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    Monday, October 8, 2007

    If Cathy Fell Out Of CyberSpace?

    Weird to even consider it in 2007, but I think I may be. I think I really have classic internet addiction. Seriously. Sounds stupid and made-up, right? But it's a real thing, (google it, I'll wait) ... and I think I've got it!

    It's too bad, because there are so many legitimate things that I really do "need" the internet for! Online banking, for starters. Going back to phone banking or waiting around for my paper statement sounds CRAZY. Not to mention paying my bills online - saves me a TON of money in postage every year! Keeping in touch with family and friends - another aspect I would sorely miss! Online research when a thought tickles my brain and needs an answer...where would I go, if not my beloved web? No Google? No No Wikipedia? Sounds like madness! And no one sends pictures of their kids in the mail anymore - they send 'em on email! Just like I do! Go back to snail mail? MADNESS!

    But what is ALSO madness is that I cannot keep a clean house despite the fact that I am in it practically 24/7. What is madness is that laundry could easily be kept up on if I would stay caught up and do some every day. What is madness is that I waste my son's nap time every day jacking around on the internet when I could be getting 90% of my day's chores done.

    The time I spend off the PC is spent primarily with my kids and my husband. And yes, that is most important, but what am I teaching my kids about keeping a clean house? About responsibility? About good use of time? Not much, most days. How well will that serve them in their future? My job is to raise responsible adults. I wonder how I would do on a job evaluation right about now? (Maybe that's what this is...I think I'm in trouble...)

    I never seem to have enough time online (a classic web addict symptom) ... I have message boards (yes, plural) to check in on, to post on, to read on. I have three email accounts to check each day, which each have assorted and varied emails I must read and respond to. I have to check my hometown newspaper every day to keep up with what's going on there. One time I didn't for a while, and a friend's dad died and I didn't know it and felt like a real ass, so I can't stop doing that, right? I have to check craigslist - I need more free stuff for my house. And I have to POST on craigslist, to get RID of stuff to make more room for more stuff. I have to update my weightloss ticker (when I actually lose weight)...I have to enter the Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes (hey, people win, shut up!)...I have to BLOG, don't I? Don't I? And as I tell Greg so often and so vehemently, the "web is my link to the outside world during the day". Yeah, it is. But isn't that a choice?


    It's getting increasingly more difficult to make all this business make sense in my head, to justify the time I spend on here, and I think a change is on the horizon for me. The thought of it makes me queasy, no lie. Some of my very closest, truest girlfriends of my life exist to me only in this computer, I have never laid eyes on them or sat in the same room with them. Yet I have shared things with them that I haven't share with many, if any, people IRL. I would so desperately miss being a part of such a close inner-(cyber)circle, and would miss their friendship, their support and their help. Can I keep up friendships with them via snail-mail and phone? Sure. But I'll still be missing out on the every-day interaction that goes on, and eventually that bond will fade away. It's just the nature of it. OL friendships are fed and nutured by OL interation.

    But there is a part of me that is yearning to be not attached at the ASS to this chair. Part of me that wants to see if I can find some sort of physical activity I enjoy more than I enjoy having saddle bags (computer-chair-shaped-saddle-bags, bytheway). Part of me wants to just shut it off and be DONE with it. The worst part of an addiction is the feeling of being a slave to something outside yourself. It's what I hated about smoking, what I hate about sugar (which I am currently de-toxing from again), and what I hate about the web. Damned addictive personaility, anyway. Good thing I never tried meth or coke!

    I have a friend who took the leap. She left the message board we had in common. She made a clean break. Her computer time is very limited now, and is monitored by her husband via password, at her request. We miss her, but from what I can tell she is VERY happy with her decision, and is doing all the things she should be doing. I am happy for her and have spent a great deal of time thinking about her decision.

    I wonder if that would work for me. I know Greg would put me on password if I wanted that, but part of me kind of thinks that's like trying to take an alcoholic to the bar and then giving them just two drinks? Is it possible to do part-time computer when you have a full-time addiction? I'm not sure. I definitely think I would like to try that before I give up the PC altogether. I just can't imagine going back to having NO web (maybe that's just the web junkie in me talking...two drinks are better than NONE, right...)

    And do I just sound like the BIGGEST LOSER ever BLOGGING about this? I could have cleaned three rooms of my house in the time I've spent typing this. Thus is the nature of the beast.

    More on this later...right now I have emails to check and REALLY should get UP and get some housework done. I wonder if I will. Wagers on that? Any takers?

    Yeah, me neither.


    Anonymous said...

    In defense of the time you spend on here, I feel like it is a way that others can "peek" in on your life and what is going on. How else can you keep so many people updated? If you are going to journal to rememnber things, why not do it in a way that communicates current events in your life to other people? Blogging is one of the best tools for keeping involved in other people's lives. The other joy of it is that I can be reading this at 9:45 or 11:45 at night when you have gone to bed long ago - also, that you can communicate it when it is good for you - not just when the phone rings which could be just as Jackson poops, Samantha is being quiet...really quiet, and you are cooking dinner with your free toes. So....I defend your addiction. =) I think maybe you should reconsider the three e-mail addresses, maybe a few things you don't get that much out of. Cut back but not off! =)

    Ashley said...

    I could have written that post word for word! If I quit computer time, I'd have more than enough time for a tidy house. But what fun is that?

    McBung said...

    You should totally start to play World of Warcraft....then you'll know what TRUE addiction to the computer is like! Remember, Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games were a good 30% of why my first marriage ended in divorce. When you buy walkie-talkies to talk to your husband so you don't have to yell through the house "Let the dog out" because neither of you can tear yourself away from a's bad.