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Friday, November 05, 2010


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Rin Tae

I guess, speaking of SL addiction is too narrow for the problem. It is more about addction to online activities in general and those are very real and are happening. Of course, people can get addicted to anything so it is no wonder, that soem also fall for online activites. Be it games, social sites or immersive worlds like SL. Some of those are easier to fall into then others (especially games that are about gathering experience and leveling I would say ... with this I would think, that addiction might be much more common in online games) but it can not be denied, that such problems are real.

I have encountered several people who loged in into SL for entire days and nights and while some have good resons (putig their avi up as a model or working at home while the avi stays loged in for example) others simply could not find the strengh to log of and leave it all behind.

My most given advice to others, when they are feeling down or feel their RL slipping away, or when they seem to avoid facing their problems is to log off. Go away and stay away for at least a month or so. Making them understand that the first thing they have to take care of is their own life and that not seeing them online makes me feel good because I know, that they are well and are takign care of what is important. Many people came back much more relaxed and balanced from such 'holidays' ... but I suspect that a simple brake is not enough to deal with when someone has become really addicted to whatever they are doing.

Nahasa Singh

I was a SL addict once, too. But then I experienced a 360-degree turnaround :P

Nah, kidding.

Ordinal Malaprop

I regularly feel alone when on the Grid, but that tends to be a combination of my contemporaries having mostly left, and chat lag.

Troy McConaghy

The word "addiction" has a fairly narrow meaning. Historically, it was only applied to substance dependence (e.g. Opioid dependence).

Recently, it has been used - loosely - to describe compulsive behavior disorders (e.g. problem gambling). The American Psychological Association calls such things "impulse control disorders," not addictions. There are also obsessive-compulsive disorders, but those don't fit into the traditional purview of addiction either.

"Addiction" is a word that's often smeared across anything new that people are doing, in an attempt to malign it. "Jim sure does like Facebook. He must be addicted!" (Subtext: Facebook is new and scary, therefore I must discourage my loved ones from using it by making it seem really scary.)

When someone tells you they're "addicted" to behavior X, ask them if they have diagnosis from a medical professional. A self-diagnosis doesn't count.

(I'm not saying that people can't have behavioral disorders related to use of things like Second Life. One can have behavioral disorders related to *any* behavior: eating, sex, working, sleeping, ... In other words, Second Life is just one more thing people can do, and therefore it's just one more thing where people can have a behavior disorder. It's not special.)

Silverfox Rainbow

i know i am an sl junkie - but in my case cause i am single irl, and really don't have much of a rl to begin with, i was logging on to sl to escape, then it became a deal stress fest, from the 5 years i've been on sl descovered alot about other people.

- those who live to cause drama, and thrive on it
- those who cheat on others
- sl partnerships are not worth it as always get hurt in the end. (this all depends on different views i guess)

people WELL hurt you, in some cases, i have only got a few really soild friends now who i well talk it, most of my time in sl i just spend working on textures or comics, half the time not really looking at the window.
since last year when i became the co-owner of a mainland sim, my outlook on sl changed, i dont say i am 'addicted' cause i lack a few irl things like being married or having kids, but i see the effect it has on other people. and i dont want to end up like them.
i dont go clubbing, to events or malls, the appeal of these things wore off a long time ago, i see alot of newbies show up and instally want to friend you off the bat, sl isnt facebook or my space, and this always irks me a bit, they see how old i am, date wise and think that i can teach them about sl, i used to enjoy it, even newbies can get annoying.
i am a sl junkie - but at least i know i am :)

Zero Calael

This is an excellent primer for those who may be suffering from SL "addiction," possibly without even realizing it. There can be a fine line between compulsive behavior and healthy immersion in a hobby or past time. The identifiers described in the article should help people sort that out for themselves.

If you haven't seen it, the documentary "Second Skin" is definitely worth watching for more information about this topic. It shows rather vividly just what happens when virtual immersion becomes compulsive. People lose relationships, jobs, houses, self-respect, and even their very lives.

I've suffered as you have, Nightflower, and I've had to make some hard choices about participating in virtual worlds. Making those choices, though, has made a tremendous difference in my life, for the better.

I look forward to hearing more about your journey toward recovery, and I thank you for your honesty and courage in sharing this very personal experience with others.


A brief review of the evidence on internet addiction - http://wp.me/p4QUI-r3


If any one wants therapy , you can come to my office and for L$2000 for 15 mins ill tell you how it is.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Thank you, Night, for another honest an insightful post. Did you read the NYT piece about teenagers, their mobile devices, and changes in study and sleep habits?


If it were just gamers and VW addicts, we'd not be in crisis. Most of my students are "augementationist" types who disdain gaming and VWs (hurts their careers). Yet whenever we bring up their habits of use in class, they'll admit freely that their texting and Facebook usage hurts their grades, their sleep, their ability to exercise. Even the gentle exercise of walking cannot be done without texting...it's getting to be every third student crossing campus "typing and walking."

At the very moment we have tamed the television, so we can watch what we want whenever we want, here comes interactive media with the newest and even more addictive version of Neil Postman's "And Now This!" narcotic.


From what I have read, Second Life is very addictive. The social environment is the one factor that keeps people up late at nights. Some don't even sleep at night just to play.


I would say SL has its place but it is very easy to spiral out of. The enviroment itself keeps you connected to a variety of people who if you work in a club, etc. with might make you feel like you need to be there to support them. This obligation feeling for people youll never see outside the game helps lock people in.

Also, people who are shy, etc. tend to lock in easily as its not the real them being shown. They dont get judged on looks, or on other factors themselves which makes it easy for them to connect and even live in that kind of envoriment. I myself am working towards realizing these things.

I think to break it or at least train the mind to accept only 1 hour a day of it, must first start with using more positive activities in place of the negative one.


Thank you for your honesty, Night. I too have left SL. For me, the problem was the deception, lies, secrets and trying to convince myself that the romance etc was not adultery. I feel horrible about it now but is very easy to be sucked into that kind of life enjoying virtual marriage and children and actually believe that it is ok. It's something the way I felt betrayed inworld when the person I cared for ditched me but I didn't mind doing it to the person in rl. I'm glad I left and I am never going back. I'll live out my dreams in rl and enjoy my sleep. The price one may have to pay is not worth it.

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