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Is your internet addiction harming your work?
Thread poster: wxyz (X)

wxyz (X)
Jun 1, 2011

I've been up since 7 am. It's now 12, and I haven't done any work apart from answering emails.

I spend ages answering KudoZ questions, especially as I translate more than one language pair - though if it weren't ProZ, it would probably be something else. I wake up every morning full of good intentions, but they don't come to fruition. And when I do work, I find I can't concentrate for more than about ten minutes at a time.

As a result, I often work well into the evenin
... See more
I've been up since 7 am. It's now 12, and I haven't done any work apart from answering emails.

I spend ages answering KudoZ questions, especially as I translate more than one language pair - though if it weren't ProZ, it would probably be something else. I wake up every morning full of good intentions, but they don't come to fruition. And when I do work, I find I can't concentrate for more than about ten minutes at a time.

As a result, I often work well into the evening, giving me little time to relax. In the old days, before the internet, I could sometimes do 3,000 words by lunchtime and take the rest of the day off.

Is anyone else having this problem? How do you cope with it? Is it curable, or do I have to learn to live with it? It's not wrecking my life or anything - I love answering KudoZ questions - but on balance I'd rather it weren't the case.

By the way, it takes about 60 seconds to set up a new profile if you want to respond anonymously.
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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:14
Member (2008)
Italian to English
You'll get over it Jun 1, 2011

wxyz wrote:

Is anyone else having this problem?



No. I used to be addicted but I got over it. In the meantime you may want to visit this link:

http://tinyurl.com/bud4


 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 05:14
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
I don't suffer from my Internet addiction - I enjoy it! Jun 1, 2011

I'm addicted like you, but I like it.

 

wxyz (X)
TOPIC STARTER
. Jun 1, 2011

That's funny! But I wish it were that easy...

 

David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:14
English to Spanish
+ ...
Confessions of a KudoZ addict Jun 1, 2011

I was quite addicted to the KudoZ system, and I finally gave it up much the same way I stopped smoking after 35 years, I just quit, much for the same reasons you mention. I loved helping with answers, and learned a lot in the process, but it was robbing me of a lot of my time, and while the site has some value for me, the benefits did not justify it.

Clearly some of us have more addictive personalities than others, so it is really up to you to evaluate the degree to which you feel t
... See more
I was quite addicted to the KudoZ system, and I finally gave it up much the same way I stopped smoking after 35 years, I just quit, much for the same reasons you mention. I loved helping with answers, and learned a lot in the process, but it was robbing me of a lot of my time, and while the site has some value for me, the benefits did not justify it.

Clearly some of us have more addictive personalities than others, so it is really up to you to evaluate the degree to which you feel this is affecting your life, though it sounds like it is affecting you quite a bit, and if it weren't you world not have started this post.

Assuming no other factor is involved, what you are describing sounds to me like a bit of compulsiveness together with addiction, and KudoZ is probably only a part of that. Turning of your email and only answering it at certain times of the day, or after achieving certain goals, might be an effective strategy to "cut down" on some internet time.

Good luck to you!

David
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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 03:14
Member (2009)
German to Serbian
+ ...
Not addiction then. Jun 1, 2011

Mikhail Kropotov wrote:

I'm addicted like you, but I like it.


Then it's not addiction. It's only addiction, technically speaking, if it makes you feel bad or like you are losing time, becoming less functional for daily activities etc.

Ha ha Tom, fantastic link.

Wxyz: yes, Internet is addictive because you are fixated to the screen, and in such position it resembles deep hypnosis, and you are in hyper-focus so you lose the track of time and 3 hours may feel like 30 minutes, in your subjective perception. Here is a practical tip: you may wanna take up a handcraft hobby, something that will involve your hands and replace the keyboard. That's if you are feeling you are losing control over the entire thing. Good luck!

