I think we can officially call the internet an addiction. The thought of traveling to a country where I couldn’t have immediate access to the web is terrifying. Heck, I can’t leave home for more than a couple hours without wondering whats going on around the world wide web.
Is the internet making us more or less social? I guess that all depends what your doing on the internet. But there is no real substitute for good old fashioned person to person contact.
So what makes the internet so addicting? I put together a list of the 16 things about the internet that is so inviting, enticing, and addicting.
1. Stumbleupon- If everything on the internet were a drug… Stumbleupon would be Crystal Meth. It’s the fastest, easiest, most convenient way to get your high. Its like having a remote controller allowing you to quickly channel surf hundreds of thousands of pages of content. There is no slowing down to actually read the site you’re glaring at… it’s all a game about how many different websites you can view in one sitting. No time to eat, drink, or sleep… must see more sites!!! Now slow down for a minute and stumble this article
2. Facebook- No matter how hard you try to avoid it at some point you will wind up with a profile on the largest growing social media site on the web. And once you’re there… Facebook is like a drug pusher feeding the addiction by constantly alerting you of new people to bring into your network. They are always telling you who is active in the community… forcing you to succumb to the peer pressure of updating status, writing notes, adding friends, and basically just acting as a voyeur towards all the friends in your network. Yes, I am officially a Facebook addict.
3. Fantasy Football- This one is more for the boys out there. Did you know that many companies are actually banning any sites related to fantasy football from their networks because of the impact it has on productivity from September to January? Whether you’re surfing ESPN for injury updates, or religiously following one of the experts out there, or talking smack online to your competition, chances are you’re glued to the computer screen from Monday to Sunday, making your last minute roster updates.
4. Celebrity Gossip- Admit, you can’t resist taking a sneak peak at TMZ or Perez Hilton to see the latest antics that Brittany Spears or Lindsay Lohan are up to. I don’t care if you’re the world’s most alpha male… you probably followed the Madonna-Arod scandal like crack. I know I did. There is just something invigorating about reading about the latest drug arrests, sex tapes, divorce scandals, fashion miscues, and Hollywood hookups of the rich and famous.
5. Digg- Why bother watching Fox 5 news when with a few clicks of the mouse you have all the news thats fit to print (at least as judged by Digg’s in-crowd) Yes, whether you’re looking for the most up to date Sarah Palin bashing, Iphone news, Google gossip, Top 10 lists of things you never thought you cared about… but now that someone mentioned it you’re kind of curious… or just have a fetish for reading about the weird quirky misfortunes of others like the 7 year old girl being kept alive by Viagra, there is no place like Digg to feed these addictions. And why you’re at it- why not Digg this post?
6. Online Poker- Ah… the beauty of combining to two addictions… gambling and the internet. Why travel to Vegas to get your fix, when you can sit in the comfort of your own home and hand over thousands of your hard earned dollars to anonymous strangers? Yes, no matter how hard the government tries to crack down on online gambling, sites like Partypoker.com continue to thrive.
7. 4 Chan- Unlimited never ending images… of anything you want to see. Got a fetish? You’ll find it here. You want a weird obscure Transformers movie poster, animals in compromising positions, bugs, dinosaurs, Japanese cartoon transvestites, lost images from Lost? By the time you refresh there will be a dozen more to pour through. There has never been a greater way to waste time!!!
8. Youtube- This addiction has no limits. Whether it’s 13 year old boys watching the latest Avril Lavigne video, or it’s your mom forwarding you a video of some goof ball getting hit in the head with a hammer, it seems every one is addicted to the craze that is Youtube. And with over a billion people out there all looking to capture their fifteen minutes of fame… there will be an endless supply of content to keep the jonesing masses happy.
9. Email- This is a no-brainer. But the question is; what is the severity of your addiction? Do you check it once a day? Once in the morning and once at night? Do you check every couple hours? Every hour on the hour? Or are you like some of us mind warped individuals who have it tied into our phones so we don’t miss a beat. There is a special place reserved in the recovery ward for the Blackberry and Iphone addicts.
10. E*TRADE- Once again, we are commingling the addiction of the internet with the exhilarating world of day trading. E*Trade and the other sites like it, are the one place where every John Doe gets to play Gordon Gekko for the day. There is nothing more pulse racing then watching Intel drop a few poins… only to recover with a two point gain before the closing bell. Don’t you pity all the fools who quit their day jobs to ride the bull back in the early days of the tech boom? How many of those guys are pushing brooms in some factory now?
11. Twitter- Spending hours every day instant messaging and texting our friends isn’t enough. We need more… so from that desire Twitter is born. Twitter allows you to communicate with thousands of people at once through a combination of text messaging and IMing. Want to play voyeur on your favorite internet celebrities… follow them on Twitter. You can read about what they had for dinner, or what website their reading, or how they are constipated and just can’t seem to squeze that last turd out.
12. WebMD- Also known as the place where the hypochondriacs hang out. You can spend hours playing doctor analyzing your latest rash, lump, or wart. If you can’t get your fix there… jump into one of the WebMd Message boards and let some other paranoid freak diagnose you over the internet. I myself am a self proclaimed hypochondriac… and in one week discovered I had a brain tumor, Lyme disease, a rare degenerative disorder, and the bubonic plague… sure my real doctor claims it was just the common cold… but a hundred worried wells can’t be wrong. Can they?
13. Hot Chicks with Douchebags- This is the cultural phenomenon that went on to become a coffee table book. What makes this site so addicting? Is is the curiosity of the nature of hottie/douche commingling… is it simply the attractive girls decked out in club gear… or is it Douchebag 1′s insanely funny bits of social commentary? I don’t know. But what I do know is that once you get a taste of Hot Chicks with Douchebags… you’re bound to go back for more.
14. eBay- eBay is not the powerhouse addiction it was a few years ago… but admit that at some point or another you bought some completely useless item… Just because you could! Was it a rare stamp? An autographed picture of Rick Springfield? Or A decade-old toasted cheese sandwich said to bear an image of the Virgin Mary?
15. Google- Google is like the internet’s come down drug. When you’ve maxed out all of your other vices… and its three in the morning and you can’t sleep, this is when you find yourself googling obscure terms, childhood friends, long lost lovers, cities you’ll never visit, cartoon shows from your youth, Wade Bogg’s 1988 batting average, movie quotes, Ashely Olsen’s weight, the best burrito joint in Jersey, can you really go blind from masturbating, bikini pictures of Sarah Palin, who designed the Millennium Falcon, Brett Farve’s high school girlfriends name…. I have one piece of advice for all of you out there: After an all night Google binge… be sure to clear your search history. What you find might scare you!
16. Porn- Ah… an oldie but goodie! This one is for all the guys out there that pretend they’re only going to take a peak! All you guys can relate to what a struggle with will power it is knowing that naked women are just a mouse click away? This is an addiction that varies in intensity from the guy who dabbles occasionally when his wife is working late, to the guy who barely leaves his house and refers to porn stars by their first names… But even the best of us fall victim to porns subtle way of roping us in. Admit your disappointed number 15 didn’t come with a link!
There you go! Now, each and everyone of us has our own unique internet fetishes, but I think the 15 above are the most common.
What are you online addictions?
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