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Internet Forum Addiction
Old 11-26-2012, 09:34 AM   #1
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Internet Forum Addiction

Something I've wondered about lately. While it's easy to know if you're well away from the threshold of forum addiction, it's probably pretty hard to know if you're right on the threshold. I don't think it's as simple as 'everything is getting done that needs done in my life/around the house, so the time I spend is fine.'

Internet forums have always struck me as the modern equivalent of 'pen pals' on steroids - how's that for dating myself?

How do you recognize when enough is enough?

I looked at several sites on the topic. I don't know this source at all, but it looked like a worthwhile article on the subject Effective Online Forum Usage by Steve Pavlina, one of many.
Quote:
Online forums, message boards, and newsgroups are now ubiquitous. These powerful communication tools offer many strong benefits. However, forum participation can also become a destructive addiction, where the benefits are overshadowed by negative side effects.
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:23 AM   #2
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No such thing as "forum addiction". I've got the meds to prove it.
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
How do you recognize when enough is enough?
The other sides of that question are "But what if you're missing something that could benefit you?" and "How bad do things have to get before you have to cut back?"

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Here are some potential negative effects of excessive forum usage:
Reduced concentration and focus
Reduced productivity
Chronic procrastination
Increased pessimism and/or apathy
Being distracted by endless debates and idle gossip
Gradually substituting tribal group think for your own intelligence
Impaired social skills, neglected relationships, and a weakened social circle (a consequence of substituting online socialization for face-to-face conversations)
Reduced energy (forum participation is sedentary compared to more active social outlets)
Reduced self-esteem
Career and income may suffer (including loss of employment)
Forum addiction
Sorry. The benefits still outweigh the negatives, and I can quit switch anytime I want.
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:31 AM   #4
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How to tell?...
add this one:

When you find you're sharing more personal stuff on line, than you EVER would to your friends (in real life)
.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:05 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
How do you recognize when enough is enough?
I post quite a bit on this forum, and I am active in several other (completely unrelated) forums. So far, I see absolutely no addictive qualities to forum participation. I am still getting everything done that needs to be done, and I am still living a happy, productive life, spending time with my beloved, and engaging in other hobbies and ways of spending my leisure time.

Today, everything is an "addiction" and IMO that word is used far too loosely. I suspect that most who have known someone who was genuinely addicted to hard drugs would probably agree with me on that. True addiction can be a terrible thing, as opposed to spending some leisure time engaged in the simple pleasures of forum interactions.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:11 AM   #6
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Fortunately you were on the Internet to be able to find that story!
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:12 AM   #7
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Fortunately you were on the Internet to be able to find that story!
Good one...
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:16 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Nords View Post
The other sides of that question are "But what if you're missing something that could benefit you?" and "How bad do things have to get before you have to cut back?"
That's the rub IMO. There are certainly more productive things I could do than forum/surfing (internet ), but then that will always be the case unless I devote every waking moment to singlehandly resolve all wars/conflicts, end poverty worldwide, advance beneficial technology and generally promote whirled peas. Guess we all just decide for ourselves, knowing some of us will be blissfully unaware...
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Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:20 AM   #9
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Forum participation doesn't affect my work, since I cannot access the Internet from there. (I'm off today).

Various forums have taught me many things and made me laugh, and I share these things with family, so there is a recompense for my time. I was able to get a faulty car repair made right because of advice from a car forum, and I made over $1,000 this year via credit card bonus offers which I learned about on-line.

If I detect "turkeys" or a "pecking order" that constrain my freedom on a forum, I leave that forum.

Oh, and one of my graduate school papers contains as a reference, "M. Pack." :-) I got an A on that paper, too

Amethyst
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:36 AM   #10
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Honestly, I work in a menial job that is beneath me and I have lots of "gray time" (chronic boredom). When I am in the gray, I seaqrch for any activity that can keep me sane. Much of the time it is surfing, including forums (can't really get away with just reading books). So this is entertainment. With some time put in, it is also a way to access expertise and life experience that would otherwise be unavailable to me (but you have to put in the time or you won't know who to ignore and who to listen to).

When I am not in the gray and otherwise occupied (either with interesting work or real life), I don't think about or miss anything that is online.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:14 PM   #11
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:54 PM   #12
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I keep it short and simple...

Good weather ? OFFLINE most of the time
Bad weather ? ONLINE filling in time gaps when doing inside projects, or dedicated pure goof off time

This is the only forum I participate in aren't you all lucky.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:46 PM   #13
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The only thing that forum "addiction" has taken from me is tv time. I always do what I have always done, but now with the invention of the IPad, I am always scanning it when I am watching tv. So I guess I could put a positive spin on it and say I am multi tasking.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
I keep it short and simple...

Good weather ? OFFLINE most of the time
Bad weather ? ONLINE filling in time gaps when doing inside projects, or dedicated pure goof off time

This is the only forum I participate in aren't you all lucky.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:11 PM   #15
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It's just a little Reef-ER Madness.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:59 PM   #16
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It looks like many of us (including myself) are becoming addicted the this website :-)
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:07 AM   #17
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It looks like many of us (including myself) are becoming addicted the this website :-)
You are probably right, and self denial of addiction to this site is probably the most evident symptom
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:12 AM   #18
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An addict wonders: besides Bogleheads, what other sites are people "addicted" to?
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Just Curious
Old 11-27-2012, 08:14 AM   #19
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Just Curious

What other web sites do you browse to satisfy your addiction?
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:22 AM   #20
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No problem here I think W2R's original comments summed it up for me quite well except for me there is no beloved. I like the few forums I am on and I diligently check them and keep up to date even if I don't post. But this is not addiction it's an interest.

There is a forum, I was one of the 1st to join, I have a lot of posts there, I may be considered a "wealth of information for others seeking advice for which that forum exists" and I offer advice often. However, well over 2 months ago I became dissatisfied with some of the people, the high school pecking order and the nature of the forum and I have not been back. I do have to return as I have some personal interactions I want to perform (and give some things to some folks there) but I always find a reason to not return so far. It may be this week or next year but I'm in no rush and now that I got 11/22/63 yesterday (thanks Purron) I may be busy reading that.

When something ceases to be fun or interesting I can walk away.
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