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Broadband Life and Internet Anxiety Disorder

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the do-what-now dept.

The Internet 181

ChipGuy writes "Broadband brings the world right to your laptop or your handheld. With it comes information, and along with it comes desire to stay connected, and on top of everything. Om Malik calls it Internet Anxiety Disorder. 'The rush to catch-up and living a six megabits per second lifestyle, is what I think is going to be first major malaise of the 21st century - Internet anxiety disorder,' he says. Firefox developer, Blake Ross thinks that 'Internet hardwires developing brains with a click-happy sense of urgency that will not defer to reality. We are addicted to information and seek it even when we know it's not available.' Others have described this info-addiction as Nerd Attention Deficiency Disorder."

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Internet related dependence (4, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187654)

Part of this is that you have to consider that for many of us, the Internet has become a daily part of our workflow and without it we could not perform in our jobs. I absolutely need the Internet to collaborate with colleagues, and because I am paid to know things and to think, the ability to be able to search for information and access online scientific journals is critical. I cannot believe how much time I spent as a beginning undergraduate in the library looking through actual card catalogues! Now one can survey tremendous amounts of data in very little time, but the tradeoff is that we have become dependent upon the Internet for our data gathering. I will admit however, to also becoming dependent upon the Internet for daily news as well and do feel a sense of loss when disconnected. For instance, when taking hikes or going biking in the mountains for longer than a day, I feel the need for an information fix. Even when traveling nationally or internationally, I ensure that I am connected via broadband, can communicate through iChatAV with colleagues, can post to my blog [utah.edu] , can get the latest news as it happens and of course, keep up with Slashdot. :-)

Of course the referenced links do contain valid points, particularly Rand's blog [randsinrepose.com] . What Rand alludes to however and needs to be learned is the ability to focus and extract the absolutely relevant information related to the task at hand. I've noticed in the undergraduates in particular that have come through the lab that they tend to try and multitask everything, talking on the phone, performing Internet related searches, writing their reports and listening to music while also running an experiment in the background. Almost always, mistakes ensue, the quality of the work suffers, wrong conclusions are drawn and it takes them a couple of months to learn to focus while eliminating some of the competing tasks to ensure quality work for the essential task at hand. Once they learn to focus, not only does the quality of their work improve, but also their ability to extract information from all sorts of tasks including Internet related work. Confusion goes away and is replaced by efficiency of thought and action.

Re:Internet related dependence (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187669)

Thing is, there's not much we can do about internet addiction [adequacy.org] . It's a sobering thought.

Re:Internet related dependence (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187758)

Stop beating off. That will cut off 3/4 of most cases of internet addiction. And if they won't of their own free will, cut it off, pickle it, and hang it above the computer monitor. That will cut down on their computer use by psychological trauma.

Re:Internet related dependence (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187675)

How did you type all that in 20 seconds?

Re:Internet related dependence (1)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187699)

How did you type all that in 20 seconds?

I'm cool like that. :-)

Seriously though, aside from efficiency of thought and action, a Slashdot membership does help as one gets to see the stories posted a few minutes before they are actually posted to the unwashed masses.

Re:Internet related dependence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187720)

one gets to see the stories posted a few minutes before they are actually posted to the unwashed masses.

The "unwashed" masses are sensible enough not to pay for Slashdot, of all things.

Re:Internet related dependence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187748)

The unwashed masses block Google text ads too not to mention all stuff originating from ads.osdn.org.

Re:Internet related dependence (1)

Lord Pillage (815466) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187982)

I do this with an IP blocker that operates as a driver. Nothing going in or out of my ethernet port gets by it :)

Re:Internet related dependence (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187698)

Boring waffle. Shut it you smacktard.

Also... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187789)

your blog is intensely boring and very waffley. You must be good at writing essays.

Re:Also... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187957)

You must be ignorant and stupid. Sound like a 12 year old.

Re:Also... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12188171)

No. I read the blog. It appears you didn't. You are ignorant and from that I deduce you are stupid for your replying to my comment when you have not read his blog.

