Signs You Might Spend Too Much Time on the Internet

How do you know if you're spending too much time on the internet?

The Internet has really opened up our worlds, empowering communication and the exchange of knowledge like never before.

Also photos of cats.

But with it, and all its benefits, come a few quirks as online life collides with everyday life. Our mission today? Well, it's the same thing we do every day, Pinky-- Try to take over the...

Er, wait... no.

Talk about the quirks... The quirks.


So here are just a few of the signs you might be spending just a little too much time on the internet
  • You're writing notes by hand and don't know how to revise without the highlight and delete functions.
  • In one day you can chat with five friends in Canada, three in England, two in the Philippines... plus learn how your buds' Diwali celebration went in Mumbai... And never leave your computer.
  • As Sherlock Holmes searches for the Purloined Letter in the book you're currently reading, you find yourself wondering why he hasn't checked Ebay yet.
  • You're American, but because of the online friends above, you find yourself regularly saying "zed" for the letter "zee," add unnecessary "U"s to words, and exclaim "bugger" when irritated.
  • ...Or the converse of this-- you're English, Canadian, or Indian, and friends wonder where all your beautiful "u"s have gone, and why you now address them as "youse guys" and "ya'll."
  • Someone tells a hysterically funny joke at a party, and you respond "LOL! LOL! ROTFL!"
  • Your Real World friends are forced to endure elaborate tales of people with names like GhostRiderNumberSeven, SharkGirl, AnarchistAnna and Skitzy42.
  • You know what the weather is doing in Spain and Sydney, but will need to actually get up off your butt and look out the window to see what it's doing in your town.
  • You mishear Culture Club's "I'll Tumble 4 Ya" as an offer to share your post on StumbleUpon
  • You order pizza online to be delivered to you from the shop next door.
  • You've written 2,000 Twitter posts, sent 500 emails, and have responded to 20 blog post comments a day, yet still need to send a "thank you" card to Gramma for the sweater from last Christmas.
  • You know how to make 37 different kinds of emoticons using only punctuation, but have no idea where to put a comma in a sentence.
  • You used to protest things like animal rights or war.... Now you incite forum members to mutiny against specific social media.
  • You react to your latest Google Pagerank increase about the same as you did the birth of your child.
  • Your mother comments about the spring birds twittering... and you wonder whether you should add them to your Following list...
  • ...You also wonder if wireless has finally made it to your neighborhood.
Have you experienced any of the points on this list? If so, then go offline immediately and take a walk outside!!...

(Just leave a comment about it first. You don't want to quit cold turkey, y'know.)



Shirley said...

I guess all is well I don't know what a "Diwali celebration" is, I don't do Ebay, Lol! I don't use those words but my mom said bugger way before internet, my husband hears some tales, my husband orders pizza online it's faster and he swears when he calls they are all smoking something and are very happy people, rarely do I respond to posts there are a few sites I go to regulary but I don't think 20, I only know a few emotions, still protest in my own way in a positive way :) ,birth of my child was far better than my page rank my page rank didn't have me on bed rest, wireless is coming to my neighborhood next year my whole region will be getting free internet real soon provides by state government. Jenn, you must spend a lot more time on the internet than I do. :) :P And that is the extent of my emotions!

Jenn Thorson said...

Shirley- Heh, thanks for sharing! (And yes, I probably do... (hangs head in shame)). PS- Now I'M excited about you getting wireless in your area-- that is seriously cool.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am guilty of spending too much time on the Internet

I knew how the Phillies game went and knew about the rain delay and knew about the snow in some parts of PA.

I do address people as ya'll - just didn't realise it wasn't my territory.

Saying 'LOL' ? Editing hand written notes and being too lazy to go out to the restaurant ?
I've yet to come to that level !

When me and Kathy met, we were actually stuck talking about people whose names we didn't know - then we never talked about them for the rest of the day !

Guilty ↑ of punctuating emoticons !

Well, looking at your other points, I guess I am not that bad. I just need to cut down on twitter a bit and control the urge of checking for new tweets.

I think I've sorta figured out the best time to check my tweets and I'll put it in practice today.

Jenn Thorson said...

Jaffer- I thought of this post originally because I realized on Twitter, half the people I chat with most are either from Canada or the UK-- and strangely the other half seem to be from my own state (Kathy, J.D. (Techfun), Annie, Unfinished, Shieldmaiden, Jonny'sMom).

