Life On The Outside...

Tom Heike

Well it has been almost seven months since I surrendered my HTML editor, and much to my satisfaction. I wanted to write about what its like being a reformed webmaster. I started out as many newbies do, curious and hungry to make the money that dangled in front of me.

I searched all of the hosts and found a suitable free host. I immediately began to immerse myself into the world of online porn. I was addicted to say the least. I wanted bigger and better pay outs, and more of them. I soon began spending hundreds of hours per week coding pages and looking to refine my skills as a writer. I searched out every resource I could find, even creating my own site.

My life as a Webmaster almost ruined my 'real' life. I began to ignore the real world opting to spend countless hours online reaching for the perfect website, and the almighty dollar. I am here to tell you that I never found them. Nothing was ever good enough. I was very critical of my sites, often making hundreds of changes within a day. I could never find that fountain of cash either.

I am writing this article to warn you all of the dangers that you face. Most Webmasters are normal people, they have their time online, and then they go on about their daily lives, they have daily lives. I have identified through research many things that indicate a dangerous addiction to the Internet, and some of the key items are pretty astonishing. Take this small test below, and see for yourself.

Internet Addictions
Instructions: Using a pencil and a piece of paper, record your answers in the form of A,B,C, or D. When you are finished, using the key at the bottom, add your score and see the result listed that corresponds with your score. Note: Professional webmasters should not use this as they are paid for their services.

1.) What is the average number of hours per day you spend working on your site?
a.) 1-2 hours
b.) 3-4 hours
c.) 4-5 hours
d.) more than 5 hours

2.) How many times a week do you miss sleep to work on your site?
a.) never
b.) 1-2
c.) 3-4
d.) almost every day

3.) How many times do you make aesthetic changes to your site per week, excluding updates (I.E. New information, or changing content)?
a.) fewer than 1
b.) 1-5
c.) 6-10
d.) 11-20

4.) How many times in the last 30 days have you canceled or failed to attend a social gathering in order to work on your site?
a.) never
b.) 1
c.) 2
d.) 3 or more

5.) How many times per day do you check you stats?
a.) 1
b.) 2-4
c.) 5-7
d.) 8 or more

You are finished! Calculate your results using the key below:

For each A add 1 point
For each B add 2 points
For each C add 3 points
For each D add 4 points

4-6 points: You are very well grounded, and have a great perspective about your business. You understand that you must separate your real life from your online life. Well done.

7-9 points: You are somewhat well grounded, and have a good perspective about your business. You understand that you must separate your real life from your online life, however; you do sometimes cross the line and find yourself awake at 4 A.M. working.

10-12 points: You are treading on dangerous ground. You may have a lost your perspective about your business. The line between your work and you life is very blurred, You should seriously consider changing your habits now while you can. Try setting a schedule for yourself and sticking to it with a limited amount of time for work, and a very well defined time for real life.

13+ points: You are addicted to your work. It consumes almost every part of your life. You are in very real danger of losing those people and things you care about. You must make a change and stop this destructive habit. Your best weapon against this is to seek Professional help. Addiction is an illness and can be treated.

I myself scored a 16 on this test. I have been to the brink of hell and back and I can tell you from my own experience that it's not pretty, there are no large piles of cash, and no.... There is no sex in the 'Champagne Room' – My name is Tom, and I am an internet addict.