(Unless you mean the writer of the parent article is a 12 year old in which case I agree.)

0wned.

Dependant since 1994... (2, Interesting)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187970)

The few months after I got my cable modem (all 500K of it), I was totally addicted. Having come from a POTS 1200 baud background on the old Atari 800, this was quite a huge difference.

Soon after, I had a shitload of useless things running in the taskbar (big clock, weather indicator (like I can't look outside once in a while), dl/ul speed indicators, FTP/IRC/etc. - all sorts of crap. All of it designed to give me more information, most of it useless.

And yet...

I couldn't...

Pull...

Away!

At one point I called off work for a week. Then came the girlfriend breakup that I kinda ignored. After a while reality set in and I started to pull back a bit. I'm glad I did - I've known some who didn't in time. One guy I knew back in the early 90's started selling drugs to support his computer habit. None of us geeks even knew he was doing it until he called us from prison. He got 6 years of 'no computer'.

Always wondered how he seemed to be dialed into AOL all the time (before flat rates were in effect)...

Re:Internet related dependence (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188075)


...I am paid to know things and to think...

I too am paid to know things and to think. When the network/computer/software goes down I can haul out a pencil and a sketchpad to do my job. And that alternative works surprisingly well.

On the other hand, you'd have to do some fabled mafia-type convincing to take my dual processor AMD machine away from me.

Re:Internet related dependence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12188333)

An offer you can't refuse...

Like how about this quad AMD computer?

Re:Internet related dependence (2)

alex_guy_CA (748887) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188178)

I'd have to say that the internet for me is, like you say, an absolutely necessary part of my work life without which I come to a standstill, and ALSO a disorder. For me I think of it as "Message retrieval disorder" the constant need to be checking email, voice mail, snail mail (I had that one long before I had email, I used to go check the mail box on Sunday, just in case...) It really is a compulsion, but unless my connection goes down or I try to go on (gasp) a vacation, it isn't a big enough problem to worry about.

True. (5, Funny)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187658)

My line went down yesterday. Longest 10 seconds of my life.

Re:True. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187742)

My line went down yesterday. Longest 10 seconds of my life.

which began, what, 14 years ago?

The longest 10 seconds in your life will be when you get your first pink slip, or when you hear a close relative of yours has died. So enjoy your innurnet line while you can...

Re:True. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187817)

my longest 10 seconds where during a car crash. on a second thought, maybe it was only 2 seconds...

Re:True. (1)

RicktheBrick (588466) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188287)

In the future everyone will truly become dependent on the internet as every device we purchase will have it own unique address. You buy a refrigerator and the first thing it will do is go online to verify that you own it and will go through a self test to verify that it is working properly. As with all devices there will be backup circuits which will be used until the primary circuits are replaced. The device will tell you when it has ordered any new device which it thinks it needs. No one will be steal any electronic device since it will notify the owner of where it is after it is pluged in and will refuse to work if it is not authorized to work at that location. In the far future(50 years from now) everyone will have a brain implant and everyone will become an input to the internet(all of our senses). Therefore no crime will be able to be committed without the proper authorities being notified at the same time that the crime is being committed.

painfull (1)

Aroma 7herapy (814263) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187661)

just like me constantly refreshing the "nothing to see here, please move along" page, only to read the comments that aren't even there jet...

Old standards ... (4, Insightful)

foobsr (693224) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187667)

Even though the online page says "come back on day X", students still checked the page frequently. This is what I mean when I say it's impossible to evaluate my generation's behavior according to old standards or even according to common sense; I really believe the Internet hardwires developing brains with a click-happy sense of urgency that will not defer to reality. We are addicted to information and seek it even when we know it's not available. (Blake Ross)

Already about thirty years ago I observed people who ran obviously faulty pieces of code a second time hoping for a different outcome; my guess is that humans love voodo but that it ususally does not work. So I do not believe that there is another "Generation X" (whatever).

CC.

Re:Old standards ... (4, Insightful)

serutan (259622) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187736)

Don't forget channel surfing, which has been around for decades. Many people sit in front of the tv for hours, flipping through the channels over and over looking for something good to watch, even though they just cycled through all the same channels a minute ago and know that the same shows are still on.

