My internet addiction

I just realised that I have a problem. And it’s probably the same with what you’re facing too.

Let me go back in time a little bit.

Back in 2000, when I was first introduced to the wonders of internet (in a Computer course in Blok M district of South Jakarta), the concept of internet seemed very foreign to me. Internet seemed more like a “software that I could play” instead of a “means of connecting to the rest of the world”. Such a point of view was understandable, considering that I was still 11 at the time.

When my family moved to Bali in 2002, I started to get hooked up with downloading wallpapers and playing the online game Runescape that a friend introduced me. But it didn’t go for an addiction yet, because I thought back then that an average of two hours internet a day was enough.

Then when I moved to Singapore for my higher education in late 2004, I was first introduced to what was called “downloading videos and music by using a wireless connection”.

Wow.

Back then there wasn’t any broadband connections in Indonesia yet, as that notoriously slow Telkomnet Instan still monopolised the entire country’s ISP. Hence all the fascinations in downloading load of freebies.

In 2005, the grip of Youtube had just entered Singapore and in Indonesia, even the President SBY haven’t heard of Youtube yet (as proven by the puzzled look on my friends’ faces in Indonesia when I mentioned the word “Youtube”).

In my Singapore hostel, I got so hooked up to the internet for MSN, gmail, Wikipedia, freebie download websites, online games, etc etc that I often stayed up till late. Once I tried to count how much internet I use on a normal school day and my count reached up to Six hours!

Geez. That’s quite a geeky addiction.

Having no laptop/personal computer by myself meant that I had to borrow my friends’ for an internet connection, and when one friend asks for his laptop back, I could always ask for another friend’s laptop to borrow. Somehow, being addicted to internet also made me quite knowledgeable of different types of laptop brands.

I even once had to ask my roommates not to lend me their laptops (when I asked them) during the exam period as to make me more focussed in studying.

Haha.

My internet addiction cooled down when I moved back to Jakarta in late 2006, because that notorious Telkomnet Instan still dominated the country. I could always go to the net cafés for a faster connection anyway, but the nearest café wasn’t located very near to my house, hence I only spent three hours of internet usage a week.

Now, entering year 2008, I have finally got a broadband Telkom Speedy connection installed at home. Telkom Speedy boasts a speed of 100Mbps (but actually has a much slower connection than that). With this fast Speedy, I simply couldn’t stop my daily (or perhaps, hourly) routine of checking my accounts in Friendster, Facebook, Gmail, Wikipedia and Tolololpedia and browse websites such as the Kaskus forum and heaps of Indonesian blogs, together with an occasional download of Youtube movies and checking my Yahoo! Messenger.

Really!

I couldn’t stop checking all of them every two or three hours or so, which made me quite alarmed since my addiction has taken another step towards a scary level. I recently read an article in The Sunday Jakarta Post paper about Americans who got so addicted to the internet that they heard IM buzzes and see their blogs being commented upon even when they are doing house chores.

I haven’t gone to that level yet but I know I’m heading there. As suggested by the article, people who think that they are getting too dependent of the internet need to take a day off the computer every once a week or so, as to curb the addiction and “enjoy the sunshine”.

Yes, I definitely need some fresh air now.

Bijuk  – (3 May 2008 at 01:50)  

i'm a self-claimed internet addict. 8 hours Internet connection at work, followed by 3-4 hours at home. but i do take break during the weekend. i always keep my laptop sound off, that way i wont be hallucinating on the messenger buzz inside my head. in real life, that hallucination thingy happens to my bestfriend :s

Toshihiko Atsuyama  – (4 May 2008 at 08:28)  

wow.. that's even a worse addiction than mine. haha

don't u think an internet-free day is necessary once in a while?

accordingtod  – (6 May 2008 at 17:52)  

thomas, do you know that internet addiction is now known as one of the worst addiction? i couldn't provide where i got this fact, but a psychologist working next door told me. tobacco, alcohol, sex, and now internet addiction.

me  – (14 May 2008 at 11:28)  

why internet addiction is bad? why is it call an addiction at all? men eat, some crave even out of the usual hours. but tht's perceived as normal.. why can't internet needs be seen as normal too? :P

socialise in real life! why? we socialise equally the same in tis virtual world, don't we? :P

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