Internet Addiction

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Does it really exist?

Mitch "Just One More Click" Lastnamewithheld, Monday, 15 October 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Has anybody replied yet?

Mitch Lastnamewithheld, Monday, 15 October 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Yes. It used to worry me but I'm too far gone now. Also it pays my wages.

Tom, Monday, 15 October 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I guess it does. But it's only a problem if it stops you from doing other things. The only other thing I would probably be doing right now would be watching TV or reading. If I had a date with a cute girl, I would choose that over the Internet.

james, Monday, 15 October 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Net = lovely. Give in.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 15 October 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Yes and I do worry about it occasionally.

RickyT, Monday, 15 October 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Yeah, James is on the money. There were times when I chose the net over friends, but those times were when I was actually sick in the head. I'll take getting out of the house over staying in the house (which is what the net is, for me) any time I'm offered it, money and energy permitting.

Tom, Monday, 15 October 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

i'm pretty much with tom and james. i would take actual human interaction over the net in a minute, but if all i'd be doing is zoning out in front of the tv after work, its a much better way to waste time.

jess, Monday, 15 October 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

My worries don't really centre around avoiding other enjoyable things like human interaction etc. (oh wait I forgot I'm an avoidist), but I'm concerned about my use of the net as a procrastination device: whenever anything that requires any kind of real effort on my part arises, I hop off to ILx and happy squander pweshus time (and phone bill money). Like RIGHT NOW THIS VERY MOMENT, I should be finishing up an essay and going to sleep. But the mighty interweb only strengthens her digital grip.

Mitch Lastnamewithheld, Monday, 15 October 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Exactly! That's what worries me. I end up sitting here reading and posting when I should be sorting boring stuff out instead.

RickyT, Monday, 15 October 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I have no problems getting out of the house because of the Internet -- in fact, it's a convenient cheap way to organize things which contribute to me getting out of the house.

It's only when I have extra-curricular computer work to do -- like musical projects -- where the temptation to fart around on the net gets me.

Brian MacDonald, Monday, 15 October 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I've become addicted to cock. Stats cock.

Tracer Hand, Monday, 15 October 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Internet started out as a procrastinatory aid for me, but now its an obsession. However since I am sitting here at public access terminals I get the feeling that I am socialising as well. Yay multitasking.

Menelaus Darcy, Monday, 15 October 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I get so sick of people interrupting my surfing at work that I took today off, so I could surf all day without hassle.

dave q, Tuesday, 16 October 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

seven years pass...

last few days w/o internet was nice, would try again

buzza, Friday, 2 January 2009 22:00 (twelve years ago) link

I heard Internet Addiction IAD was added to the DSM-V.

redmond, Friday, 2 January 2009 23:54 (twelve years ago) link

I definitely have this

Plaxico (I know, right?), Saturday, 3 January 2009 00:10 (twelve years ago) link

In China, Stern Treatment For Young Internet 'Addicts'
By Ariana Eunjung Cha
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, February 22, 2007; A01

DAXING, China -- Sun Jiting spends his days locked behind metal bars in this military-run installation, put there by his parents. The 17-year-old high school student is not allowed to communicate with friends back home, and his only companions are psychologists, nurses and other patients. Each morning at 6:30, he is jolted awake by a soldier in fatigues shouting, "This is for your own good!"

Sun's offense: Internet addiction.

Alarmed by a survey that found that nearly 14 percent of teens in China are vulnerable to becoming addicted to the Internet, the Chinese government has launched a nationwide campaign to stamp out what the Communist Youth League calls "a grave social problem" that threatens the nation.

Few countries have been as effective historically in fighting drug and alcohol addiction as China, which has been lauded for its successes, as well as criticized for harsh techniques.

Now the country is turning its attention to fighting another, supposed addiction -- one that has been blamed in the state-run media for a murder over virtual property earned in an online game, for a string of suicides and for the failure of youths in their studies.

The Chinese government in recent months has joined South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam in taking measures to try to limit the time teens spend online. It has passed regulations banning youths from Internet cafes and has implemented control programs that kick teens off networked games after five hours.