Re:Old standards ... (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188114)


-- The second mouse gets the cheese.

Who moved my cheese [wikipedia.org] ?!

"News addiction" has been around forever (4, Interesting)

Reziac (43301) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188241)

There have always been people who are addicted to "news". If they don't know "what's happening in the world", or are prevented from accessing their favourite news medium, they actually suffer a sort of panic attack. Some are quite unreasonable about it, such as making everyone else in the house stop talking for the duration of the evening TV news.

I've observed this disorder not only with the internet, but in previous eras when the primary news media were television, radio, and newspapers. I've read about people in the 1800s who got quite upset if they didn't have access to the latest broadsheet. In one form or another, it probably goes back to the era of town criers.

I have a suspicion that it derives from an abnormal compulsion to "take control" over one's environment, and knowing "what's happening" helps provide an enabling comfort zone.

Re:Old standards ... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187766)

Already about thirty years ago I observed people who ran obviously faulty pieces of code a second time hoping for a different outcome; my guess is that humans love voodo but that it ususally does not work. So I do not believe that there is another "Generation X" (whatever).
It's like the guy who sits through the horror movie, and shouts "Don't go down into the basement".

Of course the main character went down into the basement, and got everyone killed.

Afterwards, he said "I figured they'd have learned by now - I've watched this stupid move 6 times, and they STILL go down into the basement and get killed each time!"

Re:Old standards ... (2, Funny)

garethw (584688) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187773)

Kinda like when I'm hankering for a snack and I go to the fridge, only to find nothing. Then a few minutes later, I'll go again - just to see if anything has magically materialized in the interim...

Re:Old standards ... (2, Funny)

Afrosheen (42464) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187900)

Yeah, I have a Schroedinger's refrigerator also, but mainly because I am so tall and my fridge has alot of low shelves. There are things I'll miss until I really get hungry, squat down, and take a good close look. Excuses aside, I keep hoping for that extra snack which is still edible yet hidden... :)

Re:Old standards ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187777)

"Already about thirty years ago I observed people who ran obviously faulty pieces of code a second time hoping for a different outcome"

Don't give me the letdown. Did it work?

Re:Old standards ... (1)

nkh (750837) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187840)

I observed people who ran obviously faulty pieces of code a second time hoping for a different outcome
I'm just a student but it happens all the time to my friends when they try to play with pointers in C. Try looking for bugs in typedef char **(*something)(int *, char*);! Another funny behaviour is: program segfaults, debug program and... it works because the debugger initialises all the variables but there are other errors I've got a hard time to find.

Re:Old standards ... (2, Insightful)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188083)

Its just operant conditioning in action.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operant_conditioning [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skinner_box [wikipedia.org]

You check the link and it has updated off schedule once, and it encourages you to check it repeatedly just in case.

For me when I run a faulty code segment a second time, I am just trying to figure out what the exact cause of the error is.

Re:Old standards ... (1)

PooF (85689) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188090)

The only problem with the example is that many people realize that the date given is a deadline for a decision / the data to be available and is not necessarily the time that the information will be published. I would imagine this to be true of students in particular as, at least in my experience, schools often will publish information as it is available but publish a deadline they know they can meet.

Just a thought.

Me! I Disconnect From You (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187672)

Gary Numan's Replicas is slowly becoming reality...

Brings out other disorders too (4, Funny)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187681)

Obsessive compulsive disorder for one. And masturbation! And anti-social disorder. And nerdiness!

Re:Brings out other disorders too (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187722)

a personality disorder (don't remember which one)
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
ADD (for what it's worth)
depression :)

I know I won't win the grand prize, though. Let's see who does.

Re:Brings out other disorders too (1)

EpsCylonB (307640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188231)

ADD (for what it's worth)

Yeah i think ADD is a joke too.

Are you kidding me? (2, Funny)

UnCivil Liberty (786163) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187682)

NADD? That was seriously the best that they could come up with??

