Don't Go There!

I'm still stuck at home, recuperating from the hip bursitis mentioned several post below. (Considerable improvement since starting the cortisone, but I still get achy and twingy if I'm up on my feet too long, and the range of motion on that leg is still limited before it hurts. My doctor is sending me for several weeks of physical therapy, so I'll be off work for a while yet.)

I should be using the time at home for catching up on some lighter stuff, like sorting, filing and/or discarding the stacks and boxes of old papers that have piled up, or getting extra work done on my fiction writing. And I've done some of that. But I've also been spending more time on the Internet.

In particular, I took a look at a particular website, and have been finding myself sucked in, to the tune of several hours a day.

The site: Yahoo! Answers

Man, that sucker's addictive! It's a site where you can post questions you'd like answered, and post answers to others' questions. You earn points for answers, extra points if yours is the "Best Answer", etc. Get enough points, and you become a higher-level participant. (No extra perks, but it's the honor of the thing.)

There are multiple categories to post questions in, and -- with the millions of Yahoo! users to draw from -- there are thousands of questions posted daily.

It's not a strictly utilitarian site. Some of the questions are clearly posted as "social" questions, just to get some conversation going. ("What's your favorite movie?")

And... and there's a LOT of this going on at Yahoo! Answers... there are many, many teenagers obviously posting homework questions, looking for someone else to give them the answers. (There was one guy who posted "Write me a one-page book report, and I'll give it Best Answer! You'll earn ten points!" Oooooohhh, how tempting. The slapdowns in the replies were, to say the least, pretty strong.) (The guy's response to the slapdowns? "You guys are all queers!")

But there are legitimate questions in many areas, and I've been able to share information and my uppity pretentious advice with a number of people. I've identified several books and movies people couldn't remember titles for, shared cooking advice, and given feedback to several people asking for input on their writing.

Yahoo! Answers is a lot like popcorn, or potato chips. It's easy, it's fun, and you can't stop taking one more bite.

In fact, one question was "How much time do you spend on Yahoo! Answers each day?" And nobody had an answer of less than an hour (and a lot of 4-5 hours a day.)

I wonder if there are 12-step groups for Yahoo! Answers addicts? (Maybe I should post that question.)

Must... exercise... self-restraint. Must... do... important shit.

Don't go there.

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