Twilight Times Feature

and you said the internet wasn't addictive?

Confessions of a Recovering Addict



Joni Latham


It all started when I transferred into a department that had real personal computers and not just dumb terminals. One of my co-workers set up my MAC to access the Internet. He didn't know it at the time, but he opened a whole new world for me. The first month I just explored the web. I was using a Mosaic browser and wasn't too impressed with what I saw, so I only accessed it when I was really bored.

One day in June when no one was around and it was totally boring, I found my first chat page. I still wasn't addicted at that point, because it was so hard to break into a chat where all the people already knew each other. You feel like an outsider and very out of place. At that point, I swore never to allow anyone who entered a chat with me to feel that way. Finally, sometime in July I found a chat to call home. I still wasn't in much trouble, because all I had at home was an old 286. I rapidly put that little computer in the shop and upgraded it to a Pentium which was the beginning of all my trouble.

The Pentium walked into my home the second week of August and before I knew it, I had been on the Net every night until midnight through the month of October. When I realized how addicted I was, I consciously tried to cut back, but it was hard. I had made so many friends, and like a child, I didn't want to miss any of the action.

It's been almost two years now since I was introduced to the Net. I still correspond with the first four people that I met, but I no longer hang out in chat rooms. Actually, unless a discussion is going on, I find it quite boring. I do check the Chat now and then to see if old friends have stopped by but don't stay long. Oh, don't get me wrong, I still talk to people on the Net, but my circle of friends has dwindled down to only a few core people, and I usually talk to them on ICQ. I have recently become involved in several mailing lists. One of them is a religious class and the other two are writing lists. They have weekly meetings in IRC, which I attend. Otherwise, I come home from work and dial-up the computer to check my e-mail. After which, I lie around or watch TV, checking the monitor occasionally for particular e-mails. It took some work, but I am back to normal.

I always wondered about this addiction, because I don't have an addictive personality and have never been addict to booze, cigarettes, or drugs. What made the Net so attractive? I'll probably never know.






Copyright © 1999 Joni Latham. All rights reserved.
This page last updated 4-24-99.

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