Obviously, the Internet is both good and evil. On one hand, it is an incredible research and learning device and on the other, a sleazy porno shop right inside your own home. As far as the www goes, I think one has to be very disciplined, intelligent, and creative to be able to use it to their full advantage. I became addicted to America Online back when it was 3 bucks per hour, and would have regular monthly bills that would exceed $400. I used to feel the need to spend countless hours learning new software, playing games and figuring out the inner workings of computers. I suppose that's not all bad, but I always envied people who only accomplish their absolute needs on a computer - they don't even know how to do anything other than that. They always seem to be more successful and manage their lives better than me.
I become easily addicted to things, but have always had to ability to stop my destructive behaviors cold-turkey ...although, not easily. However, I have never been so gripped by any addiction in my life, as I have to the computer and the Internet. I think that is true for most people, and here's why - I fix the computers of friends and family, just to save them from the overcharging of the Geek Squad. When people's computers all of a sudden stop working, it seems to be as catastrophic as a house fire. Here's my armchair theory about it: People love to stare at moving objects, whether it's bodies on a dance floor, a picture on a TV set, or a fire in a fireplace. When we stare at a computer monitor, millions of electrons are exploding in front of our faces at once, causing a certain amount of trance-inducing radiation to be emitted. Fireplaces also give off radiation, by the way ...as do some dancers. There are two reasons I think that the computer is even more addicting than television - 1.> The interactive aspect of the computer is a bit more engaging than the passivity of television-watching. And 2.>The proximity of the computer monitor is so much closer than a TV screen. What does the that have to do with anything? Well, I personally think that the electromagnetic field that emits from monitors (even "no radiation" LCD screens) literally has a PULL on us, so proximity has a lot do with how hard we are yanked.
I remember when I had a 9" black and white TV in my apartment. I only watched what I REALLY wanted to see. When I had a 386 laptop with a 2400 baud modem - the computer fully loaded with Windows 3.1, MSWord, Quicken, and Juno mail - I ONLY got essential work done. I dream of a day when I will no longer feel the need to transfer files, or try out a new program, or search for the newest drivers. I'd like to forget I ever heard the words "Internet", "Photoshop", and "Age of Empires" (old but still great). I'm telling ya folks, Ted Koczynski wasn't too far off the tracks.