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April 16, 2009

Am I an addict mom--to blogging and the Internet, I mean?

Am I am addict? Let me count the ways...

But the question before us are my blogging habits, and my need to be connected and tapped into current news, events, ideas, etc.

And this question came up when another Crazy friend (a mom who lives WOC-West of the Caldecott), passed along this story about...


I'd heard about Internet addiction before, but always assumed it was something limited to socially challenged guys who played too much World of Warcraft. Now it seemed 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.


>>Expert being quoted alert!>> It turns out I'm not the only mama who plugs in and zones out. Coleen Moore, coordinator of resource development at the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery in Peoria, says that she's seeing more and more women coming in for Internet addiction. They're young, they're often new mothers, and they're addicted to blogs, message boards, and Second Life, she says.


These moms are contributing to a growing global addiction. There's a movement
among psychiatrists to recognize
Internet addiction as an official mental disorder (just like alcohol dependency).

(Oh, dear! Not internet addiction, too! )


>>Study/authoritative statistics alert! >> 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 (No kidding!); 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.
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 the least, means a load or two of laundry goes unwashed (and who cares
about that?).
(Yeah, who cares about that?)

But it may also mean you're missing out on time with your baby-- something you probably do care about. Here, why we're so susceptible as new moms to that blue glow of the screen.

Well, maybe I've got a bit of a problem. I mean, when I should be paying close attention to the performances of the contestants on American Idol and to the astute comments by Simon, Paula, Randy, and Kara, I've got my laptop popped open, and I'm checking breaking news on my Twitter accont.

And, just last weekend, my husband and I were both ailing from that crud of a cold that's going around. We had big noble plans and/or invites for the weekend: A museum trip to San Francisco on Saturday, a family picnic in some beautiful, scenic Bay Area location Sunday. Did we make it? No. We needed to be lumps, sitting or lying around on the couch or in bed. Were we disappointed? Well, my husband was bummed about being sick, while I felt kinda sorta bad about not spending time with my siblings and nieces and nephew.


On the other hand.... I had my laptop, and my wireless connection. As I confessed to my husband, I could spend much of the weekend on my laptop, searching, digging, writing, posting. I was, however, able to break away from my laptop for long enough to watch a movie with my son (and not be online at the same time), to go for a walk with him around our 'hood, go to the grocery store, and make some stir-fry dinner. So, I am able to fulfill my other responsibilities in my life, and I do them--okay, not as thoroughly as I could. After all, there the garage that needs a major cleaning, and the voicemail on our phone that needs reprogramming, and a part of our yard that needs weeding....
I'd rather be on my laptop...So, maybe I should be saying, "Hi, I'm Soccer Mom, and I'm a blog-o-holic."

But 12-stepping my way out of this 24/7 connection to a constant stream--or tsunami--of information? I don't know. I've found my calling, and I feel it more strongly at this point in my life than ever before. I've been a writer and journalist for a while. Not the most lucrative profession, especially these days. But I can't help it. I'm curious. I love nosing around, digging, telling stories, giving voice to situations in the community that others might have noticed and feel strongly about. I've done my writing in a variety of media. Now I have this blog, and I feel even more alive with my calling then ever before.

12-stepping my way of this "addiction"? No thanks, I'm not ready.

7 comments:

Anna said...

Way to go Soccer Mom! Keep up the good work.

Next they'll be labeling gardening or fruit harvesting an addiction too.

All the talk about addict Moms. What about the most famous Mayor of Claycord. Isn't he an "addict dad"-to blogging?

Anonymous said...

Well, as an internet junkie myself, I do think there's some truth to reminding ourselves that kids and family get tuned out by dealing with a computer.... It's cold and exclusive. Important to put it down, turn it off. Spend time relating without props, etc. Solo computer use tunes others out. Gardening are fruit harvesting are social, or can be.

Soccer Mom said...

With regard to our friend the Mayor of Claycord, I'm afraid that a real intervention might be needed.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to post in the wrong area, but I couldn't resist:

Some nut stole the Chinese restaurant's flag.

http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_12166998

Anonymous said...

laptop..internet..blogging...versus valium, cocktail hour at 3.

I've seen Mad Men -lol.

I work now after several years of the FT mom gig. But I can appreciate the need for the vodka close at hand after a "fulfilling" day of laundry and did the baby poop today angst. Internet addiction.?.
This generation may need to lower its expectations of ouselves.

Soccer Mom said...

First to 4:56 p.m. No worries about where you're posting your message. Thanks very much for letting me know.


7:38 p.m.. Love your comment! Vodka at 3 a.m. Hmm. I can see the need for that.

Thanks for sharing!

Meanwhile, Mad Men madness. Speaking of my addictions. I do love that show. By the way, I've been staying up a bit too late getting through Season 2.

There's Betty Draper, one of my favorite Crazy in Suburban moms, after kicking Don out after learning of his latest infidelity, drinking too much red wine in the middle of the day, reading "Ship of Fools," passing out.

Hmm, if she had the Internet and a blog... Maybe she'd have an outlet for her discontent?

Mr. Mayor said...

I am so addicted to this, it's not even funny, sometimes it scares me a little. I actually sleep with my blackberry next to my bed in case something big happens while I'm asleep, I can hear if I get an important email. It goes beyond that too, but I don't want to bore you with the details.