Re:Are you kidding me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187704)

Well at least it isn't Nerd Attention Deficiency Syndrome.

Re:Are you kidding me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187866)

NADD? That was seriously the best that they could come up with??

Oh yes - they should have found something that abbreviates PORN.

Women Rejoice (5, Funny)

Physician (861339) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187683)

While nerds are kept busy with the internet and counseling sessions, gorgeous women everywhere are free to live their lives without fear of nerds asking them out.

Re:Women Rejoice (1)

Hinhule (811436) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187884)

Until the moment they make the mistake of going into a chatroom saying "Hi my name is Jessica" hoping for some attention.

Only to get the response "Go away you 50 year old pedohomo!"

Re:Women Rejoice (1)

arvn (586909) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188275)

So women only want to meet people with no NADDs? Their loss;-)

Strange (4, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187685)

The rush to catch-up and living a six megabits per second lifestyle

and yet the first site they jump on is Slashdot, which usually has the effect of slowing the servers it mentions down to a crawl...

Gah (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187689)

I still can't believe this isn't an April Fools article.

Someone must be late to the game.

One problem with the Internet (5, Funny)

konkani (761433) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187693)

Thanks to the Internet, the majority are alienated from the mainstream.

Re:One problem with the Internet (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187767)

Hilarious!

I recall my first episode. Once in 1993, I lived in a place where the closest dial-up center was a long distance call, my computer was in storage, and I was totally broke. For 3 months I couldn't access my Delphi account. I felt so totally disconnected from the world -- it was horrible -- painful even.

That was before I had an always on broadband connection. I don't know what I'd do now if I lost it.

This is so old news... (5, Funny)

joelparker (586428) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187701)

I've already read about this on Fark, Boing Boing, and Wired. Blogging on it's so last month and I've already IM'ed on it with my FOAF pals. If you want to know more-- oops gotta go-- my Treo's got an SMS!

Re:This is so old news... (2, Funny)

daeley (126313) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187849)

You forgot to post it on your wiki. I took care of it already.

Nice acronym (4, Funny)

ZorMonkey (653731) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187706)

Yeah, like I'm going to tell people that I have NADD.

Re: Pain in the NADDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12188022)

Yeah, and having no connection out in the hinter lands would be, let me see, a pain to the NADDs.

You gotta love it....

Yep.. (1)

tehmorph (844326) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187707)

Yeah, I know this thing. It's the reason i've started going downhill in school; I can't get away from my PC. Now, I must revise. Ooh, Half-Life 2!

Anxiety disorder not new- Internet nothing special (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187713)

I'm sure hunter-gatherers had the same desire to stay on top of everything in the forest. The brain can be overloaded at much less than six megabits per second. You can become paranoid without this so-called click-happy sense of urgency. If you really think about all the smells entering your nose, the wind through the leaves, the snapping of twigs in the distance, you can fully wig yourself out. It's not about technology, it's about devoting too much of your consciousness to any of your senses for too long. I suggest meditation, jogging, or any exercise that turns off that over-active cortex and sends you to another place. The internet is just a new form of stimulus that you can dwell on too much. Nothing special. Nothing new.

Re:Anxiety disorder not new- Internet nothing spec (4, Informative)

BlueFashoo (463325) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187910)

This is why people have a large portion of their brain dedicated to ignoring stuff.

It's True!

The thalamus filters information heading towards the cortex, and the reticular activating system (in the brain stem) filters out extraneous information, i.e. constantly present odors, background hums, etc. You'd go crazy if this was broken.

Re:Anxiety disorder not new- Internet nothing spec (1)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188112)

I set mine up to block webpage advertisements.

(Actually true. I've been surfing the internet since prodigy was a BBS system. Ever since the ads started I've been dedicatedly ignoring them. Sometimes to the point where I don't even see them.

