Saturday, January 29, 2011

Am I Really an Addict?

I've asked myself this many times. I suppose the first clue is: I'm beginning the first post of this blog at 1:20am. That can't be a good sign.

I've been exploring the internet for years. When I was very young, my father set up with a Kids account on Prodigy, and I would play games online for hours. When I was 11, I started playing the MMO Ultima Online, and I started interacting with other people from around the country, even around the globe. Thus began my love affair with online roleplaying, and I joined AOL and MSN RP chatrooms. I could be anybody I wanted online. I didn't even have to be human. It was thrilling to be someone else. I could pretend to be anywhere on the planet, and other people would feed my fantasy willingly and earnestly.

Eventually, I started going to message boards, including Beliefnet, and I started meeting skeevy people online. That was a very dark time for both myself and my parents, but I'll talk about that in a later post. I also began taking out my Bipolar disorder (as of yet undiagnosed, and untreated) on strangers online. Yes, I was a cyber bully.

Nowadays, I play on message boards and occasionally play World of Warcraft. I spend upwards of 12 hours a day online, due to my social anxiety and the horrible job market. I spend about 80% of that time multitasking between job hunting, message boards, Facebook, and Wikipedia. I have bitter rivalries and profound friendships with people I have met online, and I am eager to make more. It doesn't matter which one. Friends. Enemies. I can party with both.

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