Poll: Do you consider yourself a compulsive Internet user?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 11:32
Apr 19, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you consider yourself a compulsive Internet user?".

This poll was originally submitted by Yavor Dimitrov. View the poll results »


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Apr 19, 2015

Define "compulsive". As I use it for my work, and I enjoy my work, I can see how it is compelling for me. However, I dislike the notion of my frequent Internet use being viewed as some sort of aberration.

I not only use Internet for my work, but also for entertainment purposes. However, this does not prevent me entertaining myself by other means. For example, this weekend I only have a few academic/scientific texts to revise and although I can probably do so perfectly well without having to research anything on Internet, it is handy to be able to contrast and compare certain terms, turns of phrase or spellings. My Internet was down from about midday yesterday, so I was unable to use it for leisure pursuits last night and did something else instead. It is back working again today, so I'm posting here, plus I can have a look at the daily newspapers etc before deciding whether to get on with some revision or, on the other hand, do something else entirely.

As I see it,Internet gives us more options. Viewing it as some sort of millstone around our necks or a gateway to perversion, disease and despair just seems a rather pathetic waste of time.


Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 21:32
English to Russian
+ ...
the word "compulsive" is really confusing here Apr 19, 2015

Yes, I'm definitely addicted to the Internet, but the addiction is both voluntary and enjoyable and not at all compulsive (in the sense of compulsion)


M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:32
English to Polish
"Compulsive" Apr 19, 2015

As the others, I'm not sure what that means.

I use Internet often, usually every day (work). Does playing an online game count? Then then too. I also watch shows/films/programs online, because I don't own a TV set.

But I can also have a book day/weekend, and not turn on my computer at all until the next day - and don't feel any need to.

The Internet is a TOOL to achieve tasks, not the end in itself.

[Edited at 2015-04-19 08:44 GMT]


Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:32
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Apr 19, 2015

Compulsive - I use the internet a heck of a lot for work (obviously), but when I play, I am in the garage cutting things apart, etc. and do not need the internet then......


José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:32
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Really confusing Apr 19, 2015

Alexander Kondorsky wrote:

the word "compulsive" is really confusing here

Yes, I'm definitely addicted to the Internet, but the addiction is both voluntary and enjoyable and not at all compulsive (in the sense of compulsion)

There are compulsive drinkers, smokers, eaters, talkers, shoplifters, gossipers, rapists, exhibitionists... you name it. They'll make significant efforts to feed their compulsion.

But... Internet users?

I'll walk or take public transportation if I can't drive a car somewhere. Perhaps I'll use a bicycle, if there is one available. However I won't use a motorcycle, out of a self-preservation instinct, in view of some experiences early in my life.

I'll use the Internet if it's available, otherwise I can use a telephone. Only yesterday my family convinced me into moving from a plain-vanilla cell phone into a smartphone.

However I see just too many compulsive Facebook and WhatsApp users. They seem to feel "dead", even if connected to the web, but logged off from these networks. There is a compulsion to be permanently in touch with their virtual world. Apparently the real world around them is uninteresting, futile, and useless. I often see them in cinemas, theaters, and parties, desperately typing on their smartphones.

To me, a compulsion means the willingness of making unreasonable efforts, or taking daunting risks, to do something absolutely unnecessary.

Someone on vacation in a no-service area, yet willing to walk some 4 miles uphill under heavy rain or snow to some cybercafé, merely to go online, would be a compulsive Internet user indeed.


Yavor Dimitrov  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:32
Member (2009)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Poll Question Explained Apr 19, 2015

Hello everyone,
Many thanks for sharing your thoughts on my poll question!

Well, now that I am looking at it from a reader’s point of view, I agree that it sounds somewhat vague.icon_smile.gif
Actually, by “compulsive” I meant being addicted to the Internet, or having the so called computer addiction or the Internet addiction disorder (IAD).icon_smile.gif

Below are the most common signs and symptoms of computer/Internet addiction:

• Losing track of time online. Do you frequently find yourself on the Internet longer than you intended? Does a few minutes turn in to a few hours? Do you get irritated or cranky if your online time is interrupted?
• Having trouble completing tasks at work or home. Do you find laundry piling up and little food in the house for dinner because you’ve been busy online? Perhaps you find yourself working late more often because you can’t complete your work on time—then staying even longer when everyone else has gone home so you can use the Internet freely.
• Isolation from family and friends. Is your social life suffering because of all the time you spend online? Are you neglecting your family and friends? Do you feel like no one in your “real” life—even your spouse—understands you like your online friends?
• Feeling guilty or defensive about your Internet use. Are you sick of your spouse nagging you to get off the computer or put your smartphone down and spend time together? Do you hide your Internet use or lie to your boss and family about the amount of time you spend on the computer or mobile devices and what you do while you're online?
• Feeling a sense of euphoria while involved in Internet activities. Do you use the Internet as an outlet when stressed, sad, or for sexual gratification or excitement? Have you tried to limit your Internet time but failed?


Diana Obermeyer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:32
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
... Apr 19, 2015

Yavor Dimitrov wrote:

Below are the most common signs and symptoms of computer/Internet addiction:
... Have you tried to limit your Internet time but failed?

Yeah, but work got in the way.


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:32
Member (2007)
+ ...
I would certainly miss it Apr 19, 2015

Obviously I'd miss it professionally - both for research and for landing the jobs in the first place. But I'd also miss it for arranging trips. I'm attending the ProZ.com conference in Rotterdam and it has entailed booking a ferry return, 2 flights with different operators, 3 different hotels (2 found on Trip Advisor and booked on Booking.com) and a hire car. How could that have been done without the Internet? I also spend quite a bit of time helping holidaymakers get the most from their short visits to my beautiful adopted island. The research opportunities often come in handy when I'm cooking or gardening but it helps me with those hobbies; it certainly doesn't replace them.

But I don't play games or watch TV or videos online and the only music I listen to is played by real live musicians, sitting in a bar with real other people. So I don't think I'm addicted, whatever hubby saysicon_smile.gif.


Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:32
English to Spanish
+ ...
Compulsive? Not. Frequent? Yes Apr 19, 2015

I see nothing wrong with the question's phrasing (what a surprise, coming from me!). I really appreciate Yavor's courage to ask such a question.

And most of the respondents prove to be at least mildly compulsive Internet users from a medical standpoint: the denial is there, ha.

Compulsion is not aberration; it's just a peculiar human behavior. Some compulsions may be a sign of a larger disorder, but only a mental health professional can diagnose that.

And let's stop being squeamish about the phrase “mental health.” I bet all of you know someone close who has some peculiar condition, be it OCD, chronic depression, panic attacks, anxiety or other neurosis.

I used to think that I was a compulsive Internet user years ago: even after work using computers, I had to go to the screen for hours.

Now, I can't sit for hours doing connected things, unless I'm working. Why? I rediscovered books.


Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:32
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
To an extent Apr 20, 2015

I find myself easily distracted by news, Twitter, causes(!) and shows I like to watch (Jon Stewart, Jon Oliver). But I'm trying to kick the habit. I don't do games any more - just one 10-minute crossword puzzle a day.

I've been promoting my book (Finding My Invincible Summer) online, and yesterday someone tweeted me that she had seen it mentioned, read it, and loved it. That made me feel that at least some of my online time isn't wasted.


Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
No Apr 20, 2015

I don't use the Internet


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