Why Hubpages is So Addictive -- Scientific Proof of Internet Addiction
A recurrent theme in the forums here deals with to Hubpages. People start writing here for a variety of reasons, but before long they can’t stay away, watching their traffic and earnings more and more until they have all the characteristics of an addict. What causes this addictive behavior? Is there any way to prevent or control it? We will discuss these and other serious questions relating to online addictions, writing on Hubpages, and traditional addictions and the associated behaviors. addiction
Behavior that leads to the most powerful addictions comes from unknown sources. A sex addict rarely understands his behavior will lead to a gripping addiction. Only after it is too late does the victim understand how powerful a hold the addictive behavior has. Online writing sites like Hubpages sneak up on unsuspecting victims in similar ways.
Addictive behavior is differentiated from pleasurable actions on several factors, the most notable is control. Breathing and eating are addictive behaviors by some measures, but are not harmful actions. Only an uncontrolled action or activity that is harmful should be considered an addiction. Eating can be an addiction; for most people it is not. Breathing is not an addiction unless you compulsively hyperventilate. A growing addiction, sex, is only an addiction when it is carried out as compulsive masturbation or in uncontrollable sex with multiple partners without protection. Destructive actions that the victim cannot stop performing on their own are classic signs of addictions. “Uncontrollable” and “harmful” are the key words in addiction.
You may remember from high school or college the story of Ivan Pavlov and experiments he conducted on his dogs. The part of the story that matters to us entails the ringing bell. You remember how the story goes: Pavlov rang a bell and then fed his dogs. He did this for several days. Then he only rang the bell without feeding the dogs. The dogs salivated as if food were in front of them.
The salivating dogs had a conditioned response. A repeated action followed by another action or result creates these conditioned responses. The positive feedback conditions the brain to expect certain pleasures when a stimulus takes place. Sex is a perfect example. An intense pleasure “burns” in the desire for a repeat of the stimulus. Addiction begins when over-stimulus is added. The internet can feed the feedback loop until it becomes an addiction. becomes addiction once the action becomes compulsive. Taking unnecessary risks by putting health and family at risk are hallmarks of sexual addiction. Similar patterns exist for cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, and other thrill taking activities. Sexual pleasure
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How Does Hubpages Become an Addiction?
The pattern for writers on Hubpages takes the same course as other addictions. You write a hub and publish it. The feeds list your newly published hub and a few people on Hubpages stop in to check it out. You see traffic to your hub. There is a rush, an excitement that comes from knowing others have read your work. Now you start checking your traffic multiple times a day. The first cog in the wheel of addiction is set.
Excited by your early results, you apply for Google’s AdSense, Amazon’s and eBay’s affiliate program, and Hubpages ad program. Acceptance cannot come soon enough. Your initial traffic has slowed and you need another fix. You will do anything for more traffic. You even contemplate illegal methods to grow traffic and later, revenue.
The addiction growing by the day, you scan the forums compulsively looking for tips to build your Hubpages presence. When ideas hit, you blast the forums with questions. Totally juiced, you publish another hub; ask others to read it and comment.
Finally, Google comes through and you now have an avenue to make money from your hubs. Hubpages ad program welcomes you with open arms once Google gives the nod. It is at this point where you get your first hit of crack cocaine. It is small, but you make a few pennies from yesterday’s traffic. You might even get a click or Amazon sale. The addiction is set.
Lower traffic now ruins your day and most weekends since traffic is lower then. Traffic means money and anything that stands in the ways sets you off. You check your stats more and more until Hubpages is on your computer’s background non-stop.
The normal pleasure turns into an addiction when the harmful aspects set in. The compulsion to check stats affects your ability to write more hubs, hence, get more traffic. Time with your significant other is curtailed; your children get less time; you spend time on Hubpages at work until your real job is at risk.
What started as a simple pleasure-- writing and maybe a little profit--turns into an uncontrollable addiction. Denial sets in. Your friends, spouse, children, employer and others beg you to step away from the computer. Things you enjoyed in the past take a back seat. You miss movies, family outings, and get-togethers with friends. There is no way out without help. You may switch venues (write on other sites), but you are hooked. You need your fix. You swear off the addiction only to return a few days later, or, if you are lucky, a few weeks.
The Road to Recovery
Whether you write online for a living, for a little extra cash, or only for fun, the specter of addiction always looms. Once you succumb to addiction you are a victim. The first step is to admit you have a problem and ask for help. You can’t do it alone. A Hubpages addiction will have less a hold on you than sexual or drug addictions. But like sex, you can’t walk completely away. Complete sobriety is the best policy for an alcohol addiction. Addictions that require you to partake in the pleasure in appropriate portions are the most difficult to deal with. The challenge is to adjust your life toward appropriate amounts on internet usage.
Writing online provides some money for your family or is your entire income. Living a balanced life, mixed with the internet and online writing will take time and a support group. If the addiction digs too deep you may need therapy to regain your balance. Remember, your family wants to help, but they frequently enable you. Even a small amount of money from your writing quickly becomes welcome extra cash in the family’s budget. Recovering from a Hubpages addiction is similar to avoiding addiction in the first place.
Preventing an Hubpages Addiction
It is better to avoid an addiction rather than recover from one. There are a few simple steps that should help avoid the negative impacts of addictive Hubpages activities.
- Check your statistics and revenue once a day only. I know Google updates all day long. There is no reason to check Google all day long. Amazon, eBay, and Hubpages only update earning once per day. Checking 203 times a day will not change that fact.
- Set aside time to write. Treat your writing like a job or a hobby, whichever it is for you. Limit your forums activities. Read hubs and research within a reasonable time framework you set up that doesn’t interfere with your personal life. For forums I have a rule, if you make the top 10 most active list on the right side of the screen when in the forums, you are posting too much. You should either be writing more, or living life more.
- Take a break. Every job provides for vacations or time off. Take two weeks off per year, weekends, and holidays. Or more.
- Never sacrifice your health, friends, or family. Family comes first, period, along with your health. You should never make a habit of working or playing on Hubpages to the detriment of quality time with your kids, spouse, parents, or friends.
When Hubpages or any other online activity becomes an improvement to your life, it is a happy balance. Never forget you live in the real world. Meet new people, take vacations, tell jokes, learn to laugh and just plain live life.
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