Re:Anxiety disorder not new- Internet nothing spec (2, Interesting)

Lakche (711348) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187936)

While I mostly agree with your comments, there are certainly cultures that would be more prone to this overloading than others (namely, industrialized Western society.) "I'm sure hunter-gatherers had the same desire to stay on top of everything in the forest" contains a bit of naive realism - assuming that other cultures view the world the same way ours does. Hunter-gatherers actually have a very easygoing lifestyle, with much less time per day spent laboring or attaining food than in industrialized or agricultural societies! I remember seeing an anthropological video about the Mbuti Pygmies of the Ituri Rain Forest (a present-day foraging people)... the Mbuti had commented that the forest was a sheltering friend or protector, but the outsiders from "modern" society who inhabited other parts of the forest saw it as an enemy, something to be frightened of and cut down. Clearly there is a difference in how these two groups viewed their world. The Mbuti did not have a controlling world view, felt no need to "dominate" or "be on top of things" - these are Western expressions, where we feel the need to control our surroundings and know everything. So while overloading may be nothing new in United States or industrialized Western cultures, please don't assume this is something that is common to the entire world. ;)

Re:Anxiety disorder not new- Internet nothing spec (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188274)

See above where I comment about what I hereby dub News Anxiety Disorder, the compulsion to know "what's happening" and a sort of panic attack when prevented from doing so. You make a good point that even in the most primitive times, there probably were people who just HAD to keep track of how many bison were in every herd they knew about, how many birds their neighbour shot last week, how many people complained of the smell from the privy, etc, etc, as if their lives depended on it. Perhaps it's fundamentally a specific survival instinct run amok (or failing to mature**), to the point that it overwhelms other instincts and behaviours.

** A lot of little kids exhibit a sort of news anxiety disorder, but most outgrow it, along with the other sociopathic behaviours that are normal in kids but not in adults.

Re:Anxiety disorder not new- Internet nothing spec (1)

parcifal (812729) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188305)

The main reason is that it is cheap to be on the internet. If there were some cost associated with our browsing, I am sure 90% of web browsing would drop to almost nothing. Nothing more than economics, plain and simple.

Unavailable? (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187714)

> We are addicted to information and seek it even when we know it's not available

What the hell does he mean by "not available"?

It's plenty available!

I mean, I watched the cute Flash animation for ThinkGeek and got my Day Pass. I see the article in the Mysterious Future. I click on it. It's under construction. I click on it again. It's still under construction. I click on it again. I [several hundred pageviews omitted in the interest of brevity] click on it again - at last! I can post!

Re:Unavailable? (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187772)

Auto-reload on; over the peak of the bell curve; no mod points...

Re:Unavailable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187784)

Describe the universe and site two examples.

well...duh (1)

Mastadex (576985) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187716)

Thanks for stating the obvious.

I like to welcome our overly addicted and anxious overlords.....

Re:well...duh (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187744)

Mastadex Condoms: for those who are a little less endowed(tm).

N.A.D.D? (5, Funny)

Deitheres (98368) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187719)

I, for one, am against the usage of any acronym that is so close to nad. In fact, the pronounciation would be exactly the same.

That would like the Society for Trendy Undeserving People Instigating Debate

NADD? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187731)

SHouldn't be Nerd Attention Deficiency Disorder.

I reckon: Nerd Attention Deficiency Syndrome would be better.

NADS for short. Perhaps it's a load of bollocks...

Gimme a break.... (4, Funny)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187732)

The rush to catch-up and living a six megabits per second lifestyle...

I'm sorry but this line kills me... some computer dork trying to sound cool was like a car guy quoting Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious...

I live my life a quarter mile at a time, nothing else matters, for those ten seconds or less, I'm free.

Slashdot version of your sig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187828)

I live my life a quarter pounder at a time, nothing else matters, for those ten seconds or less, I'm free.

Re:Gimme a break.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187946)

A real car guy would never watch Fast and Furious.

And Slashdot is like the Taco Bell of information, if you told smart people you go there, they laugh at you.

Some of you... (1)

Mastadex (576985) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187735)

...may only have one NADD. I on the other hand have many NADDs.

And my NADDs are bigger then yours :)

For a prime example of this (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187775)

Shutdown slashdot for a few days, see whether all the geeks become anxious.

