Is the internet making us more anal? (Work Friendly!)


No matter what your passion or pastime is, you can guarantee that there will be a website, forum, social networking group or twitter hashtag for it! The internet makes connecting with other like minded people incredibly easy, and that’s generally a good thing, right? Well yes, of course it is! (Pedophiles and other negative pastimes aside!)

However, I got to thinking… can this sometimes make an otherwise everyday hobby into an OCD-style obsession? Can the internet make us more anal?

My other half is a car enthusiast and this was already a pretty serious pasttime prior to him embracing the internet. However, since joining a handful of car forums, his passion has reached a whole new level. Interacting with other car enthusiasts provides the ideal environment to share tips and hints. The internet also provides the ideal arena to share reviews of various products and potions. Before you know it, you have upgraded all of your kit to the superior alternative and spent a pretty penny in the meantime! You are also likely to have changed your techniques and methods often resulting in more time spent on your hobby. In this instance, the internet appears to fuel our inner anal-ness!

There are internet communities for all kinds of hobbies, for example:

  • Detailing world – dedicated to car detailing, i.e., the more professional/perfectionist version of car cleaning.
  • Specktra – dedicated to cosmetics. Spend time on this site and you’ll have more beautiful makeup on your dresser but considerably less money in the bank.
  • Runners World – for the best advice from diet to equipment, including the latest gadgets for all serious runners.
  • Mumsnet – for advice on everything baby related and reviews on all the must have baby equipment.

You can find a community for everything from gardening, pet ownership, cycling and knitting to art and travelling. You name it, there’s an online community for it!

Ultimately, this communication is a good thing and it can better our knowledge, performance and/or our skills in our chosen field. For example, I am a better runner because of advice that I have found online. Likewise, my partner’s car is more impressive since improving his techniques and products. What the internet has cost us in pounds, it has repaid us in knowledge!

Thinking of your own passions, sports and/or pastimes –

  1. Do you think you have become more involved, more passionate and/or more ‘anal’ since communicating with other like minded individuals online?
  2. Has this been ultimately beneficial for you? Alternatively do you feel that this led to an unhealthy obsession or came at a high cost (whether financial or otherwise)?

2 responses to “Is the internet making us more anal? (Work Friendly!)

  1. Despite being “on-line” probably since shortly after it was invented, my biggest foray into “community” is developing my on-line business. Like you, I have exchanged money for value – and made amazing friends as well. Definitely considerably more time spent on-line but I consider it a benefit, not a detriment.

  2. Online for business Offline for pleasure
    You can’t beat REAL friends! It’s great to have like-minded communities but there’s nothing quite like a few giggles over a glass of wine with a good friend or a Sunday afternoon hockey game!
    Of course I have online friends that I have since met and they are now REAL friends too 🙂

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