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Thursday, 14 December 2017


An addictive personality can be terrible but also wonderful. The knack (or, perhaps more likely, luck) is to align your addictions with things that matter.

Mike that was a great read, but it got me thinking...

Maybe I spend far too much of my time reading interesting photography and political blogs.

To say nothing of my boring comme..........

I have seen more careers/lives ruined by electronic app addiction than anything else. Some of these apps offer up gambling sites, games, porn and believe it or not, productivity applications. Internet forums are another additive thing. I see some photo forums where members rack up over 20K posts in just over a year. The pleasure centres of our brains are easily enticed and enslaved by electronic devices whether they are TV's, notepads or smartphones. Smart marketers know how to tap into these triggers. Not everyone is susceptible but enough are to make it a great business model.

There exact same reason I don't own an xbox, playstation, or any other game console. I'd loose myself in it.
(Now, time to stop reading blogs and get back to study...)

There are plenty of huge time sucks out there. I also don’t watch TV, but during the fall of ‘16 I spent plenty of time following election coverage online. More than I’d like to admit, though I don’t think more than most of us did, on average.

Anyway, after the election I decided that it was too much. During the day I am mostly at home, so I figured that rather than spend my downtime reading news on the internet, I’d do something more challenging and more enjoyable, and in January I took up the piano.

What a fantastic decision that was! It’s been almost a year and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I don’t feel out of the loop, and I do spend some time on the web, but much less, and I find that not only am I more productive in the time that I am in front of the computer, but I actually enjoy my downtime now :)

Bored, I was reading this post and your second-last paragraph got my attention. Closed the computer, got up, went out with the 4x5, and found, and made, two good photographs in late-afternoon light. So I got the message; thanks! I needed that!

It's amazing how these 'devices' can take over your life!
If it's not gaming, it's the constant news feed. I don't have a phone, but I do have a I pad, and I have it in my face half the day! Especially when weather is cold and nasty. I know it's not healthy, but I do it anyway.
It's good you caught yourself.
I don't recommend throwing it out, but we have to limit ourselves.
One more observation. I like to shoot street pictures, even though I'm somewhat shy about doing so. It's gotten easier in the last couple of years, because everyone is so preoccupied with their smart phones!

Wonderful post, Mike. I really enjoyed reading it on my phone, which I check every evening to catch up on various websites ... like TOP. Although to be fair, your posts are often educational as well as entertaining. And I don't think I spend more than an hour a day checking. I suppose pool could be viewed as educational too. It certainly teaches about angles of incidence and reflection.

I never got hooked on video games or computer games, but I lose way too much time on the TV and on the nternet. I have half read books all over the place and it makes me feel real bad. Just started reading "The Red Haired Woman" by Orhan Pamuk by the way. That one is keeping me away from the TV at least...

Substitute "online pool" with "online scrabble" and that's me. Now, where's that serenity prayer?

When I get sucked into a game, I cannot stop thinking about it and its patterns. I play Bejeweled and I lie half awake seeing colorful lines. I play a word game and I’m forming words in my mind all the time. Even real chess played a few times leads me to see the world and my life in chess moves. Thus, I’ve become ruthless at deleting games or not playing chess when I recognize a thought pattern creeping in. Luckily, I suck at word games anyway...

I can relate to your situation, Mike. Although I never had much interest in online games, avoiding Internet time-sucks is difficult for those of us whose livelihoods depend on spending hours every day online. It's similar to the plight of people who are susceptible to overeating: You can't simply stop eating, so you have to take on the considerably more difficult task of self-regulation.

"Jeez! It's three AM. I have to get up for work tomorrow."

Me, just after my final long Flight Simulator session.

As my main obsession is reading photography blogs of which TOP is by far la crème de la crème, I'd beware of encouraging too much change.
Some addictions are too good to give up.

I know I'm guilty of spending too much time on the computer... as I'm doing now, reading TOP and chasing links.
Just sayin'....
But the reminder of the Serenity Prayer alone makes it easy to justify.
Thanks Mike!

Still struggling with the wisdom part,

Black holes are developed on a computer:
Spending time looking at YouTube sites, and then wishing you were physically younger and yet as mature in mind as at present.

Looking at photographic sites for some small bit of inspiration, The Online Photographer at the top of the list.
And realizing all those sites available to you; on a computer, now connected to an internet now based entirely on profit (thanks to the US-based FCC).

One other small point, at least from my end of things; so many of the few sites i visit are involved with activities I did once pursue and enjoyed. And now can not do any of them, or any thing similar.

So motorcycling and wearing the protective gear for same; photography and all that it entails as my physical being discourages the use of a photographic device; I have no vertical balance; so need to hold on to any stationary object to even make a photo. To be young and physically able was wonderful in retrospect; to not be nimble able, now is my sad future reality.

I have a motor racing game where I have clocked up over 60,000 miles over the last few years. That's about 50% more than I've driven in my real car in the same period!

Timely post, Mike.

I was big computer gamer as a kid but gave them up because I had no self-control. But every once in a while I fall into one.

I just fell into a smartphone game as a way of connecting with my godson. I'm part of his "clan" and we play a bit together and text each other about it. But I play it way more than I'd like to admit. "Just one more game" is an oft-repeated thought.

I tell myself that I should spend my time on more tangible things like running, writing, and photography but when I'm feeling existential, I wonder if more tangible activities are in fact "better." My adult niece and nephew play another game and have teammates from around the world. They have, in effect, a virtual community, which is kind of cool.

Where am I going with this? I don't know, but now I gotta go and play that game. Just one more game.

A painfully familiar story! I've had to delete a couple of problematic phone apps over the years. Both "losses" were surprisingly easy to deal with, after the brief initial misery. I haven't owned a TV in a long time, but the fact that TV has come to the internet is trouble (not to mention the internet itself, but that's another story).

The one-week abstinence program is something that would probably work for many people, and for a variety of wasteful habits.

Videogames, like any other thing, can be abused, and many, especially those made for mobile phones, are designed to encourage addiction (as is Facebook’s interface).

They are also a nascent form of art and I encourage people to give them a try and let their children play and make up their own minds.

Carl Sagan, in his Pulitzer-winning book, The Dragon’s of Eden, p.p. 153–154:

As a result of Pong, the player can gain a deep intuitive understanding of the simplest Newtonian physics — a better understanding even than that provided by billiards, where the collisions are far from perfectly elastic and where the spinning of the pool balls interposes more complicated physics. This sort of information gathering is precisely what we call play. And the important function of play is thus revealed: it permits us to gain, without any particular future application in mind, a holistic understanding of the world, which is both a complement of and a preparation for later analytical activities. But computers permit play in environments otherwise totally inaccessible to the average student.

Three good games I played with friends this year on PC:

  • Grand Theft Auto 5
  • Plunkbat
  • Arma 3

Three good games I played by myself this year on PC:

  • Nier: Automata
  • Witcher 3
  • AssCreed Oranges

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