Claire, JD and I did the same thing when we met, mentioning usernames of people we realized we didn't even know their first names.

It's a strange, interesting world!

ReformingGeek said...

When I worked all day primarily using a computer, I never had much interest in surfing in the evenings. Now I will admit to surfing at work (GASP!) and I guess that along with the social interaction was enough for me.

Fast forward to unemployment. Hello Laptop. We had to buy one for me so hubby could have his back. Can't live without it.

Don't panic. I love to get outside and run or work in the yard.

Jenn Thorson said...

ReformingGeek- We at Cabbages do not judge and also, y'know, mum's the word about the surfing at work. :) I have to admit, in planning my trip to visit my dad over Thanksgiving, I was all happy to find out my hotel had wireless.

DeadRooster said...

Jenn, YOU are the source of my internet habit. If you weren't such a fantastic and prolific writer, I could maybe get some work done! Slow down a little, will ya'!

Anonymous said...

I thought JD was from IL.
Didn't know about Claire visiting the USA either...

Anyway, I do find it funny that a good chunk of all my online-American friends are from PA.

When it comes to my Canadian friends, we are so spread out from coast to coast.
I guess if we even decide to meet, may be the prairie in Saskatchewan would be a good idea.

Jenn Thorson said...

Dead Rooster- You do know it's CROTCHETY who's giving out the chocolate and not me, right? :) Heh. But thank you.

But hey, as I'm going to Monday Wednesday and Friday posts for a while, based on what you say, this will help you cut down on your Internet time. :)

Jaffer- Nope, Techfun is from PA. And JD of BluntWit, I don't know where he's from. And you know where JD of I Do Things is from. :) Great googlymoogly, we have a lot of JDs!

Da Old Man said...

Yesterday, it snowed in NJ. I was on the phone, and someone asked me if it was snowing near my house. I said I wasn't sure.
Yeah, it's sad.

I spend about 16 hours a day online. Is that a lot?

Jenn Thorson said...

DaOldMan- Do you also nap while online? Do you sleep-surf? If so, then yes. :)

Busy Bear said...

Great post! Yeah my "real world" friends look at me kinda weird when I talk about my online pals using their blogging names....but then they look at me kinda weird anyway.

Spending too much time online? Nah. A clean house is the sign of a sick mind.

Olga, the Traveling Bra said...

I agree with everything Busy Bear just having multipple blogging personalities a sign of spending too much time online!?!?

Jenn Thorson said...

Busy Bear, Olga and The Three Faces of Eve- (Just covering all my bases here)--

My real world friends have accepted my online friends...

But I have made the poor things have to endure lengthy explanations about things they're too polite to tell me they don't care one whit about. :)

And it's good about that clean house theory of yours. I must have a very healthy mind. :)

Kirsten said...

"Also photos of cats."
I love that!

Jenn Thorson said...

Kirsten- I like cats, but there really ARE a LOT of cat photos around.

I SUSPECT-- and I haven't done a study or anything-- more than any other animals out there. Except maybe NannyGoats. :) But that's a different blog.

Babs (Beetle) said...

Ha ha ha ha! - see, I don't say 'Lol' does that gain me a point?

This is spot on! I have been working on my pewtie since 1988, which means I can't spell any more either!

Jenn Thorson said...

Babs- I personally don't really use LOL-- I'm more of a "Hahah-er" or a compulsive emoticonic, so yes-- and extra point to you for the absence of LOL.

I'm concerned that I can type so much faster than I can handwrite stuff these days. I do interviews with clients and I really wish I could type my notes, but there'd be this clickety-clicking in the background!

Da Old Man said...

I shut down the computer for my naps. Though at times, I'm pretty sure some of my posts read as if I were sleep-typing. :)

The Brain Twinkey said...

I have two computers at my desk and working and posting require me to get outside for a walk at least once a day....but it's great (except when my eyes start to burn!)


Anonymous said...

Ack my original response got eaten! Probably by one of those darn internet cats!

I love this post. It is hilarious and I see many of these signs in my own life!

-I'll tumble for ya!
-emoticon punctuation
-lol, lol, rofl
-weather around the world

Thanks for the laugh.

Melanie said...

Ok, ok, I'm getting up to go for a walk outdoors. But I better check the items I'm watching on eBay first.

Jenn Thorson said...

Da Old Man- Are you kidding? If it's sleep-typing with that funny of a post, just THINK of how much you're accomplishing-- it's genius! The ultimate multi-tasking!

