My addictions

This comic describes the story of my online life.

Here I am going to bare my soul to you.

Beware all ye bloggers lest the blog consume you.  So says #2 to me as she forwards on said comic.  What she forgets is that it has always been like this for me.  Thank goodness I never got into online games, though I did have a brief stint with Furcadia in college.  Luckily it didn’t interest me all that much.  There is, however, a reason I don’t play regular computer games and even minesweeper is not allowed on my computers.

I think my first trap was the Chronicle of Higher Ed forum.  It was young.  I was young.  People thought I was a white male tenured full professor.  I spent a lot of time on it dispensing my wisdom.  Way too much time.  Luckily the moderator screwed up one day and let everybody’s IP address become known and that got really creepy (there were a couple of incredibly scary members), so I quit cold turkey.  I had to jimmy my computer, going deep into its electronic entrails to block the website to prevent me from accessing it.  Many times I would automatically go to the site only to see the blocked message.  Ah, commitment devices.  Without you I would probably have died of dehydration and malnutrition.

Next up, an infertility forum.  I got kicked off (after baby was born– so I’d gotten what I needed, and was mostly dispensing my wisdom about very different things than I had on CHE… not so much ttc and bf on CHE…  ;)  ) because I was also on a mother’s forum that the owner of the first site didn’t like.  I had thousands of posts before that fateful day.  The mother’s forum I left on my own because they’d had a third forum where they discussed people on the mother’s forum not nicely, and when people found out the drama surrounding it was just too much (I’d actually been invited to join when the exclusive third forum started, but as a commitment device opted not).  So I left.  They still email me on my birthday, which is kind of weird.

Briefly I toyed with LibraryThing and though I love its cataloging and abilities to tell me what books I need, I have not really been sucked in.  It gets to stay.

In a new town, I joined another forum and got invited to an exclusive members group local to my area IRL.  It doesn’t update so often, so I don’t really have a problem with keeping it.  Related was a natural parenting group I got invited to, but I’ve already posted about why I had to leave that one.  (Blue children?  Ick.)

So my latest online addiction?  Blogging.  We’ll see if I can keep it to a manageable pace or if it too will need intervening (interventioning?). Every time I drop an addiction I’m happier for a little while.  Then something new starts up.  Usually slowly in a limited fashion.  But eventually it takes over.  So there you have it.  It is amazing that I have accomplished as much as I have given my addictive personality.  If only work could be so addicting. Right now I’m doing fine with blogging… it’s cutting into my anime-watching, internet surfing, and novel reading time, but doesn’t seem to be affecting work, family, or other responsibilities.  Hopefully #2 will cut me off if I go too far.  Or DH will install one of those time limiting thingies on my computer so the page turns off after a certain amount of time.

Is that too much soul-baring and not enough witty observation?  Quick,  #2, say something funny!

#2 says: you spelled “bare” your soul wrong in that last sentence. Until I fixed it, an Alaskan brown bear was coming for your eternal soul. Rawr.

#1:  He was going to ravage it.

Do you (or does someone you know) have problems with electronic addiction?  What do you do besides going cold turkey?

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31 Responses to “My addictions”

  1. First Gen American Says:

    Well, I do most of my writing and reading between the hours of 3-7 am. It’s a bad habit I started with baby. He didn’t sleep very well for the first 18 months of his life due to various illnesses and I started collapsing at 8:30 with my kids when they went to bed. Well, now I still do that many times so I have my quiet time in the middle of the night.

    I usually am an all or nothing kind of gal. It’s hard for me to dabble, although with the blog, my work/travel/kid schedule doesn’t allow me to post every day. Some days I do actually go to bed at a normal time and sleep til 6 so I don’t write then either. I do like blogging. I think I’d feel more addicted if I had a bigger audience and/or made money at it.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      That explains your early morning comments! I do love having some quiet me time these days, even if I have to grab it at 6am. This week I’ve been so busy I’ve just been sleeping in though.

  2. Jacq @ Single Mom Rich Mom Says:

    My strategy? Unplug my laptop, take it into the bathroom where the pets won’t bug me. Stop when the battery runs out. I think that’s around 45 minutes. :-)

    I have a post on forum addiction that I went through too.
    http://singlemomrichmom.com/internet-forums-%E2%80%93-fulfilling-or-sucking-the-life-out-of-you-also-some-thoughts-on-being-an-achievement-freak-%E2%80%93-and-being-ashamed-to-admit-it/

    Sorry, should have bit.ly’d that, but it would have taken too much time. :-) The other thing that I’ve tried that works as well is to clarify what your goals / tasks are for the day for being online. And then stop when you’ve done that. I’ve seen a lot of what looks like forum addiction among younger retired people and it’s scary (to me). Just not what I want my life to be about.
    Here’s a post though on the benefits:
    http://bloggingwithoutablog.com/the-cost-of-being-heard/

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Ha! Your forum story is just like mine, over and over. It’s always a slow slide. Though I actually am quite happy when I have nothing I’m supposed to be doing reading novels. I am an achievement freak, but only when I’m supposed to be achieving. When I’m not put in a framework where people are expecting things of me I am quite content to veg. Achieving then becomes finishing an anime series or a book. I’m sure I’d find some way to occupy myself were I independently wealthy.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I have great success with your method of going somewhere with my laptop and working until the battery dies. Go laptops!

