Wikipediholic

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A wikipediholic or wikiholic is characterized by having a web browser window constantly open to the Recent Changes section of Wikipedia (or in the condition's slightly milder form, one's Watchlist), and pressing the "Reload" or "Refresh" button with a high frequency. Others click the "random page" button instead. It can lead to a serious decrease in productivity in all other areas of the victim's life, like any other addiction. That's why we're called "Users", after all.

This is a recent phenomenon – having been made possible by the creation of Wikipedia in January 2001 – and affects primarily computer programmers, academics, graduate students, gameshow contestants, news junkies, the unemployed, the soon-to-be unemployed and, in general, people with multiple interests and good memories.

Although people who fit those descriptions are welcome, especially the coconut monkeys, they should know that their fellow primates do not necessarily share their world-view, and that it may be better for wiki itself if they take a walk once in a while, and remember that their body consists of more than fingers, eyes, brain, and bladder. And that wiki exists to serve us, not as an end wholly in itself.

You know you have a problem when...[edit]

  • You check your watchlist more than your email inbox.
  • You realize you're editing pages on a Friday night.
  • You have conversations with your sock puppet on the talk pages.
  • With your web browser closed, you feel the absence of not being logged on to the community.
  • You have an account with one or more other Wikipedias or other Wikimedia projects

The Wiki Prayer ([2], adapted from The Serenity Prayer)

Please, grant me the serenity to accept the pages I cannot edit,
The courage to edit the pages I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

The Subterranean Wiki Prayer Revisited, Nos. 5 and 36

Johnny edits the Main Page
I re-write the Stone age
Napoleon and Shakespeare dress like a light bulb
We'll be here all night – refresh the same page

The 12 steps of recovery for Wikipediholics

  1. We admitted we were powerless over Wikipedia; that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that an Author of Knowledge greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our obsession for editing and article creation over to the care of The Author of Knowledge as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless knowledge inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to the Author of Knowledge, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our factual mistakes and gaps.
  6. Were entirely ready to have the Author of Knowledge remove all these factual defects.
  7. Humbly asked Him (or Her) to remove our shortcomings by motivating us to be diligent in our research and study.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed by spreading unverified rumors, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal knowledge inventories and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with the Author of Knowledge, as we understood Him (or Her), praying only for knowledge of His (or Her) will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to Wikipediholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

With all due reverence and respect to those who suffer from genuine addictions and have found relief and recovery through 12-step programs.

Those wishing to get rid of the habit, may wish to check themselves in the Clinic. Those who are sick of all these jokes and just want to talk to someone may wish to check the talk page.

Alternatives to Cure[edit]

For those who see no end to their Wikipediholism may want to try Department of Fun to keep things interesting also keep an eye out for more Wikitivities. For instance write songs as laments of despair over their lost and ruined lives.

You might also want to try a cure of wikipatch. In case of dire emergency and should all else fail, consider checking in the Clinic for Wikipediholics.

You might join troll organizations, but, likely, you will find little solace there, since trolls have poor social support for each other, and they are still stuck here like the rest of us.

Perhaps the most effective solution of all is to embrace your wikipediholism, accept it as part of your identity, and cherish it. Don't just admit it - brag about it! And if others call you a wikipediholic, take that as a compliment. If they call you a troll, and they will, so what? We're all trolls here: Eventually.

See also[edit]


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