I am the Roadside Philosopher deeply involved in the interactions and engagement levels of the internet.
So I suppose I shouldn't be surprised when someone comes to me with a cry for help with possible addiction.
This is a whole new state of being... this "Continually- connected-thing". All of humanity is having a "trial & error" fest.
So what do I tell people? I am a philosopher, addicted to questions and figuring out what is true in each situation. *scratches head*
So the people cry that online is abnormal and bad.
But it has always been human nature to play with a new toy, ignoring dinner and former pursuits to stretch the boundaries of this new play thing.
The only difference here is, there ARE NO BOUNDARIES.
Where before you could spend a few hours or days, making the doggie talk or watching a new movie, or seeing the red rock desert on vacation, things get "old hat" after awhile.
Not so with the internet. As fast as you get bored with one thing another thing comes up even more engaging than the last thing-a-ma gig.
There is porn, gambling, information, power plays, gaming, social any weakness can be satisfied online mentally.
Virtual worlds I believe are the most attractive addiction possibility. Those that love the gaming worlds, see validation in their existence when a new badge or level has been achieved They will ignore taking the garbage out, because that gives no reward. Those in social media worlds love their friends and their constructs.
So mentioning the classic philosophical advice of: Moderation in all things... kinda falls flat.
It goes back to our needs. If we enter a banquet after we just come off a diet.. there is most likely a bit of a binge going to happen. That is normal.
We have a society today that is restrictive in legalities, and socially accepted boundaries. Red tape inhibits innovation, and big corporations swipe great ideas from entrepreneurs as fast as they spill their blood and effort enough to make them viable. Is there nothing that can be done without being told you have violated something somewhere?
So it is natural to resort to someplace safe. Online is far from safe, but it hasn't resulted in all that many law suits restricting your imagination yet. So of course there will be satiation issues in the beginning.
I have faith we will get beyond that. Eventually balance will be again struck, at least while it swings back the other direction.
I have a 3 day rule if you have a problem. If you are sad take 3 days to bury yourself in your sadness until you have given it it's proper due. You always have a right to morn transition, but with the idea to close the book on that component at the end of the designated time.
If you have an addiction to sugar/salt etc.. give your body 3 days to clear things out. If it is information overload.. leave it entirely for 3 days and examine yourself, before, during and after. What are your goals? Is what you are doing working toward your vision or distracting you from it? Answer that and you will find out if this is addiction or an avenue.
The rule is: If it contributes to your life... it is good. If it detracts, it is bad. Meaning you still have to eat, sleep, exercise, clean, repair, make enough money to survive and be their for the people you love.
We have a new toy here people. It is fun to play with, but it can't be recess all the time. The goal is balance. A forever quest as we swing back and forth on the pendulum of reality.