  3. Everyday Tips Says:

    Ahhhh, my addictions. I too am all-or-nothing, black-and-white kind of person. I used to love the darn game tumble bees on pogo. Actually, I love any kind of word games as my one talent in life is unscrambling words and anything to do with patterns. Very unpractical talent, but my brain just loved that little exercise. Then I started working again (This was 4 years ago), so I dropped my addiction like a hot potato. It only lasted a couple weeks, but those were fun weeks….

    Blogging is my latest addiction. Actually, I spend way more time commenting than actually writing for my own blog. But, I have found it has kind of given me balance from my own job. Gives my brain a different focus so I don’t have a single-threaded obsession.

    Great topic.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      There’s a reason mine-sweeper isn’t on my computer. I think #2 has a post about her experiences with gaming coming up in which I mention my quick descent into health department hazard when DH left me alone for a week with Neverwinter Nights.

  4. Everyday Tips Says:

    By the way, it is my one talent in LIFE, not line…

  5. Molly On Money Says:

    My intention was to spend more time writing and so the blog seemed like a great device. I spend more time writing comments and browsing for new blogs then I do writing posts!

  6. Lindy Mint Says:

    Yet another reason for you to not get an iPhone. I obsessively check email, Facebook, Twitter, and my reader throughout the day when I’m bored. But I guess it’s better than throwing a chocolate in my mouth when I’m bored. Wait, I do that too.

  7. Donna Freedman Says:

    I’m just dabblin’. I can quit any time I want.

  8. Valerie Says:

    I’m thinking Leechblock is your only hope! Or maybe Rescue Time will freak you out when you see your totals. (Or, like me, you might just stop using it when you see your total time in various places).

  9. Squirrelers Says:

    I’m in my very late 30’s, and yet I enjoy surfing online. Really, it can be on anything that enters my mind. I enjoy information. For example: I know someone that was visiting Idaho on a business trip, and I thought: “I haven’t been to Idaho since I was a little boy and we were passing through. I don’t remember Idaho, but it seems like it might be interesting with the mountains.” So, I proceed to search for interesting things about Idaho. Spend 20 minutes doing that, and now have a few places I want to see there. Really.

    That’s an electronic additiction: getting absorbed in something without realizing you’re gettting pulled into a drain of time.

    But, it’s fun. And hey, it’s a harmless vice as far as vices are concerned…

  10. Rumpus Says:

    I’ve gotten addicted to work before. I got a lot of work done, but it wasn’t a balanced life perspective. Unfortunately, it takes special circumstances (high quality collaboration) for me to be in that state for any amount of time. I’ve also regularly been addicted to games and books. Currently I’m not really addicted to anything, not even caffeine, but I don’t think I’m happier for it…just gives me more time to think about chores that I should be doing.

  11. Money Reasons Says:

    It’s blogging for me too. And to think, I remember reading where blogging only took 2 hours out of your day! HA

    Sometimes it seems like Blogging is my real job…

    It is fun though!

  12. Roshawn @ Watson Inc Says:

    I do limit my time online, especially when working on special projects to avoid the distraction. I don’t know if I would call it an addiction though.

  13. Link Round Up Without A Theme....(I Never Have A Theme) | Everyday Tips and Thoughts... Says:

    […] Grumpy Rumblings of the Untenured share their addictions, and it reminded me of how much I like Word Whomp and Tumblebees on Pogo. I have so far resisted the urge to play since I read their post, but I am not sure how long I will last. […]

  14. Breaking an addiction « Grumpy rumblings of the untenured Says:

    […] talked in a previous post about my addictions.  Lately there’s just too much drama, so at the urging of #2, who is continually baffled at […]

  15. Time = Money: A product plug « Grumpy rumblings of the untenured Says:

    […] you have an addictive personality, these habits can be hard to break.  You need a commitment […]

  16. Why do we blog? « Grumpy rumblings of the untenured Says:

    […] meaning or some reason for our rumblings.  But really it’s just a hobby.  One of us has addictions and the blog is just the latest in that.  If not blogging, then it would be something else.  So […]


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