I, my friends, am an internet addict. I crave the internet...need it even. What would my life be without it? How would I find out how much money I have left this month? How would I follow the news outside of Chapel Hill (sorry, DTH)? How would I be able to organize my life and check all of my correspondence (sorry, Google nerds)? How would I stay in tune with the world?
These are all questions that we could all easily ask ourselves if there were suddenly no internet. I realize that there may never be 'no internet' in these times, especially in a place such as Chapel Hill, but think about how empty your life would feel without the tools which the internet provides you on a daily (perhaps hourly, etc.) basis. I, for one, keep multiple windows of Mozilla Firefox up in my computer at all times, unless I am rebooting my machine. In one window I will have GMail, different news stories, and other daily tasks. In another window I will keep school pages such as Blackboard, our own COMP 380 homepage, library documents and other school-related pages. In perhaps a third (gasp, if you didn't for the second!) window I will keep items of a personal nature, whether it be research on a music group, upcoming events which I wish to attend, or any other myriad of things.
Now my grandparents, and even my parents may say "How can you possibly keep up with all of those things at once?". The fact of the matter is that I cannot possibly keep up with three pages (in all maybe nine tabs of information) of new-fangled internet at once, but I like to have all options for information available at my unpredictable choosing. I know people who document their entire day-by-day life on Google; if by some miraculous happenstance that were to go away they would not know what to do. I simply do not think that this is outside the norm for today's society.
Now this is all obviously a bit of an overstatement, but think about how the average student today is completely reliant on the internet for most day-to-day tasks. I feel like half of the work that we turn in is submitted online these days, most of this class couldn't figure out how much money they currently possessed if it weren't for online banking, and without (Your News Source Here) Online nobody would have significant dinner conversation. Perhaps this too is overstated, but the fact of the matter is that nearly all of the people that I know rely on the internet for more than just menial tasks and information. Most people I know need the internet in order to survive in today's modern-age world.
If anyone read the fist reading of the week, entitled "What is Internet & Web Addiction?" you might have read the diognostic criterea of a meek and depressed internet fiend who feels powerless and lost without the use of the internet. You might have seen examples of "addicting" sights such as ESPN, Yahoo, and Facebook. You might have seen information about a Chinese clinic to treat internet addiction. Sign me up! Who doesn't check certain sites with disturbing frequency (pulease, all you Facebook stalkers out there) or feel lost and unconnected without the readily available tools of e-mail and more broadly the internet? I might as well just check in to the Beijing Military Region Central Hospital and go 'cold turkey' because by any definition that my parents and grandparents would give, I am addicted to the internet.
I need to 'use' the internet at least once every day to feel alive. Sometimes I 'use' as many as 10-20 times per day. I get a warm, tingly feeling every time I see the UNC-1 network fully connect to my laptop. I, my friends, am addicted to the internet.