Do you compulsively go to your personal website to check for “activity,” that is, hits on your website? If so, you may suffer from a modern addiction that afflicts many isolated people in our huge impersonal society. Such an addiction can be characterized by the following symptoms:
1. You suffer from anxieties when you’re away from your website for more than a few hours because in part you can’t check for “activity,” that is, hits on your website.
2. You look for a sense of connection through Internet “friends” and e-mail buddies rather than real-life encounters.
3. You measure your worth and self-esteem through the amount of hits and “friends” you’ve amassed.
4. When your website isn’t getting activity for extended periods, you suffer from anguish, despair, self-pity, and resentment.
5. You’re elated when you experience a “flurry of activity”; however, no amount of activity is never enough as you find yourself with an insatiable appetite for attention and validation through your site.
6. You wake up at 3 A.M. to check your website for “activity.”
7. You use computer terminals on vacations to check for “activity” and these checks on your computer interest you more than the actual vacation.
8. When you’re not on your website, you fear you are “missing something” and may have squandered a huge opportunity, a connection with someone special.
9. You know you have a problem but you feel helpless and ashamed.
10. You sense deep down that your website obsession is a distraction from a squandered life but feel helpless to do anything.
Can one do anything to solve this addiction? I can’t say for now. I do know that the narrator of Jim Harrison's novella The Beast God Forgot to Invent writes that the majority of mankind "pisses away its life on nonsense." To be continued . . .