I spend so much time on the internet that Amazon.com has replaced its "You May Also Like" recommendations list with a pop-up note saying: "Turn this off and go for a walk, you fat lazy slob."
It's hard to get us 21st century people, especially males, off our screens. Our wives sometimes try to get us to move using the trendy word "Yolo," which stands for You Only Live Once. But this doesn't work in Asia, where most people believe in reincarnation. "Stop bugging me, I'll log off and do something in my next life."
I began to realize just how serious a web-surfer I was when I detected three signs of being a net junkie: 1) The links on every webpage on the whole internet are dark red which means you've clicked them before, 2) Your entire "best friends" list is of people you've never met, and 3) Your "bookmarks" list is longer than an actual book.
Of course, I myself am not a problem addict, although I must admit, during my brief visits to the real world I spend an inordinate length of time annoyed that real life doesn't have a "back" button. Massive design oversight there.
If you do have internet addiction, a service set up just for you is netaddictionrecovery.com . Yes, it's online. My wife thinks that camps to beat web addiction should be physical places. True, but who's going to go to them unless they have Wi-Fi?
The odd thing is that sitting looking at a screen is strangely exhausting. I saw a news report recently about a flight in Wuhan, central China, which couldn't land for 30 minutes because air traffic controllers had fallen asleep at their screens. The report didn't say how they eventually managed to wake them, but I suspect the Boeing 737 "buzzed" the window of the airport control tower with the pilots hanging out of the cockpit windows shouting: "Hey! Wakey-wakey."
The same week, there was a newspaper story about a guy who hijacked a night flight in France to take him to Geneva. The French air force had to escort it because the entire Swiss air force had gone home. Switzerland has a longstanding "we're not playing" policy on wars, so they clearly haven't internalized the fact that military action is not a nine-to-five thing. World War III's going to be interesting. "Guet nacht, esteemed enemy combatants, it's five o'clock, time to go home to relax with a plate of raclette and some online extreme yodeling videos. See you tomorrow!"
My hope is that whoever organizes World Wars will delay the start of the next biggie until the whole thing can be fought in Minecraft world or Sim City. Then all those hours I've "wasted" can be put to good use.
Until then, the good news is that human society is adjusting to the existence of screen addicts. In Chongqing, China, someone has painted markings on the pavement to create a slow lane for people who walk while staring at phones. Actually, I suspect some sort of "Chongqing Association of Snatch-Thieves" has painted those lines for their own convenience.
Should one risk it? Sure. You only live once. Or twice. Or thrice.