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Soft Addictions

Addiction Soft Addictions Health 2004

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#1 Kimmer

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 03:23 PM

They did a special report on soft addictions on the local news last night (ah yes, sweeps month even hits the local news)  :p

Here's a tidbit:



Soft Addictions Can Waste Your Time, Money
Expert: Find Something Else To Do

POSTED: 3:57 pm PST November 16, 2004
UPDATED: 8:36 am PST November 17, 2004
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Soft addictions may not kill you, but some can kill your time and money.

Many people have addictions and don't even realize it.

"I check on e-mail all the time," Jill Smith said.

"I like noise in the house, so I put the TV on all the time," Larry Fox said. "I would call it a soft addiction."

"These are things we are drawn to that really aren't the best for us, but we do them anyway," said psychologist Dr. Debra Moore.

"I think that if you're under stress or if you're bored, you're more likely to let yourself go on auto pilot and let yourself get into activities that really don't serve a purpose," Moore said.

Moore says that the addictions could take people away from things on which they should be spending time. She recommends finding something else to do or limiting the amount of time of the soft addiction, using a timer if needed.

The most common soft addiction for a teenager, according to experts, is a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Copyright 2004 by TheKCRAChannel.

The last comment made me laugh. First the whole "soft" addiction as applied to a person ... hahaha; but then I wondered if a boyfriend/girlfriend is a soft addiction, what does that make a spouse? How do you know what you want in a life-partner if you don't have some type of relationship while growing up? Anyhow .. that's not what I want to chat about.

I think we need group therapy. See, this place is considered a "soft addiction", and since that "really isn't the best for us" (see Dr. Moore's comments) ... why are we here? What do we get out of this place? What did you do before boards and the net? Are these things really so bad?

What other soft addictions do you have?


#2 Cardie


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Posted 17 November 2004 - 03:33 PM

My soft addictions are television and the internet.  I really was much more likely to call friends to go out, especially in the evenings, than I have been since I could sit comfortable at home and still have social interactions.  As for the tv, it's always been on constantly around me, ever since I was five.

On the flip side, I figure when I get old and go to the home, I can do everything I really love as long as I'm wired, even if no one ever comes to visit.

Nothing succeeds like excess.

#3 Rhys


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Posted 17 November 2004 - 04:22 PM

Well, I have to eat almost every day, and I'm breathing all the time!

More seriously, probably the Internet.  I do like to have the TV or music on when I'm home, but I don't see how that takes time away from anything else...  I hate missing my classes at the gym...

This sounds like he's saying that personal enjoyment isn't worthwhile, though.

"It's easy to bond over hating something together - The Internet is total proof of that." Cyd/Codex, The Guild

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#4 QueenTiye


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Posted 17 November 2004 - 04:34 PM

My soft addictions:

Coffee (or is that a hard addiction?  Did they explain the difference?)
Online communities...
Music.  I really have to work hard to appreciate silence - usually there is some kind of music happening.
Daydreaming - that's probably the worst!  

Yeah, but what would my quality of life be without these things?


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#5 Shoshana

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 07:09 PM

I'm kinda confused as to exactly what this soft addiction thing is... but...

Surfing the web
reading...almost anything.

Hey... guess I can combine the two, huh?

I only watch tv for the news or csi. I hate having it on if I'm not watching- I've gotten real sensitive to noise lately. I like silence. Alot. Maybe too much.


#6 Kimmer

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 07:15 PM

This article might help, although I don't agree with everything she says:


Soft addictions can be habits, compulsive behaviors, or recurring moods or thought patterns. Their essential defining quality is that they satisfy a surface want but ignore or block the satisfaction of a deeper need. They numb us to feelings and spiritual awareness by substituting a superficial high, or a sense of activity, for genuine feeling or accomplishment.

Though I'm going to provide you with a list of common soft addictions, you should understand that an almost infinite variety exists. A soft addiction can be as idiosyncratic as any individual personality. While a universal soft addiction might be television watching, a more personal form might be doodling geometric figures or counting things for no reason.

Some people have difficulty differentiating an occasional behavior or fleeting mood from a soft addiction. If you watch television one hour per day, is it only a harmless habit, while if you watch three hours per day (the national average), is it a soft addiction?

As a general rule, keep the following in mind: The motivation and the function of your behavior determine whether or not it's a soft addiction.

#7 Jazzer


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Posted 17 November 2004 - 10:40 PM

I suppose I'm a bit of a news junkie.  Through the day, I listen to a variety of talk radio shows, and some to TV news.  What I like about listening is that I can do other things while I listen.  But I also like to read news on the internet, too, from a variety of sources.  I like to have some idea of what's going on in the world.  

Another "soft addiction" I indulge in occasionally is video games on the computer.  If I'm kind of stressed and there aren't other things demanding my immediate attention, games are a quick & easy distraction - a way to take a break.  

Healthwise, I don't get out as much as I used to in past years, so email is an easy way to keep in touch with people.  

This board is a fun way to "hear" different viewpoints on different topics and to participate in some discussions.  

Oh, yeah, and I'm also a bit of a science fiction junkie.  I like to watch at least a few science fiction shows or movies each week.

Edited by Jazzergold, 17 November 2004 - 10:49 PM.

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#8 gadfly


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Posted 17 November 2004 - 11:54 PM

Surfing and participating in online message boards are my most time consuming "soft addictions".  I don't consider social relationships addictions but necessities as they're a support system - both physical and emotional.  Shopping could also be a soft addiction - I shop for DVDs, clothes, music, etc.. that I really don't need but certainly enjoy.  When I go to the movies or to a museum, both I do on a regular basis, I don't go for "enlightenment" but for enjoyment and typically to interact socially with my friends so I suppose those might also fall under "soft addiction"?

#9 Gefiltefishmon


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Posted 19 November 2004 - 10:50 PM

So then would the 45-90 minutes I spend each day in silent meditation be considered a "Soft Addiction" - I can give you case and point where it is NOT a waste of my time ('cause it's either that or Zanax...).

What about the time I enjoy walking with my children? It's not productive time, and it distracts me from doing things around the house.....

Soft addiction would seem to be another of those rather nebulously defined things that may or may not be bad for you this week........

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"From All, One; and From One, All" - Heraclitus

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#10 Mystery


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Posted 19 November 2004 - 11:49 PM

Bananas.  Without a doubt.
Extreme times that told me
They held me down every night
I didn't have much to say
I didn't get above the light
I closed my eyes and closed myself
And closed my world and never opened
Up to anything
That could get me alone

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Addiction, Soft Addictions, Health, 2004

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