September 20, 2007

831 words 4 mins read

When to Cut Back on Web Habits

This may seem a little odd, but earlier this evening I read a blog entry titled “100 Blog Topics I Hope YOU Write". It is exactly like it sounds. Chris Brogan (the blogger) is asking others to write articles for the 100 titles he put down. Its amusing, and a personally fascinating concept. I think half of blogging (or being a part of the blogosphere) is interacting with the community. So I skimmed over his list and picked #54, “When to Cut Back on Web Habits”.

Interesting enough there was a posting on slashdot this evening about this very topic. It linked to an article titled “Americans giving up friends, sex for Web life". Now, to be fair, they asked only a thousand people, and… its an Australian website about Americans… so … WTF? Regardless, I’m addicted to the web and have my own thoughts on this. If a friend requests to see me in person, I’ll oblige, even if I am in the middle of a mission in Guild Wars. I have “tried” to unplug for as long as two weeks. Note the “tried”, as I failed miserably. I failed partially because the way I communicate with all my friends is through email/IM, and partially because I didn’t have wikipedia. I’m dead serious. I can’t tell you how many times in those two weeks I thought “man, I wish I could look X up on wikipedia”.

Just off the cuff though, I’ve made a list of signs you’ve possibly spent too much time on the web/internet/computer. It isn’t comprehensive, but I’ve made a darn good stab at it:

  • You are out in real life and worry that you are missing email/IMs.
  • You spend more than 20 minutes a day on facebook/myspace/
  • You write your blog posts in HTML without any editor assistance
  • You spend time on 4Chan
  • You spend time on SomethingAwful
  • You spend significant time on the sites listed above and ENJOY it
  • You speak and/or think in IM terms (EX: saying/thinking “lol” instead of laughing).
  • You check your email more than a dozen times a day.
  • You refresh news sites constantly hoping something new will show up.
  • You DON’T spend time with people IRL because you are “too busy” with something on the computer/net
  • You are signed on to more than 3 IM services/accounts (bonus points for 9+ services/accounts)
  • You find every XKCD strip hilarious and get every reference.
  • You don’t need to look up internet memes because you’ve seen them all
  • You feel like you’ve “reached the end of the internet”
  • You’ve fought the boss at the end of the net more than once
  • You’re best friends are “net friends” and you’ve never met them or seen a picture of them.
  • You’ve got more “net friends” than real friends.
  • You play World of Warcraft
  • You can spend hours on end reading Wikipedia
  • The only way you can communicate with many of your friends is Digital Only (EX: You don’t know their phone number or address)
  • You’ve got your own website for no good reason what so ever, and you update it every day.
  • You surf the net even though its boring, you’ve been everywhere and seen everything
  • You stay way past your bed surfing the net, even though you’ve checked your email a hundred times, refreshed digg a dozen times, and still haven’t found anything interesting to read
  • You open entire favorite folders at a time, and every folder is 10+ favorites
  • Your bookmarks.html export is more than 100k in size. (Bonus if it is 512kb+ in size)
  • Your bookmarks are better organized than your desk
  • Your email is better organized than your postal mail.
  • You do electronic billing for EVERYTHING because you hate walking the 20 feet to check your mailbox
  • You sign up for news letters and other email subscriptions, just so you would email to read
  • You feel a warm tingly sensation (or at least feel loved) every time you get a new email, spam or not.
  • You get irritated at people who call instead of email
  • You get irritated at people who email instead of IM
  • You get irritated at people who email instead of Facebook/MySpace messaging
  • You order stuff on Amazon because you can’t be bothered to drive the 5 miles to the local mall (Doesn’t count if you are more than 20 miles from any shopping)
  • You have enough free time on your hands to read a blog article about blog topics to write, and sit down and do it right then and there
  • You read this entire article (bonus if you didn’t even wince at the massacred grammar)
That list is just what I could think of off the cuff, but that is all I have for now. A lot of the items are person experience ^_^. If you can think of some other “signs”, let me know — I’ll happily add them. I look forward to what others see as signs for “When to cut back on web habits”.