Re:For a prime example of this (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187883)

Actually, we need it, we got a /. overdose on 1112324400 (i don't even want to mention that date ...), rehab anyone?

Re:For a prime example of this (1)

dodobh (65811) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188017)

Imagines slashdot being down. tick. tick.
*twitch*

*refresh*

*refresh*

*refresh*

Where is my daily fix?

*refresh*

NAS? (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187778)

This sounds a lot like what William Gibson called NAS (Neural Attenuation Syndrome) in Johnny Mnemonic. It's also been described by Vinge in True Names, and in half a dozen other SF stories under a variety of TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) and ETLAs (Extended TLAs). This article represents yet another victim of EPAS (Endlessly Proliferating Acronym Syndrome). Add to its list of symptoms, the inability to find out that others have already coined acronyms and there's no need for a new one. Obviously, we must give till it hurts to find a cure.

Re:NAS? (1)

andyh1978 (173377) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187879)

This sounds a lot like what William Gibson called NAS (Neural Attenuation Syndrome) in Johnny Mnemonic.
NAS wasn't in the book, only in the (naff) film adaptation, where it was "Nerve Attenuation Syndrome", not "Neural".
There's "brain-cell attenuation" in Dogfight, that the ex-fighter pilot Tiny has from being pumped full of drugs whilst flying.

Slashdot RSS (1)

dantheman82 (765429) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187794)

For this same reason, I check the Slashdot RSS feed continuously when browsing even though fairly often. This despite the fact that I often get the sense that "there is nothing to see here...move along"

I guess it doesn't help that it is so easy to open a gazillion articles in Firefox tabs and the fact that I have 50+ RSS feeds in the browser.

All right...! (1)

KC7GR (473279) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187805)

NOBODY RAID! THIS IS A MOVE!!

Back off, all of you! I've got an 'OFF' switch in one hand, and a pair of dikes in the other, and I'm NOT AFRAID TO USE THEM!!!

Re:All right...! (1)

flynns (639641) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188053)

YAY! A fellow ham. 73 de Sean, KI4IIB

Nope, doesn't apply to me! (2, Interesting)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187824)

I walk in the door and within thirty seconds of hanging up my keys I've logged back into the main machine and flipped open the lid on the iBook, even if I'm only coming home to change clothes and head back out the door in five minutes. If I'm at home or at work, it's exceedingly rare that I go more than an hour without hitting news.google.com, topix.net and slashdot.org. Of course, I generally know what's going on in the world in a pretty timely manner, even if I don't have (or take) the time to learn anything other than headlines and article summaries.

I definitely see the web as a detriment to workplace productivity, but there's no simple solution for those of us who make productive use of the web in our jobs. Of course, by and large slashdot doesn't help in my job (although friends here have pointed me to some valuable technical solutions and resources), and it's the vast majority of the non-essential browsing I do at work. Of course, when I'm truly busy my bullshit web use drops sharply, so I guess that means it's not too strong a compulsion.

Okay, time to stop typing in a browser window and go do some useful stuff on such a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

*wanders off to check the news sites while another cup of coffee brews*

We are information processing machines (5, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187826)

It's what we do. Information is always available, unless you're in a sensory deprivation tank or something, in which case you may well start hallucinating, because you aren't "addicted" to information; you require it for proper functioning.

I think some people are addicted to labling everything as an addiction.

Maybe it has something to do with our rather bizzare cultural perception that if you're enjoying yourself you must be mentally ill.

Actually, now that I think about it, given the state of our culture, they might have a point.

KFG

Re:We are information processing machines (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187921)

I Absolutely agree with you. What diferenciates us from the rest of the species on this planet is our mind. We really are information processing beings, And, yes, a big part of this society has developed a fear for knowledge and for joy in general (knowledge is pleasure); and so any activity that is enjoyed and that demands a lot of time, but is not something a dog would enjoy, is called an adiction.

This is the single most insightfull post i have seen on /. in a long long time ...

Thank you, you made my day.

Re:We are information processing machines (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188322)

Addiction is NOT the *need* for something. It is the *inability to function without* that something.

