There's a bit of a burnout theme cycling through the Magic Internet Waves these days, as suggested by Ful and S&S, as well as a few days ago by the tiny pink haired one. Indeed, even at home, my fiance and I have been talking about how we *might* be spending too much time playing WoW, leading to me having one or two (or possibly thousands) of panic attacks about school. In fact, when your Giant Uber Presentation for your graduate seminar includes a picture of the Big Bad Wolf, perhaps it's time to consider whether you have a slightly unhealthy obsession.
I've been tossing this idea around in my head for awhile, because I'm a little on the Type A side, if you didn't already know. I like lists. I like spreadsheets *swoon*. I even love flow charts. So I invite others to consider the same question: What would you do if you weren't playing WoW? I have no doubt there are plenty of other great things I could do with WoW. As far as productivity goes, I could, in theory, be doing much more productive things *ahemthesiscough*. But I do get a lot of benefit from WoW as well.
What might I do if I didn't play wow?
Take those banjo lessons I've been wanting forever.
Start one of the novels I've been meaning to write.
Write more fanfic (shh)
Clean the house? (hahahahahahaah yeah right.)
Paint/Refinish/Make curtains/rip up carpet/put up moulding, shutters, windowbo... no, probably not.
Plan a freaking wedding *shudder*
Walk the poor dog.
Call my sist... no. Again, probably not.
Get more work done on my thesis.
Take horseback riding lessons.
Well now. Those all (or most) seem to be pretty good things I could better do with my wow time. But now, shall I list some of the benefits I get from my time playing WoW:
My wow friends. I do not really socialize much outside of wow - i live very far away from all my friends, and I hate the phone. Anytime I'm in desperate need of conversation, I can jump on WoW and join guild chat.
Help with my thesis. There are quite a few people in my guild and alliance that have helped me with my thesis. Some in small ways, just by giving me a sounding board, and others in bigger ways.
Quality time having fun and doing something I enjoy with my fiance.
The feeling of satisfaction I get when I progress through a new raid, or get exalted with a new faction, learn a new recipe, max out a skill... these all may seem silly to others, but it's on par with learning to play a new song on my guitar. It's the satisfaction that comes from proving you have excelled at something new in your favorite hobby.
Even though there may be more items on the first list, the items in the second are much longer. I get a lot of personal satisfaction and psychological boosts from playing WoW. While at times it may be conducive to the rest of my life if I restrict my playing time, there are a lot of benefits for me in playing WoW. Therefore, I have no intention of stopping anytime soon!