I joined Stack Overflow slightly more than a month back. I have become very addicted to it (it is more useful than most social network addictions, I agree). But I know I must reduce my visits to SO.

I am just wondering — can the "reputed" people here tell whether they ever overcame their "addiction" after few months?

  • See this question: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/32299/…
    – Pops
    Nov 24 '10 at 14:58
  • Cool thread. I guess self-control is the only way.
    – JP19
    Nov 24 '10 at 15:05
  • I visited meta specifically to find ways to reduce addiction. But SO gave 100 bonus points immediately (linking accounts) to boost it!
    – JP19
    Nov 24 '10 at 15:10
  • 1
    I have, as a matter of fact, overcome the SO addiction — by becoming addicted to a different StackExchange site. (Not trying to be facetious here; true story.)
    – ЯegDwight
    Nov 24 '10 at 17:12

Yes. I started messing around SO early last year and was busy for a few months solid. Once I got to the 3K mark, the urge to come and build the rep disappeared for me (it was already shrinking after the 2K mark).

I'll come, read through some interesting questions, and might answer one or two sporadically.

In general, though, most questions are answered very quickly and there was very little value I could provide by adding a repeat of a solid answer. There were times when I would answer at about the same exact time as another person on a new question and it was almost vertabim (with the same Reflector code snippet and all! (My SO Answer, Doppelgänger SO Answer). That also contributed to the decline in addiction.

One other thing for me was the "Enthusiast" badge. When I saw it, it felt like a misnomer. It really meant "Addicted" and was a reminder to not let it become an addiction.

  • 2
    No, it's the Fanatic badge that should really worry you. (I have it on two sites and am working on a third.)
    – mmyers
    Nov 24 '10 at 18:02
  • @MichaelMyers - when I got my Fanatic badge I did the maths and realised I had visited SO on Xmas Day. How sad is that?
    – APC
    Nov 24 '10 at 21:52
  • 1
    @Michael: I have 21 Fanatic badges across the network, and I'll be getting two more tomorrow and another three within a week. It doesn't really mean that much. (Not that I'm not participating in all those sites at all.)
    – ЯegDwight
    Nov 24 '10 at 23:07
  • @RegDwight: Does the combined flair show all of those? You'd look like Jon Skeet with all those golds. (Next you need to see how many sites you can get 10k on; ChrisF is well on his way to his fourth on Programmers.)
    – mmyers
    Nov 25 '10 at 3:11
  • @Michael: the combined flair shows only 4 of them, since that's how many sites I have 200+ rep points on. BTW: thanks a bunch for promoting English Language and Usage in your user profile, but it's out of public beta now. (^_^)
    – ЯegDwight
    Nov 25 '10 at 3:22
  • 2 months down the road - my experience (luckily) matches that of Erich :)
    – JP19
    Jan 20 '11 at 8:13
  • Good to know. StackOverflow et al are excellent sites, but everything in moderation, right? :) Jan 28 '11 at 2:15

There's an academic paper coming out that shows a slight drop off at 10,000 rep.

We're working on addressing that bug.

  • Did the paper you reference ever get published? Nov 27 '13 at 16:17

6 to 8 weeks? That's just sort of... err... off the top of my head.


Just pick some high-rep users and check reputation graphs; you can see if they suddenly level off

  • 3
    If they suddenly level off, chances are they are dead. :)
    – Pekka
    Nov 24 '10 at 15:32
  • 1
    Thats a good idea. I was wondering whats the shape of the curve and didnt know of these graphs.
    – JP19
    Nov 24 '10 at 15:32
  • @MichaelMrozek: Your argument is invalid: stackoverflow.com/users/22656?tab=reputation
    – MPelletier
    Nov 24 '10 at 16:26
  • @MPelletier How? Jon's graph is a straight line, and I'm pretty sure he's still addicted Nov 24 '10 at 16:28
  • @MichaelMrozek: That's the idea, he never levels off. :) I think he's never had a day where he didn't hit the daily cap...
    – MPelletier
    Nov 24 '10 at 16:34
  • 1
    @MPelletier: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/46245/…
    – kennytm
    Nov 24 '10 at 16:52



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