So this isn't about the normal need for relevant information. It's about an abnormal requirement for information (relevant or not), and individuals who feel panic when deprived of that information. It's been around forever; availability of a new medium doesn't change that.

I personally know two people who literally have panic attacks if they are prevented from watching the evening TV news.

Dying gasps of an older generation (1, Interesting)

Dogun (7502) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187839)

Our parents were always heading outside to play baseball, while we stay inside and play Quake, leran about obscure topics, or program something we thought about earlier in the day.

Their parents were always criticizing them for having wild parties and never doing their studies because they're always playing X or Y.

In turn, they criticize our generation for the different lifestyle that we lead.

Simple fact of the matter is that these are different times. If you are a parent worried about your kids' attention spans, find them something to do online that won't 'rot their brains' or 'decrease their attention span'. Teach them to play Bridge or Go or something that is genuinely fun but requires a bit of study and practice. They're very rewarding and at least you won't have to worry that your kid is getting dumber. It's hard to think of someone as less intelligent than they used to be when they can kick your ass at a game like that.

Parents, find a healthier outlet for your anachronisms.

That having been said, I haven't read TFA. They may well be right that attention spans are decreased. All I'm saying is that's not the end of the world.

Re:Dying gasps of an older generation (1)

kjamez (10960) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188187)

ur parents were always heading outside to play baseball, while we stay inside and play Quake, leran about obscure topics, or program something we thought about earlier in the day.

Their parents were always criticizing them for having wild parties and never doing their studies because they're always playing X or Y.

In turn, they criticize our generation for the different lifestyle that we lead.


i agree with you, except that "going outside to play baseball" and "sitting on the internet all day and night" are worlds apart in regards to health. We have many many many EXTREMEMLY obsese no exercise barely walking much less jogging or playing sports tv watching internet addicted anti social children ... i see that to be a problem.

on the other hand (you have different fingers and) i am always personally drawn to computers/information. i wake extra early to have quiet and coffee and check my overnight emails, jump on /., read the (currently worthless) UF comic, etc ... i'll get back online if i come home for even a moment, more as a force-of-habbit. but i also frequently go on hikes/walks, and ride bikes, and do yard work, and exercise, which is the part of the balance of all things.

i would hesitate to call it an 'addiction' until we start sacrificing our health (or hygine for that matter) because of a fascination with information. i simply love computers and technology and reading and hearing other people's points of views on things.

Only In America (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187846)

Only in America do people feel the need to define themselves by 'disorders'

yeap.. recognizing that yeap.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187847)

yep.. I definetly suffer from this, I'm not addicted yet and I CAN stay away from my pc for days and weeks even. BUT its stress-mania when I get back, backreading days and weeks of slashdot and other pages. Checking for updated drivers and updated soft etc..

I wonder how long before this overtakes obesity as the no.1 healt issue in the western world.

Interesting Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187865)

Strangely enough, I can relate to the converse of what the article states. I am a 56K user, and I find myself less dependent on fast downloads and fast obtainment of information. I know many people that are DSL (or broadband, in the case of this article) users, and they tend to be much more anxious and impatient.

I2I (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12187873)

"Internet anxiety disorder,' he says. Firefox developer, Blake Ross thinks that 'Internet hardwires developing brains with a click-happy sense of urgency that will not defer to reality."

"Gotta Have it NOW"

"We are addicted to information and seek it even when we know it's not available.'"

Reflected as Consumerism, and Illegal P2P activity.

The Internet can ward off depression I think (1)

confused philosopher (666299) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187896)

Using the Internet to gather news, it's obvious that there's more news than can be read in a day, created each and every day. It is unfathomable to me that someone could become depressed with such limitless access to information and humour everywhere around them.

So... (3, Funny)

kakashiryo (866772) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187924)

...if I'm not in denial, I get a cookie and a free iPod, yes?

Hogwash. Stop It! (1)

the0ther (720331) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187934)

I'm tired of people elevating every little habit into a pathology. Ever met a hypochondriac? I've met a few, I think there's a human tendency toward it. Just like this tendency to call everything a disease. I say humbug. Slashdot's losing it when this is the crap they're approving. Sheesh.

