak...

    P.S.: Please, don't mention strong will, discipline etc

  5. Paul H.
    July 5, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Yes, I get up in the morning and the first thing to do after preparing the coffee is turn on the computer to get the news and emails. From then on, it never seems to end.

    I can hardly wait for the solar flares to knock out the Internet and go cold turkey.

    • Dave Parrack
      July 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      You want to go cold turkey? :O

  6. Kevin
    July 5, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Yes i am ! not only internet also anime gaming .
    Yes i am diehard anime watcher atleast spend 9-14 hours.

    But not social , like Facebook , i quit after a year i joined it .

    • Dave Parrack
      July 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      What made you quit Facebook?

  7. Dany Bouffard
    July 5, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Yes, I am defenitely addicted to Internet. I keep checking XDA, MakeUse Of, may emails and when I am not able to use the net I refer to it as not being in a civilized zone.

  8. ferdinan Sitohang
    July 5, 2012 at 11:17 am

    For me, i'm not an addicted to the internet. When you get yourself in an office, live without internet, feels like something missing.

  9. Vampie C.
    July 5, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Addicted: YES.

    The first thing in the morning, even before getting out of bed: checking my mails en streamzoo. (smartphone)

    While having breakfast: checking some newssites and the Cool Websites and Tools. (smartphone)

    During the day, office work, gmail and browser always open (laptop)

    And ofcourse while being away from home or work, smartphone always fully charged.

    And dont' forget spotify for the music everywhere :-)

    Since my smartphone, addiction + 1000%

    But it's a fun way to interact with people from all over the world.
    You get to see how they live and what drives then.

    • Dave Parrack
      July 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      The way smartphones have changed things is an interesting point. Thanks for commenting :)

  10. Shakirah Faleh Lai
    July 5, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Not too addicted because my parents will be mad of me. I spend 2-3 hours daily at 3 or 4 a.m.

    • Dave Parrack
      July 5, 2012 at 10:41 am

      Is that every day without fail though?

      • Shakirah Faleh Lai
        July 7, 2012 at 10:07 am

        Yeah, if the internet connection and PC/phone ok. Internet speed in most part of my country are very slow. My area dosen't has a wifi coverage we count on broadband. When I'm not online the main reasons are there're no connection at all or I've been in a jungle.

  11. Ademola Adeleke Kiddo
    July 5, 2012 at 9:41 am

    I am addicted to internet and is really helping me because i learn from it everyday. till now I choose it as my Girl Friend because I do not have one presently

    • Dave Parrack
      July 5, 2012 at 10:40 am

      As long as you haven't named her ;)

  12. Laga Mahesa
    July 5, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Nope. I was, back in my IRC days, but not now. Most of it's fluff, completely unmissed when absent.

    I used to be borderline anal with my RSS feeds... now, if there's been a couple of days since the last check, I'll eyeball the top 10 headlines in each feed and dump the rest.

    I actually get bored every now and then and don't even bother with the internet for a week.

    • Dave Parrack
      July 5, 2012 at 10:40 am

      Wow, you're going against the grain here. Most people have become more addicted to the Internet in recent years, but you've gone the other way. Why do you think that is?

      • Laga Mahesa
        July 5, 2012 at 11:13 am

        There's less variety. If something vaguely interesting happens, every site under the sun suddenly has nothing else to talk about.

        WWDC, Google I/O, E3, Apple keynotes, Apple releases... heh, any of these and other, similarly big events essentially hold up a big sign to me, saying, "The internet is undergoing maintenance. Bugger off and do something else."

        There's been a plague of witchdoctors and shamans in recent years, too. Never has there been a time in history when fortune tellers have been paid attention to by so many people. It's not just them, it's also the pretender shamans, freshly graduated with a useless graphics degree: "Loookzerz at my kewl rendering of an imaginary iPhone! Oh ya plz check out my portfolio while you're here!" Every damn news site jumps on them as if Zeus himself had come amongst them with the ghost of Steve Jobs, validating their words.

        Finally, there's the sheer amount of inane gibberish. It all used to be neatly corraled in known hot zones - rugose BBSes, dark cyclopean forae hiding off the beaten path, squamous Geocities sites with dayglo banners - but it's now all spilling out into unexpected areas, having a devastating effect on the collective IQs of entire generations.

        Whoever made the rage comics, and anyone who makes youtube response videos masquerading as the original... they all need a year in Siberia.

        But that ain't gonna happen, which makes me happy, because I am unaddicted and can very, very frequently say, "Hmmm, that's that, then. What next?"