There's a global controversy over whether heavy Internet use should be defined as a mental disorder, with some psychologists, including a handful in the United States, arguing that it should be. Backers of the notion say the addiction can be crippling, leading people to neglect work, school and social lives.

But no country has gone quite as far as China in embracing the theory and mounting a public crusade against Internet addiction. To skeptics, the campaign dovetails a bit too nicely with China's broader effort to control what its citizens can see on the Internet. The Communist government runs a massive program that limits Web access, censors sites and seeks to control online political dissent. Internet companies like Google have come under heavy criticism abroad for going along with China's demands.

In the Internet-addiction campaign, the government is helping to fund eight in-patient rehabilitation clinics across the country.

The clinic in Daxing, a suburb of Beijing, the capital, is the oldest and largest, with 60 patients on a normal day and as many as 280 during peak periods. Few of the patients, who range in age from 12 to 24, are here willingly. Most have been forced to come by their parents, who are paying upward of $1,300 a month -- about 10 times the average salary in China -- for the treatment.

Led by Tao Ran, a military researcher who built his career by treating heroin addicts, the clinic uses a tough-love approach that includes counseling, military discipline, drugs, hypnosis and mild electric shocks.

Tao said the clinic is based on the idea that there are many similarities between his current patients and those he had in the past.

In terms of withdrawal: "If you let someone go online and then he can't go online, you may see a physical reaction, just like someone coming off drugs." And in terms of resistance: "Today you go half an hour, and the next day you need 45 minutes. It's like starting with drinking one glass and then needing half a bottle to feel the same way."

Located on an army training base, the Internet-addiction clinic is distinct from the other buildings on campus because of the metal grates and padlocks on every door and the bars on every window.

On the first level are 10 locked treatment rooms geared toward treating teen patients suffering from disturbed sleep, lack of motivation, aggression, depression and other problems. Unlike the rest of the building, which is painted in blues and grays and kept cold to keep the teens alert, these rooms are sunny and warm.

Inside Room No. 8 are toys and other figurines that the teens can play with while psychologists watch. Room 10 contains rows of fake machine guns that the patients use for role-play scenarios that are supposed to bridge the virtual world with the real one.

Room No. 4 is made up to look like home, with rattan furniture and fake flowers, to provide a comfortable place for counselors to talk to the teens. The staff tries to blend into the artificial environment. Before meeting with a patient, one counselor swapped her olive military uniform for a motherly cardigan and plaid skirt.

Among the milder cases are those of Yu Bo, 21, from Inner Mongolia, and Li Yanjiang, 15, from Hebei province. Both said that they used to spend four to five hours a week online and their daily lives weren't affected but that their parents wanted them to cut their computer usage to zero so they could study. Yu said he agreed to come because he wanted to train himself. Li said it was because he just wanted to "get away from my parents."

Perceived as a more serious case is that of He Fang, 22, a college student from the western region of Xinjiang. The business administration major said his grades tanked when he started playing online games several hours a night. The clinic "has mainly helped me change the way I think," he said. "It's not about getting away from pressure but facing it and dealing with it."

Before Sun, the 17-year-old, who is from the city of Cangzhou, checked into the clinic about a month ago, he said, he was sometimes online playing games for 15 hours nonstop. "My life was not routine -- day and night I was messed up," he said.

In December, he concluded that school just "wasn't interesting" and stopped attending. His parents were furious and complained that he didn't have a goal. Exasperated, they eventually checked him into the clinic.

Since he's been there, Sun said, he's decided to finish high school, attend college and then work at a private company, perhaps becoming an "authority figure" one day. With the help of a counselor, he's mapped out a life plan from now until he's 84.

Sun's father and mother, Sun Fengxiang and Xu Ying, both 41 and accountants, say their son's counselors have told them he's behaving well -- playing basketball, reading books about success -- but they are unsure whether he's really been cured.

"His language shows that he has changed, but we'll see" when Sun gets home, his father said.

No one is comfortable talking about the third floor of the clinic, where serious cases -- usually two or three at a time -- are housed. Most have been addicted to the Internet for five or more years, Tao said, are severely depressed and refuse counseling. One sliced his wrists but survived. These teens are under 24-hour supervision.

