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Wikipedihol (also known as Wikipedine, methylwikipedine, and diacetylwikipedine in its various forms, some being drugs, some being alcohol.) is a drug that triggers the addiction part of the human brain, tampering with the user's mental fabric, decision-making and thought-process causing Wikipedia-centric thoughts. Much like prescribed medicines, it has variations in strength, for the light-hearted there are 25wg tablets to 500wg tablets for thrill-seekers, in 25wg increments. Wikipedihol has been known to make people lose all rationality and logicality in their decision-making and thought-process and clear backlogs at 2:00 AM. Wikipediholic is the demonym prescribed to those afflicted.

The Drug[edit]

Due to the danger of Wikipedihol consumption, it is currently a prescription-only medicine. If you are interested in this medication, visit your local general practice or general practitioner to receive a prescription. It is available from your local pharmacy, as a tablet, capsule or syrup. N.B.: Doses above 200wg require a prescription from a specialist doctor.

Why take Wikipedihol?[edit]

The users of Wikipedihol are comparable to those of the Flower child generation who smoked cannabis. As the "hippies" smoked weed to achieve happiness, so too do people take Wikipedihol for self-satisfaction. Who among you can announce that they cleared an entire backlog at 2:00AM in the morning?

The Alcohol[edit]

You drink this for more Wikipedia.

Identifying Wikipediholism[edit]

  • You take the Wikipediholic's test to see how much of a Wikipediholic you are.
  • You turn from a reader to a writer.
  • You check your watchlist and talk page more than your email inbox.
  • You procrastinate things that have been important in your life.
  • You realize you are editing pages on a Wednesday night.
  • You talk about Wikipedia frequently in daily life.
  • You have conversations with your sock puppet on the talk pages (This is against Wikipedia rules).
  • Your best friend is your sock puppet (Also against Wikipedia rules).
  • Upon hearing the term "alcoholic", you catch yourself clarifying it to a complete stranger "Oh, you mean like a Wikipediholic only with alcohol".
  • Whenever your web-browser is closed, you feel a large sense of communal absence.
  • You have an account with one or more other Wikipedias or other Wikimedia projects.
  • You accidentally sign emails with four tildes, try to italicize with apostrophes, etc.
  • You try to edit your sent items on your email account, thinking that they can be updated.
  • You regularly write "[citation needed]" in the margin of any book you are reading.[citation needed]
  • When you try to explain something, you have an urge to add wikilinks with "[[]]".
  • You get confused when you can't find the little blue edit markers on books and magazines.
  • You accidentally say "Does this spot on my hat look notable?"
  • You have dreams about an anthropomorphic Wikipedia.
  • If so much as one thing you don't know comes across your mind, you bolt for the nearest computer to see if Wikipedia has a page on it.
    • If it does, you drop whatever you were doing before the urge took you and edit the page obsessively, whether you know the topic or not.
    • If it does not, you obsessively check every single paper encyclopedia you have and search six different search engines for information on the subject. Then you proceed to write three screens worth on the topic and create an article on it, which probably will never be seen or thought about by another being in a thousand years.
  • You start playing WikiLadders - the game where you open two random articles and try to get from the first to the second using only the links in the first and subsequent articles...
    • ...and then go back to try and do it again using fewer links.
  • You try editing magazines
  • You skip an important date to look up references for an article on a subject you'd never even heard of before you discovered Wikipedia.
  • You turn up late for work and bleary-eyed after a particularly aggressive XfD (and you know what XfD means because you've looked it up already.)
  • Your state/provincial/national reference librarians know you by first name.
  • You add Wiki to most words in real life, and have sent letters to the Oxford University Press demanding that "wiki" be added as an official prefix.
  • You still live in your mother's basement at the age of 30+.
  • Some Wikipediholics say this prayer before beginning a day long chain of edits.


God, grant me the serenity to accept the pages I cannot edit,
The courage to edit the pages I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
([1], adapted from The Serenity Prayer. See also: Wikipedia:The Wikipedian's Prayer)

The Subterranean WikiPrayer Revisited, Nos. 5 and 36

Johnny edits the Main Page
I re-write the Stone age
Napoleon and Shakespeare dress like a light bulb
We'll be here all night – refresh the same page


One edit is too many and a thousand is never enough.

The 12 steps of recovery for Wikipediholics[edit]

  1. We admitted we were powerless over Wikipedia; that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that an Author of Knowledge greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our obsession for editing and article creation over to the care of The Author of Knowledge as we understood Her or Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless knowledge inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to the Author of Knowledge, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our factual mistakes and gaps.
  6. Were entirely ready to have the Author of Knowledge remove all these factual defects.
  7. Humbly asked Her or Him to remove our shortcomings by motivating us to be diligent in our research and study.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed by spreading unverified rumors, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal knowledge inventories and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with the Author of Knowledge, as we understood Her or Him, praying only for knowledge of Her or His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to Wikipediholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Those wishing to get rid of the habit, may wish to check themselves in the Clinic. Those who are sick of all these jokes and just want to talk to someone may wish to check the talk page.

