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Summer Rerun: How to break the DailyKos addiction

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This post was originally published on Feb. 19, 2008.

So, you say you want to leave. They’ve insulted and troll rated you for the last time and, by golly, you’ve had enough. You’ve given them the best blogging years of your life. You don’t have to put up with this crap. Do they think you don’t have choices?

The question actually is, do YOU think you have choices? The answer is yes. But you’ve got to get out from this addiction first. You know that DailyKos isn’t good for you but you’re afraid of the big bad blogosphere out there. DailyKos says, “You’re *no one* without me, baby.” You worry, can you be heard? Will your carefully crafted and beautifully written diaries find an audience or will you be cast off into the oblivion of the world wide ether, untethered from the safety of the Big Orange Satan?

Well, here I am, one month and nearly 16,000 hits later. I’ve made lots of friends and people drop by looking for the odd collaboration. It’s quite a lot of fun actually.

But you’ve got to get this monkey off your back first. The thing about this addiction is that the reason you are hooked is because of the interactivity. You can get instant feedback. It’s like a rat hooked to one of those feed bars that deliver a hit of cocaine every couple of minutes. And if that’s your cup of joe, by all means stay, even if they are abusing you. You will become a DailyKos whore, always looking for that next rec, but we will try to avert our eyes.

But if you reached that bottom and there’s no place to go but up, here is my advice for breaking the habit: Get yourself banned.

Now I know and you know that you are not a troll and you have no intention of insulting anyone but banning is the only way. I tried self-discipline, I tried a GBCW diary, I tried vacations. Nothing worked so well as being put on temporary exile. Trust me, this will work. And your friends will find you. In fact, you might want to include your new blogging place in your last diary as a forwarding address. Your account will probably still be there (mine still is so far) and you can still raid your old stuff if you need it. But you will be dead to them otherwise. And that’s OK.

So, how to do it: You don’t have to be inflammatory to be inflammatory. Simply post a diary that wouldn’t have caused a blink last year but will drive the Obamaphiles to extremes. For example, I recommend the following topic for a diary:

Are Obamaphiles using Scientology recruitment strategies?

Draw some correlation between the two (there’s *got* to be one) and then stand back and watch the amazing swarm descend upon you. It will be a sight to behold and in about 30 minutes, it will be over. Quicker than methadone.

Oh, sure, you’ll be tempted to go back and see your friends but without the ability to post or recommend, it gets to be pretty pointless after a few weeks. In the meantime, you’ll be free to explore the rest of the blogosphere, which seems to be populated by a lot of very fine bloggers in the Reality Based Community. And you’ll be happy to know that the DailyKos demographics will be getting pushed even more into the ultraviolet end of the spectra. What credibility it had when you were still there will be one Kossack short. Sort of like “one sandwich short of a picnic”, if you catch my drift.

So, if you want to leave, just do it. We’ll be here on the other side.

Update: Katiebird alluded to this in the comments, if they won’t delete your account maybe you can just ask them to suspend your priveleges. It amounts to the same thing as banning but it’s a lot less upsetting to the Obamaphiles.

Oh, what the heck, go out with a bang and really nail the bastards!

BTW: after you’re banned, just send Markos a quick thank you note for all the fun you had. I really *did* have fun, but it was time to move on. Anyway, you might like to go back someday if they ever regain their sanity and it really was a good site at one time.

Good Luck!

Update:  Here’s an interesting article that is relevent to the DailyKos addction.  It’s from The Human Nature Review and is called, Sex, Drugs and Cults: An evolutionary psychology perspective on why and how cult memes get a drug-like hold on people and what might be done to mitigate the effects.

I can’t vouch for the level of peer review in this journal but the author makes a lot of good points that bear striking similarty to the DailyKos Action-Attendion-Reward cycle.

Also, the book Snapping by Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman has been recommended to us.  Both of these authors testified before Congress in the wake of the Jonestown massacre and won the Leo J. Ryan Prize named in honor of the Congressman who was killed at the time of the mass suicide in Guyana.

Interesting Note:  The assisant to Leo Ryan, Jackie Speier, was severely wounded by gunshot on the airstrip at the same time Ryan was fatally shot.  She was rescued the next day, recovered fully and continued her career in politics, recently winning a special election to take Tom Lantos’ House seat when he died of esophogeal cancer earlier this year.  You would think she knows a thing or two about dangerous cults.  First thing she did as a representative was deliver a stinging speech against the Iraq War.  She was also a strong Hillary Clinton supporter.  Go Jackie.