Tao said he believes 70 percent of the teens, after one to three months of treatment, will go home and lead normal lives, but he's less optimistic about the third-floor patients. "Their souls are gone to the online world," he said.

Earlier this month, four teens fled their dorm rooms and jumped in a taxi. They made it to a train station before soldiers caught them, according to Li Jiali, a military guard. They were isolated and asked to write reports about why their actions were wrong.

Guo Tiejun, a school headmaster turned psychologist who runs an Internet-addiction research center in Shanghai, said the military-run clinic goes too far in treating Internet addicts like alcohol and drug addicts.

He said that he has treated several former patients of the Daxing clinic and that one mother told him it was simply "suffering for a month" that did not help her son. He advocates a softer approach. Guo said he believes that the root of the problem is loneliness and that the most effective treatment is to treat the teens "like friends."

"Our conclusion is that kids who get addicted in society have some kind of disability or weakness. They can't make friends, can't fulfill their desire of social communication, so they go online," Guo said.

Guo is especially critical of the use of medications -- which include antidepressants, antipsychotics, and a variety of other pills and intravenous drips -- for Internet addiction because, he said, that approach treats symptoms, not causes.

Tao and his team of 15 doctors and nurses defended the treatment methods. He said that while some clinics depend wholly on medications -- in one experiment conducted in Ningbo, a city south of Shanghai, suspected Internet addicts were given the same pills as drug addicts -- only one out of five patients at the Daxing clinic receive prescription drugs. Tao did agree with Guo that Internet addiction is usually an expression of deeper psychological problems.

"We use these medicines to give them happiness," Tao said, "so they no longer need to go on the Internet to be happy."

Still, for all the high-tech treatments available to Sun at the clinic, the one that he says helped him most was talking. He looks forward to returning to school and getting on with his life.

The first task on his agenda when he gets home: get online. He needs to tell his worried Internet friends where he was these past few weeks.

Staff researcher Crissie Ding contributed to this report.

thirdalternative, Saturday, 3 January 2009 22:47 (twelve years ago) link

But, but, they have MMO child labor camps there!

Abbott of the Trapezoid Monks (Abbott), Saturday, 3 January 2009 22:48 (twelve years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Comcast, local high-speed internet monopoly, has decided it will take them a week to give us internet at our new pad. Fudge that noize! wtf? Why? Why? They could not tell me. I don't know why. I am pretty sure it is trickery. Probably not but I miss you the internet.

Abbott of the Trapezoid Monks (Abbott), Tuesday, 20 January 2009 21:18 (twelve years ago) link

I have a class that is on the international network, too. I can access this network (as ascertained from its name) from any nation but not my house??? ;_;

Abbott of the Trapezoid Monks (Abbott), Tuesday, 20 January 2009 21:21 (twelve years ago) link

sometimes it's nice to not have the internet for awhile

Tracy Michael Jordan Catalano (Jordan), Tuesday, 20 January 2009 21:23 (twelve years ago) link

Yes, you will feel like you have an extra brain.

lemmy tristano (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 20 January 2009 21:26 (twelve years ago) link

No mostly I've just been playing video games.

Abbott of the Trapezoid Monks (Abbott), Tuesday, 20 January 2009 22:07 (twelve years ago) link


gr8080, Tuesday, 20 January 2009 22:12 (twelve years ago) link

you know you got problems when you're jonesing for a fix while getting a fix

shook pwns (omar little), Tuesday, 20 January 2009 22:13 (twelve years ago) link
This is my internet...and this is my video game

lemmy tristano (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 20 January 2009 22:19 (twelve years ago) link

i pretty sure youtube just got re-blocked at work for me, (after 6+ months of it being unblocked for a work-related project that only took about an hour.)

that's like 40% of my work day ;__;

now is the time to winterize your manscape (will), Tuesday, 20 January 2009 22:23 (twelve years ago) link

Aim chatz just isn't the same without abbott

Pfunkboy Formerly Known As... (Herman G. Neuname), Tuesday, 20 January 2009 22:56 (twelve years ago) link

three years pass...