  13. Ben
    July 5, 2012 at 7:49 am

    I used to think I was not addicted to the web as I confined my surfing to at most 2 hours a day. Then I discovered I felt compelled to do this daily. If, say I had a busy day and did not get on the web during the day, no matter what time I get home, be it midnight, I must get my 2 hour fix!

    • Dave Parrack
      July 5, 2012 at 10:39 am

      That's a good point. It isn't necessarily about the time spent but the compulsion to do it every day.

  14. Konstantinos Foutzopoulos
    July 5, 2012 at 6:56 am

    Hell yeah, I am! And now with the smartphones I can take this addiction with me everywhere.

  15. Greg
    July 5, 2012 at 5:57 am

    Very addicted. Without it me and my sibling would be very bored. Sure we have TV but the internet is more amazing

    • Dave Parrack
      July 5, 2012 at 10:38 am

      The Internet can be the TV if you want it to :)

  16. vineedcool
    July 5, 2012 at 5:55 am

    hey can anybody tell me lowest and lean paid 3g service in india???

  17. jessemanalansan
    July 5, 2012 at 5:52 am

    Yes I am addicted to the internet! :) I almost go online everyday every hour. lol

  18. Koshy George
    July 5, 2012 at 5:37 am

    Asking whether your addicted to the internet is like asking if you were addicted to breathing.

    • Dave Parrack
      July 5, 2012 at 10:37 am

      Ah, but is it? That's putting it on a par with life's essentials like fresh air, water, and food. Which is strong stuff.

      • Koshy George
        July 5, 2012 at 10:55 am

        OK then its like being asked if you were addicted to seeing things around you and taking to people.

        • Dave Parrack
          July 5, 2012 at 10:57 am

          That's still strong stuff! I'm not saying you're wrong at all, it just shows how important the Internet has become in all our lives :)

        • Laga Mahesa
          July 5, 2012 at 11:16 am

          Not all, mate. ;'D

        • Koshy George
          July 5, 2012 at 11:20 am

          Yes,i feel that the internet is as important as talking to people and seeing the world around us.Maybe more important because the internet is an avenue with unlimited possibilities.

  19. Vipul Jain
    July 5, 2012 at 3:57 am

    I definitely am addicted to the net, I keep checking updates for XDA, Facebook, Thinkdigit to follow up topics. Even MUO :D
    But i have made sure that whatever i may be doing, it never takes a upper hand over my real life.

    Eg: I am playing Counter Strike onine, and my mom calls for some work, thats it, game can be paused, real life cant.. :P

    Also i always prefer to hang out with friends over chatting them up lamely.
    Lately i have even moved over the fact "Pics or it didn't happen", so i am trying hard to kick Facebook out as a life essential.. :)

    • Dave Parrack
      July 5, 2012 at 10:36 am

      Real life cannot be paused... that's so true and a good point to remember :)

    • Laga Mahesa
      July 5, 2012 at 11:17 am

      Pix or it didn't happen. ;'D

  20. Serra Stone
    July 5, 2012 at 3:48 am

    Hell yes I am. I bought a 200 watt converter for my car so I could charge my laptop and phone to tether my phone to my laptop while the electric is out. Got a long extension could and parked my car outside my window, feeding the cord in the window so I don't have to take things outside in the creepy dark to charge them!

    • Dave Parrack
      July 5, 2012 at 10:36 am

      i definitely think that counts as addicted! :)

      • Serra Stone
        July 6, 2012 at 4:33 pm

        My electric FINALLY came back on an hour ago! After 6 days of being off! I almost ran my car battery down once even though that converter was supposed to have a safety kickoff to prevent that.

        Some people in this thread are joking about being addicted to the internet, and I don't take any offense to that. However, as I am on SSI/Disability for Inherited Osteoarthritis (and I'm only 34)/Bi-Polar/ADHD- it is a very real thing for me- being online for 12+ hours a day. (I'm currently not working at a job, but am wanting to go to college... an online college ><, due to having social issues and not wanting to drive so far for college due to the Osteo and gas prices)

        It really is my life, if I didn't have the internet, I would go bats**t crazy, literally. So while I think that it's alright to joke about it, please remember that there are people out there who really are addicted!

        • Dave Parrack
          July 10, 2012 at 5:12 pm

          I don't think people are joking about it, it just depends how seriously you take the idea of Internet addiction. I think for some people it could be a problem, but for others it's a lifeline. Good luck with the college dream.

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