With all due reverence and respect to those who suffer from genuine addictions and have found relief and recovery through twelve-step programs, and equal respect for those who have tried and failed to do the same thing.

Stages of Wikipediholism[edit]

Wikipediholism, as it is known, comes in many stages. These are as listed at the page for Wikipediholism.

Risk factors[edit]

Those who are the most at risk for catching the disease are those who have created an account, have access to a computer constantly and consistently, and who like the idea of a wiki. Those with Editcountitis may have elevated risk factors, as do hackers, Linux users, and Firefox enthusiasts (because of their exposure to open source technology).

Early stages[edit]

The patient finds that he/she "likes" Wikipedia. He/she uses the Main Page as a bookmark and consults the articles for information. The patient contributes to articles that he/she finds lacking. He/she learns basic wiki markup. The patient can, however, give up now and cure themselves.

Middle stages[edit]

The patient uses the Main Page or their watchlist as bookmarks and their homepage. He/she reduces other online activities. The patient may join a WikiProject and contribute heavily to articles, as well as try editing outside the article and talk namespaces. He/she learns basic HTML and advanced wiki markup. The patient requests to become an Administrator, and proudly shows off his/her barnstars. Most refuse cures, which are still available.

Late stages[edit]

The patient uses his/her watchlist as his/her homepage. He/she may also explore the Recent changes. The patient reduces other "real world" activities. He/she may join multiple WikiProjects and contribute very heavily to many articles, as well as trying to edit heavily outside the article and talk namespaces. The patient learns advanced HTML and master wiki markup. He/she becomes an Administrator. The patient may use third party software to edit Wikipedia, and accumulate many barnstars. The thought comes to him/her, while reading this page, "this isn't funny; my contributions to Wikipedia are extremely important". Cures become scarce.

Terminal stages[edit]

A Wikipedian in the Terminal stages of Wikipediholism

The patient uses the Recent changes as their homepage and identifies as a Recent changes patroller. He/she reduces all other activities besides those relating to "real world" health and Wikipedia (and sometimes endanger the former). The patient joins multiple WikiProjects and contributes very heavily to many articles, as well as to the core of running Wikipedia. He/she masters HTML and rewrites the Manual of style. The patient requests to be a Bureaucrat. He/she shuns third party software, preferring the "raw" Wikipedia experience. The patient has so many barnstars that he/she takes them off their userpage because they take up too much room and place them in a subpage of his/her userpage. Extreme denial may result, and cure is almost impossible.

Organ Failure[edit]

If Wikipediahol is in the body for an extended period of time, when removed, it causes the section of the brain that causes happiness to fail partially or completely. A transplant from another Wikipedian is necessary for normal behavior in society.

Alternatives to cure[edit]

For those who see no end to or choose not to end their Wikipediholism, they may choose to join the Department of Fun to keep things interesting. Also, keep an eye out for more Wikitivities. For instance, writing songs like the parody Hotel Wikipedia and Staying Alive as laments of despair over lost and ruined lives.

You might also want to try a cure of wikipatch. In case of an "OMG" dire emergency and should all else fail, consider checking into the Clinic for Wikipediholics.

You might join troll organizations, but you will probably find very little solace there, since trolls have poor social support for each other, and they are still stuck here like the rest of us.

Perhaps the most effective solution of all is to embrace your wikipediholism, accept it as part of your identity, and cherish it. Don't just admit it - brag about it! And if others call you a wikipediholic, take that as a compliment. If they call you a troll, and they will, so what? Spread your Wikipediholism! It is only a good thing! We're all trolls here: Eventually.


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[edit]

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.


  1. Every hour you spend at Wikipedia is an hour from your life. Do you have something more important to do? Do it first.
  2. Wikipedia may not help you realize your personal goals in life.
  3. Even though Wikipedia is educational, there may be other better ways of educating yourself. Wikipedia is not necessarily a substitute for them.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Corrective strategies[edit]

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:

  1. You could contact a professional.
  2. Meanwhile, you could visit a twelve-step meeting. Narcotics Anonymous is very accepting of problematic Internet users, and it may be helpful for you.[2][3] 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.[1]
  3. 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.[2]

Or, you may write to us on the talk page and ask us for more help.

Software that may help[edit]

  • 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 K9 Web Protection 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.


  1. ^ Based on: "Information about NA" (PDF). Narcotics Anonymous World Services. Retrieved 27 February 2015. 
  2. ^ Based on: Sheff, David (2013). Clean: overcoming addiction and ending America's greatest tragedy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 313. Retrieved 27 February 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Roberts, Kevin J. (2010). Cyber junkie: escape the gaming and internet trap. Center City, Minn.: Hazelden. OCLC 555629713. 

See also[edit]