I guess it's normal to go through a phase of internet addiction, like when you get your first computer. I remember having an obsession with Gopher server! It sounds so quaint to me. My mom lives in a retirement community and I associate addiction with old people who are just beginning to use internet.

eleven months pass...

So, I'm not quitting ILX yet, but I yesterday decided to quit another message board that I felt had become a very bad habit. I made a scrambled password and C&P'd it into the new password fields so that I wouldn't be able to log in anymore.

Interestingly, I have probably already a dozen times since yesterday gone to the site and tried to poast, forgetting, momentarily, that I had quit. I think this is pretty good evidence of how compulsive the behavior is for me.

space phwoar (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 13 March 2013 14:52 (eight years ago) link

I use the net when I'm in the bath. That's pretty bad.

afriendlypioneer, Wednesday, 13 March 2013 15:00 (eight years ago) link


flopson, Wednesday, 13 March 2013 17:56 (eight years ago) link

I guess kind of predictably I've been on ILX more since quitting the other one. ILX is at least a better board and less miserable environment.

space phwoar (Hurting 2), Friday, 15 March 2013 02:09 (eight years ago) link

The good thing is that I'm basically locked out of the other one. Can't go back.

space phwoar (Hurting 2), Friday, 15 March 2013 02:10 (eight years ago) link

don't leave us ;_;

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 15 March 2013 02:15 (eight years ago) link

enabler! enab...sorry, ok, ok, I'll never leave you, I promise

space phwoar (Hurting 2), Friday, 15 March 2013 02:17 (eight years ago) link


reggie (qualmsley), Friday, 15 March 2013 02:18 (eight years ago) link


space phwoar (Hurting 2), Friday, 15 March 2013 02:30 (eight years ago) link

c'mon you cant really post this anecdote without at least hinting at what the other board is

乒乓, Friday, 15 March 2013 02:34 (eight years ago) link

Interestingly, I have probably already a dozen times since yesterday gone to the site and tried to poast, forgetting, momentarily, that I had quit. I think this is pretty good evidence of how compulsive the behavior is for me.

I get this with ILX, one second I'm on a document I'm supposed to be working on and the next, with little conscious input, I find myself on New Answers. But then ILX is often quite edifying so I don't find it such a terrible thing. Usually.

hot young stalin (Merdeyeux), Friday, 15 March 2013 02:34 (eight years ago) link

edifying compared to the rest of the internet anyway, perhaps not competing with say Spinoza on a page-by-page basis.

hot young stalin (Merdeyeux), Friday, 15 March 2013 02:37 (eight years ago) link

Before I knew ilx, I knew not of lolcats.

Aimless, Friday, 15 March 2013 02:49 (eight years ago) link

c'mon you cant really post this anecdote without at least hinting at what the other board is

― 乒乓, Thursday, March 14, 2013 10:34 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I kind of already did ;)

space phwoar (Hurting 2), Friday, 15 March 2013 02:50 (eight years ago) link

by freudian slip, no less!

space phwoar (Hurting 2), Friday, 15 March 2013 02:50 (eight years ago) link

but that's as far as I go

space phwoar (Hurting 2), Friday, 15 March 2013 02:51 (eight years ago) link

lol I think I know what board youre talking about, then

乒乓, Friday, 15 March 2013 12:31 (eight years ago) link

three months pass...

i just installed blocking software on my browser so as not to waste valuable writing time waiting for social media pellets

maura, Monday, 1 July 2013 15:09 (eight years ago) link

Oh good! That sounds great, thank you!

Lily Dale, Sunday, 14 March 2021 17:33 (eight months ago) link

yeah I use cold turkey a fair bit, it does the job!

intern at pepe le pew research (Simon H.), Sunday, 14 March 2021 17:50 (eight months ago) link

I've been thinking about this very thing today, before I saw this thread. (Irony right there, I guess.) I really do have to figure out some way to lessen my time online. Cold turkey is inconceivable. I wish I were the kind of person who could say "Your house is filled with unread books and unwatched movies and unheard music--why don't you spend most of your retirement attending to that?" and follow through, but I just don't have the mindset or discipline or whatever is needed to do that. So much of my occasional moodiness is attributable to the internet in one way or another.

clemenza, Sunday, 14 March 2021 18:41 (eight months ago) link

It's brutal, isn't it? I'm sitting in this room filled with books, and it's like I can't even see them.