[Edited at 2011-06-01 17:42 GMT]


 

Cecile Andrade
United States
Local time: 21:14
Member (2010)
Portuguese to French
+ ...
One learns.... Jun 1, 2011

from different blogs and by answering questions. It's challenging. It may seem addictive because finding jobs requires a lot of search in different areas. Fortunately, there's much more out there then the Internet. The world didn't start with the Web!!! Taking a break in a coffee shop or library to feel a book and smell the atmosphere of a place full of people, remains priceless.

[Edited at 2011-06-01 18:03 GMT]


 

Ulrike H
Local time: 03:14
English to German
+ ...
had similar problems Jun 1, 2011

Though more during my university time. I used to take months to write a paper, because I would spend most of my time doing other things online. What I find sometimes helps is setting myself some rules. Like, for every hour of work, I am allowed 15 minutes of playing on the internet AFTERWARDS. (the difficult part of course is going back to work after that - so maybe it works better to allow yourself an hour of online time after four hours of work, or something similar).

I was also t
... See more
Though more during my university time. I used to take months to write a paper, because I would spend most of my time doing other things online. What I find sometimes helps is setting myself some rules. Like, for every hour of work, I am allowed 15 minutes of playing on the internet AFTERWARDS. (the difficult part of course is going back to work after that - so maybe it works better to allow yourself an hour of online time after four hours of work, or something similar).

I was also told by well-meaning friends, I should simply disconnect from the internet while I work - though I was never quite strong enough for that...
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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:14
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Seriously, now Jun 1, 2011

wxyz wrote:
Is anyone else having this problem? How do you cope with it? Is it curable, or do I have to learn to live with it? It's not wrecking my life or anything - I love answering KudoZ questions - but on balance I'd rather it weren't the case.


Joke over! I sense you have a problem that you want taken seriously, wxyz. You don't give us a name and I suppose you are registered at ProZ.com under another Id (or even several other Ids), too. I read on the site a while ago that there have been a number of people on ProZ who have been deprived of their access to the site either though their own volition (in conjuction with site staff) or, more often, with their grudging consent to a spouse's request. It IS a problem, a real problem for some.

I can identify with some of the things you say, and I know my husband thinks I spend too much time on the computer. However, there are some things I don't identify with, such as: "I often work well into the evening, giving me little time to relax". You mean you think of your time on ProZ.com as hard work, stressful? In that case, it certainly could be a problem. It's nice to enjoy your job, but maybe you just have to it, even if you don't enjoy it. If something doesn't pay (like ProZ.com), it must be leisure. If you don't enjoy your leisure pursuits, change them!

Work must bring reward. Normally, that has to be in the form of money, as that's what makes our world go around at the moment. What about "Pro Bono" work? Well, if it doesn't bring money, it can bring other rewards: satisfaction, well-being, pride, fame, experience - to each his own reward. Leisure activity has to bring reward too, but they are many and varied, although I imagine there has to be enjoyment on some level. Some of us find that here on ProZ.com (Note to my husband: "No, darling, I'm not working! I just prefer doing this to watching rubbish on the T.V!).

So, what does your time on ProZ bring? If you are on your own, you are earning enough to satisfy your materialistic needs, and you enjoy the time you spend here - who's suffering? On the other hand, if any of those are not true (for example, your relationships are suffering; you are spending time on ProZ.com when you really NEED to be earning money; you are feeling ashamed/anxious about it), then you need to act.

Personally, I prefer being on ProZ.com to the majority of other leisure activities. When there isn't much happening here, I still sit at my computer because that's where I access my bank, go shopping, book holidays, write letters, arrange days out, read interesting facts, find out why my cat howls, how to look after my plants, ............ It's all there. Maybe it is an addiction, but I'd rather call it a lifestyle, although I will admit that it isn't a very healthy one, physically.

The question is: is it a real problem for you? You say "It's not wrecking my life", but you follow up with "but on balance I'd rather it weren't the case".

Ulrike makes an interesting point:
I was also told by well-meaning friends, I should simply disconnect from the internet while I work
Not easy for a translator - our clients and our reference materials are all online! If it helps, what I do when I'm busy is to change my ProZ.com notification settings so that I only receive (at most) one email per day. That way, I focus my mind on work when I need to. If I don't need to (and I am lucky enough to be in that position some of the time), then I just let myself be distracted - until my husband calls "STOP!!!".

