You know who you are, one of the ragged, sleepy masses. Clutching your coffee in the safety of your kitchen while the early morning sun intrudes into your space. Your hands ache, your back hurts, and you feel the beginning of a migraine slowly rising to a crescendo in your temples. Worst of all, you have to leave the house soon to get things done. Are you drained from a wild night out on the town? No, not you my friend. You’re tired from staying up until dawn curled around a laptop in your bed, frantically scrolling through cat pictures and arguing with some d-bag online about why the music he enjoys is bad and why he should feel terrible for listening to it.
You live on the web. You may get up and go about your day like the rest of society, but your mind constantly wanders to the Internet. Why do I stay up all night on the computer? Why do I keep engaging the trolls I encounter online? Because you have a raging Internet addiction, and you most likely need help. There are 15 telltale signs that you might be developing an addiction to the Internet, none of which have been endorsed by professionals in any way, shape or form – but what do they know?
15. You can’t have a conversation that goes on for more than 20 minutes without referencing something online to back up your point.
Look, I love a good reference as much as the next Internet-obsessed young adult, but if we can’t get through a conversation without you dropping some mildly obscure reference to a Russian child wrestling a bear you saw on Reddit this morning, this conversation is over.
14. You spend your time away from the Internet thinking about all that you can do on the Internet.
We’re all guilty of it to an extent; you just can’t let it control your life. It’s normal to be at work or in class and wishing you could be home wrapped in the warm glow of a 5-hour random video binge on YouTube, we’re only human after all. It’s only a problem if you’re ditching friends to go hang out with your buddies on Steam to play some CS. Then we may have to talk.
13. Somewhere on the Internet there is a forum, and on this forum your prolific posting addiction has made you a local legend.
Look, I may or may not have 500,000+ karma on reddit. Some of us were born with the gift of making internet friends and other people just know how to argue and alienate themselves from the community. What’s important is that we remember who you’re talking to. Don’t sass me, unless you want the rage of a thousand keyboard warriors to descend on you with the heat of a fiery sun.
12. You’ve completely replaced cable TV with Netflix.
Honestly, what more needs to be said? Kudos to you for picking the right team, soldier. Never look back. Enjoy your peace of mind and substantial financial savings.
11. You consider any piece of technology without internet connectivity inherently useless.
Oh, your phone doesn’t have data? Cool, my toaster doesn’t either. Oh, what’s that? Your phone can’t toast delicious bagels? Sooo….why do you keep it around? To make phone calls? What’s a phone call? Like voice over internet protocol? I don’t understand. Get away from me you filthy Neanderthal.
10. Your favourite lighting is the mildly depressing blue hue your laptop shines in a dark room.
According to Darwin’s theory of evolution, we all come from the sea. That’s the beginning and end of my justification for my personal theory that the reason we feel so comfortable basked in the cool blue light of our laptops is because it reminds us of our ancestral home.
9. The only thing you clean is your browser history.
Chances are, your browser history is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. If you’re not diligent enough to be on the watch for when it needs some tidying up – and you share a computer with someone else – you might be in for a bad, bad time. Stay on guard, protect yourself, and be like this guy. Look at his face. That’s the face of a man who knows he’s safe.
8. You speak in memes (surgeon general’s warning: don’t do this).
In the spirit of the Dos Equis man; I don’t always speak in memes, but when I do I expose my weak social skills to everyone who has the misfortune of breathing the air beside me.
7. You’ve caught yourself saying ‘lol’ aloud at least once.
In the 14th century, Italian poet Dante Alighieri wrote Inferno, which was the first of a 3 act story titled Divine Comedy about a soul’s journey from sin to purgatory (Purgatorio) and eventually finding God (Paradiso). In Inferno Dante takes a journey into hell, which is located deep within the crusts of the earth. On his journey he finds that Hell is divided into 9 circles, or more appropriately, 9 layers. Each circle of hell is reserved for those who achieved a particular level of sin in their lifetime. The first circle is Limbo, which is reserved for virtuous people who never accepted Christ into their lifetime. This is not where people who say ‘LOL’ out loud go when they die. No, indeed they go much deeper. Satan himself is chained in the 9th circle of Hell, to suffer for all eternity, and the latest research indicates that this is where people who say ‘LOL’ out loud go upon their passing.
6. Unless you’re a plebeian who exclusively scrolls through their Facebook feed, you have an allegiance to a particular site. Whether it’s Reddit, Tumblr, 4chan, Pinterest, or anything else, you stand by and salute your people.
Groups of likeminded people tend to congregate online. Bleeding heart liberals flock to Tumblr, extremely right-wing conservatives go to…well I’m not actually sure where they go to, but I’m sure it’s unpleasant. The twisted and demented among us go to 4chan, and the rest of us end up on Reddit in one form or another. No matter where you go or what you do in life, you’ll at least have your Internet crew to back you up…and that’s a beautiful thing.
5. You’ve mastered the art of turning everything into a debate.
Everything is an argument. Even conversations that are clearly not venomous and entirely innocent can be turned into a vile screaming match at the drop of a dime, and you’ve mastered the art of doing just that.
4. You get cold sweats that would make a heroin addict concerned when your internet is down.
Wi-Fi is your smack, your crack, your zip-it-up-chop-it-make-it-slap. If you go more than 45 minutes without a dose of that sweet, sweet Internet, your mind begins to break down and your stomach starts to churn. The only antidote is more. More and more and more and more.
3. You’re incapable of properly empathizing or relating with people who don’t spend their lives online.
Try having a conversation with someone who doesn’t use the Internet that much, and by that I mean someone who uses the Internet exactly how it’s supposed to be used. You know, to look up a piece of information and then get off. LOL WHAT A LOSER OMG WHO DOES THAT?
2. You’re still trying to come to terms with the discovery that too much keyboard time can cause arthritis.
Your fingers may be destroyed and sore by the time you’re 45, but at least you’ll have all those fond memories of doing…stuff.
1. You’ve said things online that you would never, ever say in person (aka the ‘Keyboard Warrior’ effect).
We’ve all done it at one point or another. Whether it was on Facebook, Twitter, or any other kind of messaging platform – we’ve said some crazy things. Things that when said out loud sound like they’d come from the mouths of sociopaths. Talking smack behind a screen is far, far too easy, and sometimes we go too far.
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