Lily Dale, Sunday, 14 March 2021 18:43 (eight months ago) link

Lately I've been reading books about the attention economy and I still get distracted mid-sentence by the very mechanisms being deconstructed therein.

pomenitul, Sunday, 14 March 2021 18:53 (eight months ago) link

Disconnecting myself altogether from social media has helped immensely, both with the extent to which the internet gets its hooks in me and the extent to which the internet contributes to my feeling like shit.

Stefan Twerkelle (Old Lunch), Sunday, 14 March 2021 18:55 (eight months ago) link

Like on the extremely rare occasion that I open Facebook, I start feeling like shit within minutes and know it's time to step away again.

Stefan Twerkelle (Old Lunch), Sunday, 14 March 2021 18:56 (eight months ago) link

Trump being in power for four years made it possible for me to surgically seek content, both on his re-electability, and his approval ratings, desperate to see signs of an end.

when he left, that still left things like daily COVID statistics, news on vaccines, stimulus, etc.

when this is over....might finally be at the point where like, the internet is just 'there' again, like pre-2016.

Red Nerussi (Neanderthal), Sunday, 14 March 2021 18:56 (eight months ago) link

i go on FB to say happy birthday, to msg my best friends who chat w/ me daily, and a new friend from years back that I have been chatting with. maybe see if any new friends got vaccinated.

then PM my brother to tell me the hit he thinks he got in Little League Baseball 24 years ago was actually a fielder's choice.

then I'm done for the day

Red Nerussi (Neanderthal), Sunday, 14 March 2021 18:57 (eight months ago) link

At least for me, there's an underlying problem here which is that my moods/sense of self are too dependent on how I do at my job from day to day, and there's something soothing and numbing (though also inherently depressing) about the internet which makes me turn to it in a time of low self-esteem and then creates a feedback loop that makes me ultimately feel worse.

I get very little out of Facebook but can't disconnect entirely because my brother and I started a Facebook group back in college which has somehow grown to have more than 6,000 members, many of whom are lonely old people who rely on it as a major part of their day, and I'm the main moderator so I have to check it fairly routinely to make sure they haven't all started screaming at each other about politics.

Lily Dale, Sunday, 14 March 2021 19:02 (eight months ago) link

Just to add to the Cold Turkey recs, I recently shelled out for a lifetime subscription to Freedom and it's been the best purchase in years.

A Scampo Darkly (Le Bateau Ivre), Sunday, 14 March 2021 19:35 (eight months ago) link

When I've been particularly scattered I've sometimes gone and looked at a painting for fifteen minutes — it seems to effectively settle the mind, though it can yield a certain melancholy. I took up the practice after reading about a medical instructor who took his students to a gallery when they couldn't distinguish between skin lesions in this NYRB article. For me it doesn't particularly matter if the painting is by a professional or not, just so long as there's something I can dig into with my eyes.

eatandoph (Neue Jesse Schule), Sunday, 14 March 2021 20:14 (eight months ago) link

Thanks for the heads-up, LBI. If you've experimented with Cold Turkey as well, how does it compare to Freedom? I've never tried the latter.

pomenitul, Sunday, 14 March 2021 20:31 (eight months ago) link

It's been rough for me lately as well. I try to use the Hosts file to block websites like ILX and Youtube, but somehow I’ve gotten accustomed to just mechanically opening the file and unblocking them every time I turn on my computer – all it does is add a few more steps. I should try Cold Turkey.

I think it helps to not regard internet addiction as an individual failing. Huge numbers of people are internet addicts. Our brains are not evolved to use this technology in a balanced way, especially when social media and streaming are engineered to suck up as much of our attention as possible.

jmm, Sunday, 14 March 2021 20:33 (eight months ago) link

I really do hope new websites come along that steal the best parts of twitter and tumblr (pillowfort and mastodon are pretty much ripoffs of tumblr and I'm curious to see if they build). Still never joined twitter but I've been looking at it a lot and it definitely makes me unhappy. Something about twitter and tumblr makes the word "doomscrolling" seem a perfect description of the feeling of using them, regardless of subject matter. There needs to be somewhere that gets content to people more efficiently, shares & spreads (retweet, reblog) well and gets rid of the trivial and shitty stuff. But I kinda would like to go back to the blogger and forum days and just accept the tradeoff that they aren't as good for sharing & spreading content.

