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Thursday, March 12, 2009
Bloggers Anonymous ...
Oh no ... I just found out that I have a serious disorder ... I have an addiction ...
"Hi. My name is Laurel. I'm addicted to blogging."
Seriously, I just read an article that gives, "3 Reasons Moms are Addicted to the Internet". And, this is serious stuff. This article has quotes from the "professionals" talking as if this is as serious as a drug or alcohol addiction. Now, I am sure there are some women that are completely over-the-top, but I do fit their profile.
Let's look at a few snippets of the article ...
" ... my Internet habit was slowly but surely crossing the line. Sometimes I found myself up into the wee hours of the morning, surfing the web while my family slept. I read the news, kept up with friends, and looked up answers to endless questions. I wrote my personal blog and read dozens of others, just for something to do."
Okay, readers, be honest now ... how many of you fit this profile? Yes ... I am an addict.
"These moms are contributing to the growing global addiction. There's a movement among psychiatrists to recognize Internet addiction as an official mental disorder (just like alcohol dependency). And a recent Stanford University national survey found that 14 percent of Internet users find it hard to stay away from it for several days at a time; 9 percent try to hide their "nonessential Internet use" from their loved ones; 8 percent admit they use the web as a way to escape problems."
If I am at home 24/7 with 7 of my kids, yes, I would find it hard to stay away from the Internet for several days at a time. Yes ... I am an addict.
"You're likely not the kind of addict that Moore has seen ... women who don't bathe and abuse drugs to help them stay "up" for more online time. You may have noticed, though, that going online has become an imposing part of your life, which, at least, means a load or two of laundry goes unwashed (and who cares about that?)"
Oh no ... I must be seriously addicted ... I have sat at the computer in my bathrobe (therefore, avoiding bathing). But, no, I am not abusing drugs. (Is Green Tea a drug? I'm addicted to that too.) Yes, I have probably neglected my laundry, too. But, there's always more, so why sweat it? Yes ... I am an addict.
"In addiction treatment, we talk about the fact that there's a void," says Moore. "Whatever that void may be ... whether it's emotional, spiritual, physical ... typically, we're trying to fill it." For many new moms, she says, that void is the isolation."
Yes, I admit it. I have a void in my life. I have the serious need to interact with people over the age of 15. I love my kids dearly, but I also need to interact with adults. So, yes ... I am an addict.
"Being a mom of young children can be very solitary," agrees Jay Parker, cofounder of Internet/Computer Addiction Services in Redmond, Washington. So, it's easy for them to turn online, he explains, to find other parents and create a world there where they are not alone. Once that world is created, it becomes an escape that moms may turn to whenever they're stressed, lonely, bored, or sad. In addiction, they become dependent on that escape."
I am so glad that a "professional" finally has realized that the career of motherhood can be very solitary. But .... WHY is it wrong for these lonely moms to find friendships online??? If we don't have stay-at-home moms next door, to share a cup of sugar with and chat over the white picket fence with ... because all of the women in the neighborhood are busy with their careers ... WHY is it a bad thing that we have found another way to find like-minded moms. (Yes, I realize some of my dearest blogging friends work full-time, so please don't be offended.) But, since I have not worked full-time this year, I have had much more time for my blogging. So, yes ... I am an addict.
Oh yes ... I was so excited to find out that there is an Internet/Computer Addiction Service in Redmond, WA. I'll make sure and pass the info. along to my husband, so that he'll know where to commit me when he finds me comatose on the keyboard. (Note to my big kids that read this ... you should probably make note of this resource, as I can't tell Papa about it. Remember, I must hide my "non-essential" Internet time from the man that I love.)
"If it were just an escape that moms were looking for, however, they could flip on the TV or pick up a book. But according to a recent Babytalk.com poll, more than double the amount of moms choose the computer over books or the boob tube during their babies' naps, showing that they're looking for something more than an escape: connection, yes, but also a way to express themselves."
Again ... WHY is this bad??? Ummm... the "boob tube" is a better escape? Because Soap Operas are so healthy??? Oh man ... confession time ... "Hi. My name is Laurel. I used to be addicted to Soap Operas. Now, I have transferred that addiction to my Blog." Yes ... I am an addict.
"I'm just a mother in real life, but online, I can be a whole person," says Ashley, a mom of 2 year old twins from Las Vegas, of her four-hour-a-day online habit."
This author sounds like she thinks Ashley should be committed to a treatment center and her children put in foster care. Come on ... I'm going to give Ashley the benefit of the doubt (which relieves some of my Addiction guilt), and believe that she is online during the kids' 2 hour afternoon nap, and again for 2 hours after they've gone to bed at night. Is there really a problem with this???
Did you notice where dear Ashley lives ... Las Vegas. Maybe she should head downtown, pop the babies into a double-stroller, and find some real addictions at the Casino. Would that be better?
Having personally been the mother of 2 year old twins ... I can understand her addiction. I can sympathize with her. When I had 6 children under 6 years old, I am sure that I would have been addicted to the Internet, if it had been invented. But, I had to suffice with my old "boob tube" Soap Operas. Did any of you see Luke & Laura's wedding on General Hospital? Yes ... I am an addict.
"Think you might be hooked? Try keeping a journal of how often you go online for a week. Then assess what you're missing out on when you do it ... sleep, family time, work? Also note in your journal what was going on each time you decided to sit down at the computer. Was it right after a fight with your husband? Were you bored? By figuring out the triggers that send you seeking refuge online, Moore says, you can come up with alternative activities that help you deal. If you're stressed, for example, you might take your baby out for a walk."
Moore also suggests making small weekly goals that get you involved with the real world: Join a playgroup or grab coffee with a friend. And if you can't control your habit on your own, talk to a therapist who deals with addiction."
Nope ... I'm not going to do it ... I am not going to keep a journal. (I'm a rebellious addict.) Yes ... I could be sleeping right now. No ... I don't use it as an excuse to get out of Family Time. (I LOVE Family Time.) No ... I am not missing out on work. Remember, I lost my job, which is why I now find myself "seeking refuge" online. Seeking Refuge??? Whatever!!!
Well, now ... I can't really find any playgroups for the 7-15 crowd. And, the kids are too big for McDonalds Playland. I do occasionally join the "real world" by grabbing coffee with a friend. But, is it really better for my family, for me to leave 7 children home alone, so that I can go have coffee with a friend, or for me to stay at home, and chat with friends online?
Nope ... I can't control the habit. And, nope ... I can't afford a therapist. Since I lost my job, which caused this addiction, I can't afford treatment at the Internet/Computer Addiction Service.
Looks like I'll have to create an online therapy outlet. Would anyone like to join "Bloggers Anonymous" with me? We could chat online everyday, just to make sure we're not spending too much time online, and to encourage each other not to be online. How's that sound?
Oh ... as for the "professionals". I have some therapy that I think they might benefit from. Why don't I trade places with them? I can go sit in their comfy offices, play on their computers, and chat with their business associates, while they come spend quality time with my kids (since I have neglected them due to my addiction). But, the only difference is ... we will make sure to unplug all technology while they spend a month at my house. No computer, no phone, no television. Just kids and books. Oh, and games. I'm sure my children will want to teach them Candyland and Yahtzee. And, they could bake cookies, too. I'm sure they'll enjoy it. But, if they get stressed, I can find a baby for them to take for a walk. They will feel so empowered by this experience that they will certainly choose to get rid of their own internet once they get home.