RedOrbit Asks, “Is Social Networking an Addiction?”

RedOrbit – Technology – Internet Addicts Caught Up in Web: An intersting article on RedOrbit that thinks Flickr, Wikipedia, Google, etc. might be the playground for the new obsessive addict. “Research in the December issue of New Scientist says while only a small group of people can be considered true dysfunctional “hardcore” techno addicts, the syndrome may be becoming more prevalent.”

“Another new group known as ‘photolurkers’ spend their time on photolog sites such as Flickr, sifting through strangers’ online photograph albums looking at wedding day or holiday photographs.

Professor Muffy Calder, head of computer science at the University of Glasgow, said manufacturers used consumer psychology techniques to keep people online.

‘This isn’t really too surprising when you consider a lot of research has gone into the interfaces and that’s one of the main reasons why people get hooked.

‘It may seem a bit sad for adults to spend hours on an internet site but they probably have the sort of personality which would be sucked into something else if they weren’t on the computer,’ said Prof Calder.”

I mean you know it’s getting in the way when you’ve almost stopped watching TV entirely to do it, right?

They say Flickr is like Crack. Facebook, Twitter, all of these sites designed to give you little rewards every time you come back. Like that little squirrel in the experiment that keeps pecking over and over and over again at that red button because he knows one of these times a little pellet of food is going to drop out of the damn machine.

Hey at least with photosharing though you have to get outside every now and again to refuel and take more pictures.

I haven’t gotten into the whole wikipedia addiction thing yet. I just tried adding one of my first edits the other day (of a really interesting set of photos I took of a ladybug swarm, for the ladybug entry), but some person sent me an email saying I was self promoting. I don’t think you are allowed to post photos to wikipedia if you took them I guess. They were more interesting though than the other crap ladybug photos they had up there.

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3 Comments

  1. julie says:

    Wikipedia has some fairly strict rules about self-promotion, although that doesn’t stop some people.

  2. LeggNet says:

    I don’t get the “Self Promotion Police” sometimes. Though I can see how it could get out of hand with spammers and such, in this case you are offering a Stock quality photograph at no charge. There’s value here for the recipient.

    On a somewhat related note, I get tired of these same type of people screaming when someone posts a link to their blog or photos on Digg even though the Digg system has tools in place to handle it – Don’t Digg it!

    Just my rambling…

    p.s. Self promotion: http://www.leggnet.com

  3. Eric in SF says:

    Tom, I’ve posted many many photos to wikipedia and not had anyone complain. The catch is that you can’t credit yourself in ANY WAY. Your photo has to blend in like any photo in a paper encyclopedia. Check the Brussels sprout and the Amethyst (“museum quality piece”) pages to see how I did it.