Since my last posts above, I've moved to my father's permanently, so I don't weekend binge anymore, I try to keep it to just a couple of hours a day (I'm failing badly at that recently).

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 14 March 2021 20:53 (eight months ago) link

xp Yeah, it's horribly addictive, and like all addictive things it targets whatever you're already feeling bad about, briefly gives you the illusion of making it better, and ultimately makes it worse. So it's hard not to feel like it's an individual failing because the way you experience it is so personal, but it's definitely a widespread problem.

I actually got rid of my smartphone a couple years ago and it was great, about three days of feeling like a part of me had been amputated, and then this wonderful freedom, where I could leave the house, get on a bus, go to a cafe or whatever, and not have to think about the internet until I came home again. But now, with lockdown, I'm almost always in my house surrounded by computers, so not having the phone doesn't make much difference.

Lily Dale, Sunday, 14 March 2021 20:55 (eight months ago) link

Internet Addiction is a thing, but refreshing the same websites during a time of stress is the new version of re-reading the same newspaper article/book and not taking any of it in.

Luna Schlosser, Sunday, 14 March 2021 23:47 (eight months ago) link

I uninstalled all social media on my phone, it helped me more than you'd think even in lockdown - no computer in the living room. Periodically reinstall twitter to check for CenturiesOfSound's takes after watching totp.

I think the chillness of current era ILX makes it less damaging to my psyche, I still fall into the "argue angrily and then refresh the page compulsively waiting for an answer" trap every now and then but much less than I used to. Its slowness, though obviously a sign of its dwindling membership, is good for me too - no endless timeline to scroll through.

Twitter seems to serve me up angry politics stuff no matter how much I try to nudge it into other directions. Funny thing is the aggravation I feel from it isn't even about getting into yelling matches myself anymore, it's all vicarious stress from other ppl's shouting matches. That and the consciousness of just how many awful people exist out there. And the ppl I find who never post about politics are just terminally bland - endless tweets wishing dead actors a happy birthday, who cares.

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 15 March 2021 15:18 (eight months ago) link

four months pass...

Check out this film on MUBI: Sweat

No Particular Place to POLL (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 7 August 2021 11:49 (three months ago) link

(x post)

This is a very silly article/book extract - it's thought deserving of a tweet or two turned into a book.

Luna Schlosser, Saturday, 7 August 2021 11:49 (three months ago) link

I found it useful. It's no less silly than most of the self-help pap that nonetheless hits the occasional bullseye depending on how much you need to hear it.

pomenitul, Saturday, 7 August 2021 11:56 (three months ago) link

I read it prepared to be sceptical but ended up appreciating it, though I do usually get something out of his columns. Re: tweet v book, if you read a tweet you might think "oh yeah, bingo" then forget all about it, a book is likely to sink in deeper.

Believe me, grow a lemon tree. (ledge), Saturday, 7 August 2021 12:05 (three months ago) link

I'd prefer to see an article along the lines of if you think you have online addiction/issues that you are worried about, where are some practical things you can do....Dressing it in the context of 'omg do you guys realise you only have 4000 weeks' as if that has some great ontological significance is some sales bullshit imho..

Next week's Oliver Burkeman column: "Is the fact that the sun will one day burn out and extinguish all life on Earth preventing you from clinching that important job interview...?"

