You Know You’re Living on the ‘Net When…

  • Your reason for not staying in touch with family is because they do not have e-mail.
  • You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.
  • Your grandmother asks you to send her a JPEG file of your newborn so she can create a screen saver.
  • You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home.
  • Every commercial on television has a web site address at the bottom of the screen.
  • You buy a computer and 3 months later it’s out of date and sells for half the price you paid.
  • Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn’t have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go get it.
  • Using real money, instead of credit or debit, to make a purchase would be a hassle and take planning.
  • You just tried to enter your password on the microwave.
  • You consider second-day air delivery painfully slow.
  • Your dining room table is now your flat filing cabinet.
  • Your idea of being organized is multiple-colored Post-it notes.
  • You hear most of your jokes via e-mail instead of in person.
  • You get an extra phone line so you can get phone calls.
  • You disconnect from the Internet and get this awful feeling, as if you just pulled the plug on a loved one.
  • You get up in the morning and go online before getting your coffee.
  • You wake up at 2 AM to go to the bathroom and check your E-mail on your way back to bed.
  • You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )
  • You’re reading this and nodding and laughing.
  • Even worse; you know exactly who you are going to forward this to.

I Don’t Wanna

I don’t wanna do the dishes,
I don’t wanna do the wash;
I sprinkled clothes a week ago,
And now my iron is lost!!

I don’t wanna rattle pots,
I don’t wanna rattle pans,
I see the mail light flashin’,
I wanna chat with friends!!

Oh the tables need some dusting
and the floor could sure be mopped;
But I know if I get started
there’ll be no place I can stop!

The closets are so full
things are falling off the shelves,
I wish for cleaning fairies
and magic little elves

They could sprinkle fairy dust,
and twitch their little nose.
The windows would be sparkling;
I would have no dirty clothes.

Oh I know that I’m just dreamin’,
My head is in the sky;
I must cook that meat that’s greying
and bake that apple pie.

The Hubby needs a bath;
Doggy needs attention.
Wait! The other way around I mean –
my brain is in suspension.

I am runnin’ round in circles,
I am gettin’ nothin’ done,
I keep thinking of my web chat,
I am missing all the fun!

Well I know I’m not addicted,
Though I hear that all the time,
But I guess this stuff can wait on me –
Cause Today I’ll Be On Line!!!

How to Tell if Technology Has Taken Over Your Life

  • Your stationery is more cluttered than Warren Beatty’s address book. The letterhead lists a fax number, e-mail addresses for two on-line services, and your Internet address, which spreads across the breadth of the letterhead and continues to the back. In essence, you have conceded that the first page of any letter you write *is* letterhead.
  • You can no longer sit through an entire movie without having at least one device on your body beep or buzz.
  • You need to fill out a form that must be typewritten, but you can’t because there isn’t one typewriter in your house — only computers with laser printers.
  • You think of the gadgets in your office as “friends,” but you forget to send your father a birthday card.
  • You disdain people who use low Baud rates.
  • When you go into a computer store, you eavesdrop on a salesperson talking with customers — and you butt in to correct him and spend the next twenty minutes answering the customers’ questions, while the salesperson stands by silently, nodding his head.
  • You use the phrase “digital compression” in a conversation without thinking how strange your mouth feels when you say it.
  • You constantly find yourself in groups of people to whom you say the phrase “digital compression.” Everyone understands what you mean, and you are not surprised or disappointed that you don’t have to explain it.
  • You know Bill Gates’ e-mail address, but you have to look up your own social security number.
  • You stop saying “phone number” and replace it with “voice number,” since we all know the majority of phone lines in any house are plugged into contraptions that talk to other contraptions.
  • You sign Christmas cards by putting 🙂 next to your signature.
  • Off the top of your head, you can think of nineteen keystroke symbols that are far more clever than :-).
  • You back up your data every day.
  • Your wife asks you to pick up some minipads for her at the store and you return with a rest for your mouse.
  • You think jokes about being unable to program a VCR are stupid.
  • On vacation, you are reading a computer manual and turning the pages faster than everyone else who is reading John Grisham novels.
  • The thought that a CD could refer to finance or music rarely enters your mind.
  • You are able to argue persuasively that Ross Perot’s phrase “electronic town hall” makes more sense than the term “information superhighway,” but you don’t because, after all, the man still uses hand-drawn pie charts.
  • You go to computer trade shows and map out your path of the exhibit hall in advance. But you cannot give someone directions to your house without looking up the street names.
  • You would rather get more dots per inch than miles per gallon.
  • You become upset when a person calls you on the phone to sell you something, but you think it’s okay for a computer to call and demand that you start pushing buttons on your telephone to receive more information about the product it is selling.
  • You know without a doubt that disks come in five-and-a-quarter and three-and-a-half-inch sizes.
  • Al Gore strikes you as an “intriguing” fellow.
  • You own a set of itty-bitty screw-drivers and you actually know where they are.
  • While contemporaries swap stories about their recent hernia surgeries, you compare mouse-induced index-finger strain with a nine-year-old.
  • You are so knowledgeable about technology that you feel secure enough to say “I don’t know” when someone asks you a technology question instead of feeling compelled to make something up.
  • You rotate your profile pictures more frequently than your automobile tires.
  • You have a functioning home copier machine, but every toaster you own turns bread into charcoal.
  • You have ended friendships because of irreconcilably different opinions about which is better — the track ball or the track *pad*.
  • You understand all the jokes in this message. If so, my friend, technology has taken over your life. We suggest, for your own good, that you go lie under a tree and write a haiku. And don’t use a laptop.
  • You email this message to your friends over the net. You’d never get around to showing it to them in person or reading it to them on the phone. In fact, you have probably never met most of these people face-to-face.

