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Overcoming internet forum addiction

Mercyful Fate

Get yo purple drank on yo
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How many times have you heard people joking about being addicted to the internet? Probably more than a few times. How many times have you heard people joke about being addicted to a message board or forum? Probably not that often. Why not? Most of the time it's broken down into a general addiction but when you start to dig deeper into the issue you rule out other aspects of the internet (email, instant messaging, online gaming etc). With message boards and forums for just about any subject under the sun, it makes sense that there would be groups that would become addicted to it. Understanding the addiction and why it perpetuates itself is part of the cure. If you are addicted you have to admit it first then honestly say that you want help. It's just like an addiction to anything else, if you don't have the desire to kick the habit, nothing anyone can say or do is going to change the situation. Years ago when America On Line (AOL) had message boards you would see people posting as many as 100 threads a day. These days there are sites dedicated to just message boards and that indeed causes problems for people who seek them out. Just like working in an emergency room and dealing with drug seekers, there are forum and board junkies that are always looking for a bigger and better high. If you've never posted at a board or forum you might not understand how it can be addictive. It's not just about swapping cookie recipes or getting cheat codes for video games any more. There are boards for sports, hobbies, advice, health and pretty much any other subject or topic you can think of.
How To Know You Are Addicted: If you check your threads via a mobile phone, before doing anything else online or get angered when you can't access boards, there is a good chance that you are either addicted or are on the path to being addicted. In regards to a loved one, if you notice they are spending large chunks of time at a website and display odd tendencies or outbursts, it might be time to have a talk with them.
When Is It Time To Get Help? If more and more of your time is being spend at a certain forum or board and that is starting to spill over into other facets of your life, you may need to seek professional help. If loved ones are complaining that you are not spending time with them, you engage in text and verbal "flamefests" over things that you would have dismissed as trivial a few months ago or your job is suffering because of message board postings, you could be in need of help.
Why Do Some Become Addicted? Some people may use it as a substitute for something that is missing in their life. Just like alcohol, drugs, food and sex, message boards can be a way of getting some type of satisfaction that is lacking or missing elsewhere. If someone has created an online persona, that too can help boost their ego and fuel the cycle of addiction. In regards to message boards, there are some specifics that can directly feed the circle of addiction. Post counts, member status titles (newbie, seasoned vet, supreme poster etc) and overall admiration from other members can cause someone to spend more and more time at a board or forum.
Getting Help When Help Is Needed: Like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) there are 12 Step Programs for those who are addicted to the internet as well as message boards and forums. If you are trying to do a "home cure" for someone else, try getting a program that limits the amount of time they can spend online or at a specific site.
How Can You Know What's Really Going On? If you have a partner or teen that is showing signs of being addicted to message forums or boards there are a few things you can do to scope the scale of things. First, ask them how much time they are spending on certain sites. If you know that they are telling you an outright lie, don't try to confront them. They will see this as a threat and only delve deeper into it to try and justify their time spent there.
You can check the computer logs and temporary internet files to see where they have been, the times they have posted and in most cases direct links to the things that they have added to forums or boards. If you aren't all that computer savvy, here is a simple way to check out what is going on.
Firefox: From the main menu go to the History tab and see the last 10 - 15 sites that have been visited. Click the "Show in sidebar" option to have a list displayed so you can look through the entire history. If someone is really addicted they may clear the browser window when they log off or close the window but you can look at the "cookies" or temporary internet files for that.
Internet Explorer: From the Tools tab go to Internet Options; under "temporary internet files" select the 'settings' option then click the 'view files' button. You may need to enlarge the window to see all the information.
Opera: From the Tools tab go to History. You will see a breakdown of today, yesterday, last week and other time frames. You can also look at the cookies by going to the Tools Tab then Advanced and then 'cookies'.
Playing super spy to get information shouldn't be something that anyone has to do but when dealing with internet addiction, and more specifically message boards and forums, sometimes it is a necessity. If someone becomes confrontational or questions your 'snooping' try to maintain your composure They might see it as a direct threat to their ability to post freely and depending on the type of forum they are frequenting, it could pose a serious risk to your general well being.
With internet access available at cyber cafes, libraries, coffee shops and work you might not know the real scope of the addiction. The best way to get a clear and honest understanding is to try to get the names of the sites and the user name that they post under. You can see their daily post counts, what they are posting, if they are feeling like someone (you) is trying to limit their access and if their overall tone turns sour. That might sound laughable to some people but after dealing with a "board junkie" for about four months I had to take matters into my own hands.
Regardless of the age of the person, where they are posting or how they choose to defend their actions, one has to admit that there are some deep rooted issues with message and forum posting addiction. It is a form of ego masturbation that grows day by day and eventually forces everything else out of their life. Some might choose to joke about it but I have seen the devastating first hand consequences of what becoming addicted to forums can do to someone.
 