Brain Twinkey- Two computers? Are they like dueling banjos? You play a little on one, then the other one plays... :)

QuirkyLoon- Sorry about your comment getting eaten-- blogs get hungry sometimes. Glad you got a laugh! :)

Melanie- Heh, I know about those, "Oh just one minute more-" which turns into a half hour. PS- Hope you win what you're bidding on.

Anonymous said...


ARE YOU NUTS?? There's......there's.....AIR out there!! And you have to know where the door is. I haven't seen the door to the outside of the house in six years!

Jenn Thorson said...

Dana- But it sounds like you have a system that's working for you... albeit one apparently low on the whole breeze factor. An agoraphobic's dream!

Jennifer said...

Another sign is that my husband says I talk to people online more than I talk to him, which is completely true. He says I'm more addicted to the computer than my kids ever were to video games. That's pretty bad.

Jenn Thorson said...

Jennifer- I think I pretty much have the same thing, percentage-wise. But hey, I bet you're learning a lot of interesting things, right? :)

/me, trying to use educational angle as a valid excuse... :)

Funny Stuff said...

Lol, this is so true, I like this one: You react to your latest Google Pagerank increase about the same as you did the birth of your child.

Jenn Thorson said...

Funny Stuff- Just don't let the child know, 'kay? :)

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

As much time as I spend commenting on blogs, I still can't get used to those word security measures where you have to copy the letters of a word with a Q not followed by a U.

It just isn't right!

Rebecca said...

I'm guilty of wanting to say "LOL". I'm also guilty of almost putting "LOL" into my emails at work!

Chat Blanc said...

I have absolutely NO idea what you're speaking of here.

I can't believe I wrote that with a straight face! :P

isabella mori said...

i just went for a walk but bugger me, none of the birds were twittering so i'm safely back here dropping entrecards and checking my google analytics :)

Carol said...

LOL, this really made me ROFLOL. Trouble is, most of it is true. Actually, it may be the salvation of the human race if we can cross the boundaries of countries and learn about each other without government intervention. Now, I must go drop a card, twitter and twhirl, if U get my drift. :::cackle::: that's for Halloween!

Jenn Thorson said...

Meg- Oh, those Capcha things are not easy. I almost always have to do them twice. I don't know if I'm just Capcha dyslexic, or if I'm actually not a bad speller and I make corrections. :)

Rebecca- I have had that issue at work with emoticons. I've refrained from smiley facing a client by a very narrow margin.

Chat Blanc- But your righteous indignation SOUNDED so good!

Isabella- Well, sure, because the birds and the trees don't give you advertising credits for clicking! :)

Carol- The cultural exchange of being online really IS a lot of fun. PS-- NICE cackle. Very Halloweeny!

Jay said...

"Your Real World friends are forced to endure elaborate tales of people with names like GhostRiderNumberSeven, SharkGirl, AnarchistAnna and Skitzy42."

Ooops ... !

I'm English but I do find myself talking Merrycan on occasion. I'll say 'y'all' in a post, or use 'butt' or 'ass' or 'vacation' instead of the English alternatives, and it's only a matter of time before I miss the 'u' out of 'colour' because I use it when typing BB shortcuts or the board doesn't recognise them!

Oh, the shame!!

Jenn Thorson said...

Jay- I thought of you, actually-- who always kindly put the American word translations for us for the English-specific words. That always makes me smile.

Anonymous said...

You mentioned in the comments how many of your online friends are from Pennsylvania and you live in Pa. Same here. You, Kathy (from the Junk Drawer), my wife (hmmmm, go figure), my sister...and I'm sure there are more. We seriously need to have a Pa. meeting of the bloggers. Maybe we all can discuss it via Twitter. :)

Tiggy said...


Did I just say that out loud?

Jenn Thorson said...

Unfinished- That would be nifty. Anne, of Cooking with Anne is right near Kathy, too. T'would be fun.

Tiggy- You said a mouthful. :)

Carol Denbow said...

Oh Jenn,
That is oh so true!!! And I'm LOL!!!
Thanks for the funny post, made my day!

Jenn Thorson said...

Carol- Hey, I'm glad. Thanks for the visit! :)

Anonymous said...

another, when you're in school, and you automatically type .com, instead of a peroid

Jenn Thorson said...

Anonymous- Heh, yes, I can see where teachers might frown on that somewhat in your essays. :)