How to Get a Life

It’s never easy to overcome innate nerdity, a serious Internet addiction, or a hard-core computer gaming habit, but trying usually isn’t as painful as kidney stones.

Difficulty Level: Hard
Time Required: Years

Here’s How:

  • Let go of the mouse.
  • Turn off the computer.
  • Play a game of solitaire with a real deck of cards.
  • Eat something other than taco chips.
  • Fart without recording it and putting it up your Web page.
  • Get some sleep in bed rather than on your keyboard.
  • Next time you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, don’t tell everyone on your ICQ list about it.
  • Open a window without turning your computer back on (yes, it is possible).
  • Very gradually expose your eyes to increasingly bright light so as to avoid damage or permanent sun blindness.
  • When you feel prepared for a massive dose of non-CRT radiation, put on welding goggles and go outside.
  • If you see someone, say “Hi” to them instead of poking them.
  • Visit a friend that you haven’t spoken to in years because they don’t have an email address.
  • Have “.com” officially removed from behind your name.
  • Go on a date with someone you didn’t meet in a chat room.

You Know You’re Hooked When…

  • Your wife wants a diamond for her birthday, and you get her a Diamond Stealth Video Card.
  • You’re in bed, making it, and it reminds you of how it must feel to be a floppy disk going into your new drive.
  • You know what PPP, SLIP, HTML and FTP mean…but damned if you can remember your wife’s maiden name or your wedding anniversary. Don’t even talk about the kids’ names!
  • You sit in front of the TV…trying to type at a keyboard.
  • You “right click”….on your wife’s nipples.
  • The “cute name” for your member has changed to “Joystick”….and you hold it the same way.
  • You find out that Hemorrhoids aren’t THAT painful, as long as you’re on the ‘Net.
  • When someone yells out “What’s for supper?” you do a search for SUPPER.COM.
  • Whenever your wife mentions “protection”, you remind yourself that you gotta get a keyboard protector.
  • You suspect there’s a virus in your mashed potatoes.

Do You Need Help?

Hello. Yes, you! You, looking at this screen for hours on end, online. You, bleary-eyed. You, an addict. Have you looked in the mirror lately? Been outside? Know what day of the week it is? Your name was given to us by a spouse or family member who is concerned about your Internet addiction. At Internetaholics Anonymous, we can help. We’re a non-profit society of recovering addicts like yourself that provides support and counseling through weekly meetings designed to help you cope with your problem.

We feature a twelve-step recovery program and in extreme cases, interventions. Although it is our firm belief that you are never “cured,” you most certainly can recover.

We have designed a brief checklist to determine IF you are an addict. Do you:

  1. Have twitches of the hand when you walk by your terminal?
  2. Check e-mail more than five times a day?
  3. Spend more time chatting than eating or sleeping?
  4. Surf aimlessly with no direction, if only to be online?
  5. Leave your name and information at countless sites if only to hope you’ll receive a reply one day from a company you’ll never do business with anyway?
  6. Log on before important personal habits, such as meal preparation, hygiene or bodily functions?
  7. Have red, swollen eyes that hang halfway out of your head?
  8. Spend hours online on a holiday from work, where you’d usually be griping about your carpal tunnel syndrome?
  9. See smoke arising from your computer or cable modem?
  10. All of the above?

If you answered yes to four or more questions, (or chose #10), you have a problem. Please call us at Internetaholics Anonymous at: 1-800-LOGOFFNOWFORSWEETPETESSAKES. We’re here, we’re free, and we’re confidential. The first step to recovery is an admission that you have a problem. Call us today. If you can power off to free up your phone line, that is.

A Prayer for the Computer Addict

God, grant me the serenity to accept a post I cannot change,

Courage to walk past the computer without turning it on when I’m running late for work,

And the wisdom to know the difference between “come to bed now” meaning “let’s have some fun” and “come to bed NOW” meaning “that computer has got to go”!

-Amen

A 12 Step Program of Recovery for Web Addicts

  1. I will have a cup of coffee in the morning and read my PAPER newspaper like I used to, before the Web.
  2. I will eat breakfast with a knife and fork and not with one hand typing.
  3. I will get dressed before noon.
  4. I will make an attempt to clean the house, wash clothes, and plan dinner before even thinking of the Web.
  5. I will sit down and write a letter to those unfortunate few friends and family that are Web-deprived.
  6. I will call someone on the phone who I cannot contact via the Web.
  7. I will read a book…if I still remember how.
  8. I will listen to those around me and their needs and stop telling them to turn the TV down so I can hear the music on the Web.
  9. I will not be tempted during TV commercials to check for email.
  10. I will try and get out of the house at least once a week, if it is necessary or not.
  11. I will remember that my bank is not forgiving if I forget to balance my checkbook because I was too busy on the Web.
  12. Last, but not least, I will remember that I must go to bed sometime…and the Web will always be there tomorrow!