waveflyer

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MF-

You're just as annoying as GL
Don't kid yourself just bc you guys slam each other
 

glasspilot1

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I think one clue to Forum addiction is to write a post as long as a novel that nobody will read!
 

Mercyful Fate

Get yo purple drank on yo
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MF-

You're just as annoying as GL
Don't kid yourself just bc you guys slam each other

That hit a little close to home? I mean, you are sporting over 8,000 posts yourself. No need to take out your anger on me.
 

Mercyful Fate

Get yo purple drank on yo
Joined
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Posts
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I think one clue to Forum addiction is to write a post as long as a novel that nobody will read!

And those who take the time to post on those! Welcome to the club skipper!
 

General Lee

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I really enjoy FI, and some people don't like that. I enjoy the debate, the banter, and actually trying to add opinions and substance. People who don't like that, can use the ignore function.


But, there are people like MF, Freeturd, PBR, and Box Office that add NOTHING to any topic. They don't. They love to slam me, and that's fine, but it clutters up the threads. Instead of adding anything of value, they slam, most likely because they don't really understand the topics.



Bye Bye---General Lee
 

Flying the Line

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General lee used to the only poster to post two replies back to back and now MF is doing it too. One in the same. Try internet porn boys.
 

PBRstreetgang

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Instead of adding anything of value, they slam, most likely because they don't really understand the topics.



Bye Bye---General Lee

19K posts, is the definition of addiction. You don't understand, you parrot stuff you have read on the internet. When all you do is surf for DAL related stuff in between therapy sessions and your moms brisket dinners. Don't worry, you are a source of entertainment, and not in a good way....
 

General Lee

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19K posts, is the definition of addiction. You don't understand, you parrot stuff you have read on the internet. When all you do is surf for DAL related stuff in between therapy sessions and your moms brisket dinners. Don't worry, you are a source of entertainment, and not in a good way....

So what? My 19K posts have substance compared to your cranky lifer posts. You are miserable and it shows. I give multiple PMs per day to people who ask me for advice. You are just grouchy and a jack hole.

And I do enjoy the entertainment value of FI, mainly watching your crankiness. You are lost, and miserable. And, you clutter the threads hoping people won't get advice to better their lives since you cannot yourself.


Bye Bye---General Lee
 

Freebrd

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What a putz, doesn't realize or ignores what everyone thinks about her, and now this Mercy crap again like OysYoYo before. What a 'looser'!
 

General Lee

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General lee used to the only poster to post two replies back to back and now MF is doing it too. One in the same. Try internet porn boys.

No, I have so many posts because I actually respond to anyone who wants to engage in the debates. I enjoy discussing industry topics, and I obviously enjoy giving my opinion. Then throw in guys like MF, PBR, Freeturd, and sassy Box Office, who NEVER add anything of substance. Zilch. They accuse me of being this or that, and this is an anonymous board.... Classic. They are the ones who clutter this board with garbage, primarily because they know they can't debate or add anything.


Bye Bye---General Lee
 

General Lee

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What a putz, doesn't realize or ignores what everyone thinks about her, and now this Mercy crap again like OysYoYo before. What a 'looser'!

Freebrd is an interesting case. He is stuck as an Expressjet FO, not knowing what he will do next. He tried Vietnam, and came back. He comes over to this board from the Regionals not to add anything, but to slam. He is lost and frustrated, but slamming gives him a way to relieve his frustrations. Unfortunately, it won't help his situation. Now, if he got serious and started asking for specific advice or started to network, he might improve his situation. He just can't make that first step.


Bye Bye---General Lee
 

Mercyful Fate

Get yo purple drank on yo
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Cha-ching, post count keeps growing!
 

waveflyer

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That hit a little close to home? I mean, you are sporting over 8,000 posts yourself. No need to take out your anger on me.

I'm going for the free set of steak knives we get at 10,000 posts
 

Mercyful Fate

Get yo purple drank on yo
Joined
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