Wikipedia:Recovering from Wikipediholism
|This essay contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays may represent widespread norms or minority viewpoints. Consider these views with discretion. It is not a Wikipedia policy.|
Wikipediholism is a tongue-in-cheek term used to describe excessive time spent reading or editing Wikipedia. The term may be humorous, but the problem can be grave. Like any behavioral addiction, Wikipedia overuse may lead to job loss, divorce, bankruptcy, or worse. Fortunately, a variety of corrective strategies exist.
Recovering from Wikipediholism
Read this once every hour you spend on Wikipedia:
Wikipedia is a great project. It's good to help Wikipedia. It's a good pastime and it's very educational.
- Every hour you spend at Wikipedia is an hour from your life. Do you have something more important to do? Do it first.
- Wikipedia may not help you realize your personal goals in life.
- Even though Wikipedia is educational, there may be other better ways of educating yourself. Wikipedia is not necessarily a substitute for them.
- Time is money. Are you sure you can afford the time to serve Wikipedia? If you can, that's well and good, but do so one hour at a time only.
- Sometimes it is necessary that you take a WikiBreak when you have something much more important to do. Moreover, it will help in rejuvenating yourself.
All the best. Remember, Wikipedia wants you to be the best person you can. It is not the goal of the project to steal the time you can use to improve your career prospects, learn new skills, spend time with family or friends, rejuvenate yourself, or use any way you wish. Remember, it's your time and you are donating it to Wikipedia. It is healthy to donate what you can afford to donate, but no more.
Wikipediholism can be a manifestation of problematic Internet use (PIU) and/or a variety of co-occurring psychiatric disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or clinical depression. Corrective strategies include self-control software, content-control software, various other addiction treatments (such as motivational interviewing), and treating any co-occurring disorders.
If self-control software is insufficient, you may want to try one or more of the following ideas:
- You could contact a professional.
- If you live in Canada or the US, you can check the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry list or with a doctor. If neither of those two resources were able to help you, then you can check the American Society of Addiction Medicine directory.
- If you live elsewhere, you can contact your local psychiatric society, or you can ask a doctor. If neither of those two resources were able to help you, then you can contact your local addiction medicine society or the International Society of Addiction Medicine.
- If you still haven't found a professional who you can afford to see, you can ask a local doctor, or Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous in your area, to point you to a mental-health professional you can afford to visit. There are charities in many places that offer free or low-cost mental health counselling.
- Meanwhile, you could visit a twelve-step meeting. Narcotics Anonymous is very accepting of problematic Internet users, and it may be helpful for you. If you feel that it might indeed help you, keep going back. There are no dues or fees and no waiting lists. Narcotics Anonymous operates in about 130 countries.
- You could see a doctor and get screened to see if you have any co-occurring psychological disorders. Such disorders are very common, and it may be impossible to recover from problematic Internet use if you do not treat them.
Or, you may write to us on the talk page and ask us for more help.
Software that may help
- Self-control software is one possible solution.
- Or you can use break reminder software. Some, like Workrave, can lock you out of your computer after a daily time limit has passed.
- Or you can use content-control software. Qustodio or Safe Lagoon can stop you from using the Internet late at night altogether. Use a random password generator to choose a password for your content-control software. Write it down on an index card. Lock the index card in a box. Lock the box in a remote location (such as a car trunk). Put the key to the box in a labeled envelope, and store it in a different remote location (perhaps underneath some heavy furniture such as a dresser, or underneath one or more mattresses, or in an attic or crawlspace, or in a basement underneath a pile of heavy items). Or tell a friend to use some remote control software to set a password which only they will know. The friend should email the password to themselves so as not to forget it.
- If you only procrastinate on Wikipedia, then you can instead get an anti-Wikipediholism reminder once an hour or can use the WikiBreak Enforcer. Alternatively, you can request that an administrator block you from editing.
- Based on: "Information about NA" (PDF). Narcotics Anonymous World Services. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
- Based on: Sheff, David (2013). Clean: overcoming addiction and ending America's greatest tragedy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 313. Retrieved 27 February 2015.