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August 1st, 2008
06:41 PM ET

Signs you’re addicted to the Internet?

Pat from Lexington, Kentucky writes: 'I’m on CNN.com every weekday by 2PM and I miss you on weekends!'

Pat from Lexington, Kentucky writes: 'I’m on CNN.com every weekday by 2PM and I miss you on weekends!'

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Before you rush to your computer and onto the Cafferty File blog to write in to us, consider this: you may just be addicted to the Internet.

Medill News Service reports that the Internet has become an out-of-control habit for more and more people. In fact, experts say that Internet addiction is a growing psychological and behavioral problem.

It's estimated that 5% to 10% of Americans may be addicted to the Internet – that could mean as many as 30 million people. And, it's an even bigger problem in other parts of the world. As many as 30% of the people living in China, Korea and Taiwan may be hooked.

The head of an outfit called the "Center for Internet Addiction Recovery" says the main kinds of internet addiction are: cybersex, online affairs, online gambling, online gaming, compulsive surfing and eBay addiction. For young people, online gaming is a particular concern.

There are now even special centers to treat this growing problem. Call it Internet rehab. Experts say some patients need 30 to 90 days in-patient treatment, followed by additional care. Like any other addiction, they say it requires lifelong treatment. There are also nonprofit groups – like "Online Gamers Anonymous" – meant to help Internet addicts.

Here’s my question to you: How can you tell if you're becoming addicted to the Internet?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Internet
August 1st, 2008
04:55 PM ET

What will country’s sour mood mean for election?

ALT TEXT
The Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate for July has risen to 5.7%. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

More bad news about the economy as the nation's unemployment rate rose to a 4-year high of 5.7% percent last month.

Employers cut another 51,000 jobs in July, making it the 7th straight month of declines. The Labor Department reports that 463,000 jobs have been lost this year.

And, this doesn't even tell the whole story, because the unemployment rate doesn't include those who have become discouraged looking for a job or those who took part-time work when they really want to be working full-time. If you count the unemployed and underemployed, the rate jumps to 10.3%. Another troubling sign is it's taking the unemployed longer to find new jobs. Some of the hardest-hit industries include those affected most by the housing, credit and financial crises – like construction and manufacturing.

It comes as no surprise then that a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows Americans are downright disgusted with where this country is headed... only 24% think we're on the right track. That's the lowest number since 1980. Only four presidents have seen this number drop below 30% while in office – Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and the first President Bush. In each case, their party lost the White House in the next election.

Not exactly a good sign for John McCain and the Republicans.

Here’s my question to you: What will the country's sour mood mean for the election?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

August 1st, 2008
02:08 PM ET

Do a candidate's looks matter?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

"He needs to put some meat on his bones." "I won't vote for any beanpole guy.” These are people talking about Barack Obama and why they can't relate to him.

The Wall Street Journal reports today on whether Obama's skinniness could wind up being a liability for him in this election, particularly in a country where two-thirds of the voting-age population is overweight and one-third is obese. A recent poll shows Obama still trails John McCain among white men and suburban women who say they don't see eye-to-eye with the Illinois senator's background or values.

Watch: Cafferty: Do looks matter?

Obama's doctor says he works out regularly, jogging up to 3 miles a day when he can and that he has "no excess body fat." He plays basketball and bikes. Obama even took some heat from the press for working out too much recently – when he went to the gym in Chicago three times in one day, for a total of 188 minutes.

He apparently stays away from junk food – his daughter has said he doesn't like ice cream or sweets – and instead snacks on protein bars and organic tea. Obama has reportedly quit smoking several times.

A former staffer to President Clinton points out that while most voters don't choose a president based on looks alone, things like a candidate's height, weight and overall appearance can play into what they see as quote "presidential." Others point out that struggling with weight loss – much like Bill Clinton did – could endear a candidate to voters and make him seem more human.

As for John McCain, although he has injuries from when he was a POW in Vietnam, his doctor says he walked the Grand Canyon "rim to rim" 2 summers ago and hikes whenever he can find the time.

Here’s my question to you: How much does a candidate's physical appearance matter to you?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • John McCain