Addiction or passion?

Addiction: the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.

In a survey done last year, results showed that 46% of the women who responded are willing to forgo sex for two weeks, rather than give up Internet access for two weeks.
(The survey might be biased e.g. only women do not have an active sex life currently had the time to participate). Are these women addicted to the Internet?

I've had some addictions myself. When I was 18 and a gaming addict and I didn't want to go out with or answer calls from my then-boyfriend. It's not hard to imagine why I got dumped! Most people would agree that gaming too much is an addiction. What if I told you I was addicted to exercising or solving Sudoku puzzles? Yes, people can get addicted to exercising. And yes, I was really addicted to Sudoku. But most people won't consider these addictions. After all, exercising my body and brain can't be bad. Or can it?

I'm sure many late scientists and artists must have been addicted to their work but the public does not call them workaholics. Instead, we say that they were passionate about the work. Is passion a name which we give to "healthy" addictions?

1. any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.

2. a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything.

3. the object of such a fondness or desire

By definition, the difference between addiction and passion seems to be element of enslavement and severe withdrawal symptoms. If you stop a smoker from smoking, he/she would have withdrawal symptoms. But if scientists and artists were prohibited from doing their work I think they would find it severely traumatic and experience withdrawal symptoms! Therefore, by definition, I should place them into the category as addicts other.

Then should we consider defining passion as an addiction only if it negatively affects others? There certainly won't be as many discoveries and works of art if scientists and artists, such as Einstein and Beethoven (music is a form of art), weren't passionate about or addicted to their work which many people continue to benefit from even to this day. But has anyone taken into consideration whether their families suffered as a result of their passion or workaholism?

Is porn an addiction or passion? Your mother would call it an addiction. Porn producers or home-made-porn "producers" could think that they are making works of art. One of the beneficiaries of porn are the people who would have been raped or molested if not for the availability of porn to satisfy the urges of some. Conversely, porn could have influenced some into performing acts which they would not have thought about.

We all seem to have already made up our minds about which activities fall into the categories of addictions or passion. In this day and age, nobody would call you an addict if you were spending day and night finding a cure for cancer or drawing beautiful portraits; people would be disgusted if you told them about your passion for porn. Perhaps the future generations may look at our categorization of addictions and passion differently. Who knows... they may find out that cancer is our only protection from a far-worse disease (such as partial immortality - your mind staying alive while your body wastes away) or that porn is the best thing that ever happened to the human race!

Related posts:
[Sex Addiction]
[Artist, misunderstood]



John said...

Great article as usual, always so interesting!

Keep up the great work I love reading it, always checking it before I go to school or sleep :)