You might think so if you saw a piece in today’s New York Times entitled “For Some, the Blogging Never Stops.” Technology reporter Katie Hafner talked with one gung-ho blogger whose wife was not amused when he spent most of their recent anniversary vacation in Key West blogging about the latest Web technology from his laptop. Another blogger said “If this were beer, I’d be an alcoholic.” Of course, almost every new computing technology has been demonized at one time or another as a dangerous new addiction. Bulletin boards, online role-playing games, videogames, instant messaging, and even Web browsing have all been the targets of hand-wringing by sociologists, journalists, and parents worried that users will lose their grip on real life. Some users do – and for that, they should seek help. But almost any human activity can turn into an addiction, and it puzzles me why technology-mediated behaviors so often come in for special criticism. I really have trouble adding the image of compulsive online diarists to my bag of worries.
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