Luna Schlosser, Saturday, 7 August 2021 12:05 (three months ago) link


No Particular Place to POLL (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 7 August 2021 12:09 (three months ago) link

I have no idea who the author is, so I approached the piece without bias. For what it's worth, he does provide practical advice via the long anecdote about Steve Young.

pomenitul, Saturday, 7 August 2021 12:11 (three months ago) link

Re: Steve Young - to me that was some sub-standard Malcom Gladwell approach, as someone observed here on ilx:

So basically his formula is (1) take commonsense thing that everyone already knows (2) make it sound like it actually goes against the "conventional wisdom," (3) extrapolate overbroadly from the phenomenon (4) assign pseudoscientific terms to thing (5) audience now feels both that it is smart and that it has learned something

Luna Schlosser, Saturday, 7 August 2021 12:23 (three months ago) link

Faced with physical distress – even of a much milder variety – most people’s instinctive reaction is to try not to pay attention to it, to attempt to focus on anything else at all. For example, if you’re mildly phobic about hypodermic syringes, like I am, you’ve probably found yourself staring very hard at the mediocre artwork in doctors’ clinics in an effort to take your mind off the jab you’re about to receive. At first, this had been Young’s instinct, too: to recoil internally from the experience of the freezing water hitting his skin by thinking about something different – or else just trying, through an act of sheer will, not to feel the cold. Common sense would seem to suggest that mentally absenting yourself from the situation would moderate the pain.

When we succumb to distraction, we’re motivated by the desire to flee something painful about our experience of the present
And yet as icy deluge followed icy deluge, Young began to understand that this was the wrong strategy. In fact, the more he concentrated on the sensations of intense cold, giving his attention over to them as completely as he could, the less agonising he found them – whereas once his “attention wandered, the suffering became unbearable”. After a few days, he began preparing for each drenching by first becoming as focused on his present experience as he possibly could so that, when the water hit, he would avoid spiralling from mere discomfort into agony. Slowly it dawned on him that this was the whole point of the ceremony. As he put it – though traditional Buddhist monks certainly would not have done so – it was a “giant biofeedback device”, designed to train him to concentrate by rewarding him (with a reduction in suffering) for as long as he could remain undistracted, and punishing him (with an increase in suffering) whenever he failed.

Th offending passage.

Cant wait until Steve Young gets a toothache.

Luna Schlosser, Saturday, 7 August 2021 12:25 (three months ago) link

1) 'Common sense would seem to suggest that mentally absenting yourself from the situation would moderate the pain.'

2) 'the more he concentrated on the sensations of intense cold, giving his attention over to them as completely as he could, the less agonising he found them'

Right off the bat, it doesn't quite fit the model. Unless your argument is that #2 is also 'common sense'? But that's not really true, is it? In my experience, at least, #1 is by far the most widespread approach to this problem.

pomenitul, Saturday, 7 August 2021 12:36 (three months ago) link

Well, it's a slight Gladwellian variation:
(1) take some 'common-sense' view
2) show the opposite is 'true'

3,4,5 - apply as usual.

Luna Schlosser, Saturday, 7 August 2021 12:43 (three months ago) link

Oliver Burkeman is still building up his 10,000 hours (omg do you guys realise that's like 60 weeks?) to master his Gladwell abilities.

Luna Schlosser, Saturday, 7 August 2021 12:48 (three months ago) link

That article is better than I expected, despite the clickbait start.

No Particular Place to POLL (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 7 August 2021 12:58 (three months ago) link

It's the kind of clickbait that works on me precisely because I'm an Internet Addict.

pomenitul, Saturday, 7 August 2021 13:08 (three months ago) link


No Particular Place to POLL (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 7 August 2021 13:34 (three months ago) link

Buzzcocks to thread!

No Particular Place to POLL (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 7 August 2021 13:35 (three months ago) link

Anyway, as far as I can tell the conclusion is not much different from what the majority of meditation instructors would tell you.

No Particular Place to POLL (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 7 August 2021 13:51 (three months ago) link

I did try meditation for once, found it alright for kicks, but I did not find out that it's a habit that sticks.

pomenitul, Saturday, 7 August 2021 14:03 (three months ago) link

You're an ooohhhmmm-gasm addict

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Saturday, 7 August 2021 14:11 (three months ago) link

Whoever mentioned Discord above is right, it's really good. People keep saying it feels nice and feels like the good old days of internet but it is quite addicting (seeing that people are typing doesn't help). Thought about giving it up but I actually do find the place quite rewarding.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 7 August 2021 18:20 (three months ago) link

one month passes...

