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The second step is admitting the problem is beyond your control

Last week at the library I found a pamphlet which posed some interesting questions:

  1. Have you ever decided to stop surfing the Internet for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple of days? A couple of days? Good luck!
  2. Do you wish people would mind their own business about your Internet usage -- stop telling you what to do? People don't poke their noses in much. They probably should.
  3. Have you ever switched from one Internet activity to another in the hope that this would keep you from getting carried away? And how: web forums to e-mail to LJs to news sites to Ask Metafilter...
  4. Have you ever had to have an eye-opener upon wakening during the past year?
  5. Fortunately, I don't have Internet at home. But you had better believe I check my websites as soon as I get to an Internet terminal. </li>
  6. Do you envy people who can surf the Internet without getting into trouble? And how. Why am I not like most people? Why can't I take it or leave it?
  7. Have you had problems connected with Internet usage during the past year? I have a wheelbarrow of missed deadlines to attest to that.
  8. Has your Internet usage caused trouble at home? I'll say. My late nights have caused conflict with my roommate.
  9. Do you ever try to get "extra" Internet time at a terminal because you don't get enough? Sometimes. My biggest problem is that the Internet flows freely when I am working, because I have a workstation right in my office.
  10. Do you tell yourself that you can stop using the Internet any time you want to, even though you keep overdoing it when you don't mean to? I used to. All the time.
  11. Have you missed days of work or school because of Internet usage? Fortunately, I have not missed teaching a class. But I have missed many volunteer commitments because I got home too late and couldn't get up in time.
  12. Do you have "blackouts"? Every day, kid. Hours disappear and I don't know where they go.
  13. Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not use the Internet? Sure. Now try getting me a job that does not require me to have access to the Internet but is suited to my education, interests and/or skills. People think the Internet helps productivity, so they make it available everywhere. You can even get it wireless in libraries now!
  14. Let's see. 12 questions. Nine definite YES answers. The pamphlet says that if I score four or more yes answers I am probably having problems with Internet usage.

    If people took web surfing as seriously as they took alcoholism maybe I would be in luck.