[Edited at 2011-06-01 19:16 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-06-01 19:16 GMT]


 

Rudolf Vedo  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:14
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
A question of timing Jun 1, 2011

Lingua 5B wrote:

Then it's not addiction. It's only addiction, technically speaking, if it makes you feel bad or like you are losing time, becoming less functional for daily activities etc.



It would think that addicts do enjoy their addictive activity WHILE they're doing it. What would be the point otherwise? It's afterwards that they feel bad.


 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Maika Vicente Navarro  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 13:14
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Discipline and organisation Jun 1, 2011

Dear wxyz:

Translators use Internet all the time, as some other members have mentioned because it is our tool. Without Internet, we would need those huge encyclopedias at home to look for references. We would need a permanent address so clients could send us written documents to be translated. And a long list of other things.

In my case, I set up a series of tasks to be performed each day. I have a weekly schedule that I change on daily basis depending upon the translat
... See more
Dear wxyz:

Translators use Internet all the time, as some other members have mentioned because it is our tool. Without Internet, we would need those huge encyclopedias at home to look for references. We would need a permanent address so clients could send us written documents to be translated. And a long list of other things.

In my case, I set up a series of tasks to be performed each day. I have a weekly schedule that I change on daily basis depending upon the translation projects I am collaborating in. Organising your day to do that set of task is your most important asset as freelancer.

You must discipline yourself to not do any of those time-consuming activities on Internet unless you have performed all your scheduled tasks for the day. This way, you will feel that you have accomplished something on a daily basis.

In any case, I do not consider collaborating in Kudoz a bad habit. I think is a good strategy to promote yourself.
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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:14
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Window Jun 1, 2011

Think of your computer screen as a window looking out on the whole world. It's amazing and fascinating. You can find the answer to any question, and discover things you never knew before. So naturally, it's addictive.

I sometimes amuse myself by using Google Earth to "visit" my clients' offices. They're sometimes in surprising places !

[Edited at 2011-06-01 19:51 GMT]


 

veratek
Brazil
Local time: 00:14
French to English
+ ...
evaluate the problem further Jun 2, 2011

xxxwxyz wrote:

I've been up since 7 am. It's now 12, and I haven't done any work apart from answering emails.

I spend ages answering KudoZ questions, especially as I translate more than one language pair - though if it weren't ProZ, it would probably be something else. I wake up every morning full of good intentions, but they don't come to fruition. And when I do work, I find I can't concentrate for more than about ten minutes at a time.

As a result, I often work well into the evening, giving me little time to relax. In the old days, before the internet, I could sometimes do 3,000 words by lunchtime and take the rest of the day off.

Is anyone else having this problem? How do you cope with it? Is it curable, or do I have to learn to live with it? It's not wrecking my life or anything - I love answering KudoZ questions - but on balance I'd rather it weren't the case.

By the way, it takes about 60 seconds to set up a new profile if you want to respond anonymously.



Something is not very clear in the above. You say you spend hours relaxing on the Internet in the morning, and then, if you work late in the evening, you then have little time to relax. You say you used to translate in the morning and then take the day off. Now you take a good part of the day off and then work late at night. Apparently, you have inverted your work-relaxation periods. Has anything really changed aside from this schedule inversion?

Are you worried that you are working less than before or are you worried that you are now working at night instead of in the morning?

You say it's not wrecking your life, but maybe there are other things you'd like to give your attention to during your relaxation time?

If you are worried about having a life that is rarely away from a computer, I totally agree it's something to be concerned about. I would suggest that you make an effort to seek out activities away from the computer and anything virtual. It can take a serious, persistent emotional investment, but it's worth it.


 

veratek
Brazil
Local time: 00:14
French to English
+ ...
seek help if necessary Jun 2, 2011

Tom in London wrote:

No. I used to be addicted but I got over it.


In any case, if anyone feels the are not "getting over it" and it does become a problem, they should seek professional help. Not just any professional help, but good, professional help.


 
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