Normally work starts slowing down around this time of year, but this is the first time working for Ask Jeeves in the nearly five years I’ve been there that the pace has actually increased to “breakneck.” I can’t remember a time in my professional working life, in fact, when I’ve been this busy. No complaints (so far), just sayin.’

I was watching the news recently and came across a story about the latest psychiatric fad: internet addiction. It seems as if this new malady may be equally addicting to drugs. Now, truthfully I have no basis for comparison here as I’ve never been addicted to drugs, only ice cream. It also remains to be seen if the idea itself is a fad, generated by the psychiatric professionals to drum up business, the same way Hallmark invents holidays to sell more greeting cards or the way McAfee invents computer worms and viruses so they can sell more anti-virus software (am I paranoid about this?).

Am I addicted to the internet? If I am, it may very well be because it pays my bills.

I work for an internet company in a department that is very much focused on waxing and waning trends and trying to get in front of the next big thing before it (and our competitors) get in front of us. A lot of the time, I just don’t have the bandwidth to sit in front of my computer at work(or home) and randomly surf the internet looking for that thing. So I typically do it on my own time, hoping to find something in there for myself to enjoy, all the while keeping an eye out for who pays me. It’s an extremely gray line. My job is often an all-hours proposition which has me checking my email and my Treo constantly and looking around on the net at all times.

So am I addicted to the internet? Dunno. Maybe. I’m certainly passioniate about it (this blog is now four years old this month, so there’s an indicator, ay?) but I doubt I’d spend as much time there if my job wasn’t so focused on it.

Are you addicted to the internet?