Re:Hogwash. Stop It! (2, Insightful)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188035)

just being on the internet is not the problem... the problem happens when being on the internet interferes with a heathy life style.

"oops... forgot to go to work"... oopps... "forgot to do the chores"... "ooops for got to pick up the kids"... "oopps... forgot to FEED the kids"...

at that point you have a problem.

Dial-Up (1)

Gamzarme (799219) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187951)

And if you are still using dial-up? Do you have a greater case of Internet Anxiety Disorder or just slowing getting it?

Not New (2, Insightful)

cookie_cutter (533841) | more than 9 years ago | (#12187955)

This is just info-porn addiction in a new medium. 15 years ago we were discussing the same topic with regards to people who obsessively watch cable news channels. Sure, the internet version will have it's own unique twists, but let's have some sense of history, please.

This explains the dupes! (1)

Hrodvitnir (101283) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188082)

The slashdot editors are merely looking out for our mental well-being. By posting dupes, the chances of missing story drop, effectively (or ineffectively) reducing the urge to check the page.

Give them a break. They're just trying to help.

New Anxiety Disorder discovered among scientists.. (1)

Anne Honime (828246) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188097)

A compulsive behaviour has been identified among comportementalists ; it appears that each time a pleasurable activty goes mainstream, a fair share of those scientists can't help themselves from labelling it "syndrom".

For instance, they tried for years to prove unsucessfully that coffee drinking was bad, they've put thousands of childs under chemicals for behaving like kids, they managed to put a ban for years on alcohol drinking, they suspiciously look under your bed sheets to make sure you don't obsessively engage into sex, etc.

This We Want To Control Your Life Addiction Syndrom can hurt anybody, so be careful. You could be next.

Dialup (1)

dcclark (846336) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188106)

I find that any internet addiction I may have disappears very quickly when I visit my parents. They still dial in to the local provider, and because they live in the middle of nowhere, the top speed they get is 24kbps. Even email checking can get really painful at that level, and don't even try to IM someone at the same time!

A good book and maybe a paper take care of my time then.

what disturbs me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12188115)

When I am working on an oil painting and make a mistake, there is just a little part of me that reaches for CMD (CTRL) Z to undo it. In my mind somewhere, I mean. (not joking) And I also have a distinct feeling of "Quit and Save". Unfort. the real world doesn't have a "restore".

Re:what disturbs me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12188226)

>When I am working on an oil painting and make a mistake, there is just a little part of me that >reaches for CMD (CTRL) Z to undo it.

I actually had this experience once. I was writing something with a pen on paper and made a mistake. Momentarily, I thought <CTRL>+Z.

I also think <CTRL>+R every time I blink.

OK, I made the second one up, but the first one is true.

Did anyone find the new acronym funny? (1)

dbitch (553938) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188165)

Nerd Attention Deficit Disorder - NADD.

"Mrs. Green, can I be excused? My NADD is kicking in."
"Dude, I've got NADD too!"
"I'm going to kick you in the NADDs."
"We need to talk about your NADD."

dbitch

Is somewhat addictive. (2, Insightful)

drac0n1z (824583) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188213)

I was forced offline by my parents for three days for anti-social behaviour (not talking to them) and I ended up extremly depressed by the 3rd day since I couldn't distract myself with information. wikipedia, ./ , http://www.livescience.com/ and http://www.physorg.com/ . when I got back on the net I read everything I missed, got new anime episodes ect.. Right now I'm browsing, playing Dune2 with dosbox, watching an episode of Friends, chatting and compiling wine.. and I feel happy.. sometimes I add an anime with subtitles so I read that also. Thing is when I'm out with friends more I don't need those things, IAD is just a sympton of being alone+bored.

F5....F5.....F5..... (4, Funny)

Asprin (545477) | more than 9 years ago | (#12188251)

F5....
F5....
F5....

Come on! Post a new article already!

F5....
F5....
F5....
F5....
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