Friday, January 4, 2008

Cyber What?

Two terms surfaced as I patrolled the web for information and articles on the Internet this week. Not that they were prevalent, or even new for that matter, but they stuck out to me.

The first was cyberchondriac and the second was cyberholic. There are actually quite a few articles across the web on cyberchondriacs, including a Harris Poll from July of 2007 and the genesis of "cyberholic" was actually pretty interesting.

You are very likely a cyberchondriac, but don't worry. According to the Harris Poll, it means that you have gone online for health information. That's it. Kind of a scary word to be applying to what is to me simply common sense. The caution is that the health information online should be questioned and should not take the place of a medical experts guidance. Duh. But who wouldn't go to an authoritative source that you trust to look up information. Now a cyberhypocondriac is different and has it's roots in the tradition of hypochondria (A person with hypochondria has a preoccupying fear of having a serious illness, Medical News Today). Not only that, but according to WebMD the Internet makes hypochondria worse.

If you are a cyberholic, well, that's another thing altogether. Being anything that involves "holism" is a problem as it referred to an addiction. According to the July 1997 issue of Harvard Magazine, Ivan Goldberg, a Manhattan psychiatrist cooked up a make-believe diagnosis--"Internet Addiction Disorder" (IAD)--for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a psychotherapists' handbook. When stories from doctors and patients surged soon afterward, he established the Internet Addiction Support Group.

The same article from that issue quoted Maressa Hecht Orzack, the founder and coordinator of Computer Addiction Services at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, the first clinic of its kind to treat IAD. Check out what she is up to now at

It doesn't stop there of course. Because I ran into these terms, it made me wonder what else I might find out there that was "cyber" without resorting to the already adopted terms such as cyberspace, cyberpunk, cybernaut etc. In fact I went right for the jugular and yes, there is usage of the term....

"cyberliscous (see also cyberlicious)" - Everything from music to lip gloss.

"cyberphobia" - From treatment sites to "100 genuinely creepy websites".

"cybertastic" - blogs and bloggers for this term.

"cyberstatic" - among other things, a web development company and an alias.

"cyberrealism" - funny, but also a book and a term used in checking out the validity of the online political machine.

I thought I would fail on the next one, but though low in page numbers, there it was.

"cyberorganic" - Used in science fiction and as a life style description.

Well, enough time wasting, I don't want to appear to be a cyberholic.

P.S. the above image comes from a wikipedia description of cyberspace. "Cyberspace is like the white triangle in the above image, appearing virtually, existing nowhere, while joining computers across the globe"


Anonymous said...

Gostei muito desse post e seu blog é muito interessante, vou passar por aqui sempre =) Depois dá uma passada lá no meu site, que é sobre o CresceNet, espero que goste. O endereço dele é . Um abraço.

The Napster said...

Its comical that the basically "Cyberholics Anonymous" can be "checked out" online. Thats like telling an Alcoholic that the number for the addiction clinic is written on the inside bottom of the alcohol bottle!

Hopefully you have seen the press release from the EDB about Infoblox renewing its lease in Tacoma for another six years. Growing from sixty...