i really feel like the internet is dying. i grew up with web 2.0, and even six, seven years ago community felt vibrant and things were a little more free. it's like i don't even know what to do when i open a browser window now.

i have been 'addicted' to a particular 'erotic fiction' text-based chatroom since i was sixteen. it was somewhere to freely explore identity and exist anonymously. no social network. no photos - the place is trapped in 1997. that's pretty rare these days. i still keep checking in now and then for this 'old net' feeling, and i guess i get the same feeling from ILX. i'm twenty-nine now, and pretty sick of the sight of that chatroom. i wish there was a community worthwhile visiting with a similar infrastructure that isn't centred on sexuality.

sometimes i feel like reddit is almost the last bastion of a free and open net, and even there, it's narrowing, and demographic has shifted. all i see everywhere are ads/captchas/useless shit i don't need. it makes me wonder where people are hanging out these days... even the early days of FB had a community feeling... IG has no real network to it. i suppose there are particular forums given your interest but i wouldn't know where to start. it just doesn't feel 'fun' anymore...

i read a fair bit about cyberpsychology and addiction & the net a few years ago in order to figure out my feelings and complex trauma with the WWW. i've been to hell and back with long-distance relationships and online encounters and shit like that. while i believe you can be addicted to certain behaviours and compulsions within the net itself (e.g. gambling, gaming, cybersex, other virtual activities), addiction to the internet *itself* doesn't really make sense; it's simply a portal, a mirror, another mode of existing.

i want to stay online - i love the possibility and engagement with a decentralized internet... but i already feel so restricted, and tired of bureaucracy. maybe we can decentralize our way out of the noise of social media in time... i'm not sure what is next.

maelin, Friday, 10 September 2021 23:10 (two months ago) link

addendum... i have carried out this same procedure to fight compulsions in the past. heh. this was nice to read.

So, I'm not quitting ILX yet, but I yesterday decided to quit another message board that I felt had become a very bad habit. I made a scrambled password and C&P'd it into the new password fields so that I wouldn't be able to log in anymore.

Interestingly, I have probably already a dozen times since yesterday gone to the site and tried to poast, forgetting, momentarily, that I had quit. I think this is pretty good evidence of how compulsive the behavior is for me.

― space phwoar (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 13 March 2013 14:52 (eight years ago) bookmarkflaglink

maelin, Friday, 10 September 2021 23:14 (two months ago) link

Again, what I said about Discord above but the problem is finding the groups to join, they're often hidden away or linked to on someone's social media bio

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 10 September 2021 23:52 (two months ago) link

the semi-hidden nature of a lot of discord groups is probably what's keeping them healthy

call all destroyer, Saturday, 11 September 2021 00:59 (two months ago) link

two months pass...

Starting to dislike things about Discord. The notices at the bottom that other people are typing is likely to keep you on longer and when it's super busy with other people writing posts, it's quite unnerving and starts to feel really claustrophobic. I prefer more thought out posts and Discord sort of hurries people.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 23 November 2021 19:46 (one week ago) link

But to be honest even on a regular forum I find it unpleasant when a thread is incredibly busy

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 23 November 2021 19:48 (one week ago) link

I like the idea of Discord and I know it's becoming increasingly popular, but I just can't get into it. I never think to look at it when I'm on a computer, it doesn't look appealing or feel good, and I don't want another time & attention sucking app on my phone, idk.

change display name (Jordan), Tuesday, 23 November 2021 19:53 (one week ago) link

Since it uses invites, I feel like there's more open bitching about people who might come after you on twitter

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 23 November 2021 20:14 (one week ago) link

discord is a bloated, chaotic mess of an interface and retains almost nothing fun about old chatrooms... it's also pretty spooky/awful how it retains so much in chat history.

maelin, Tuesday, 23 November 2021 22:01 (one week ago) link

I love Discord. Big servers can be tough to follow, though. Mute is essential.

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Tuesday, 23 November 2021 22:23 (one week ago) link

It's good for really niche things and since it's like a cluster of different forums you can just bounce between them. Some servers I've given up trying to follow properly and accept I'll miss a lot of the conversation.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 24 November 2021 19:33 (one week ago) link

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