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Probably incurable

A Wikipediholic, wikiholic, Wikipediaholic, Wikipath, wikiaddict, or wikimaniac is someone who suffers from Wikipediholism, or obsession (addiction in some cases) with Wikipedia or other wikis. One of the most common characteristics of the condition is the victim having a web browser window constantly open to the Recent Changes section of Wikipedia and/or other wikis (or in the condition's slightly milder form, one's Watchlist), and pressing the "Reload" or "Refresh" button with a high frequency (sometimes leading to carpal tunnel syndrome). Others have a bottle of Wikipedihol tablets by their desktop. Others click the "random page" button instead. Still others endlessly edit pages, and/or endlessly track and monitor the edits of users with whom they have become obsessed. This disorder can lead to a serious decrease in productivity in all other areas of the victim's life, like any other addiction. That is why they're called Wikipedia abusers, after all. Do not taunt their lack of girlfriends/boyfriends; it is but a mere illusion.

  • Official Wikipediholism Test: If you think you are a Wikipediholic, please take this test for proper diagnosis. Note: This is quite long; set aside at least 15 minutes to take this test.

This is a recent phenomenon – having been made possible by the creation of Wikipedia in January 2001 – and affects primarily computer programmers, academics, graduate students, gameshow contestants, people living in the suburbs, news junkies, the unemployed or soon-to-be unemployed, people who are bored and, in general, people with multiple interests and high IQs (or at least believe they have high IQs). Telecommuters have also been known to exhibit this affliction.

Although people who fit those descriptions are welcome, especially the coconut monkeys, they should know that their fellow primates do not necessarily share their world-view, and that it may be better for wiki itself if they take a walk once in a while, and remember that their body consists of more than fingers, eyes, brain, and bladder. And that wiki exists to serve us, not as an end wholly in itself.

An alternative addiction is "wikistalking". Wikistalkers have gotten over their addiction to editing. However, they enjoy watching even the most minute changes. Most probably check New pages continuously.

Signs of Wikipediholism[edit]

Level I[edit]

  • You turn from a reader to an editor.
  • You have an account with one or more other Wikipedias or other Wikimedia projects.
  • You procrastinate things that have been important in your life.
  • You realize you are editing pages on a Thursday night.
  • You talk about Wikipedia frequently in daily life.

Level II[edit]

  • You've already read this far in the list.
  • You understand the term 'sock puppet'.
  • Upon hearing the term "alcoholic", you catch yourself clarifying it to a complete stranger "Oh, you mean like a Wikipediholic only with alcohol".
  • Whenever your web-browser is closed, you feel a large sense of communal absence.
  • You've already edited this page. (Yes, we have)
  • You’ve already edited the Signs of Wikipediholism list.
  • You avoid sharing GIFs on social media out of fear of violating copyright laws.
  • You try to edit your sent items on your email account, thinking that they can be updated.
  • You check your watchlist and talk page more than your email inbox.
  • You have the Main Page bookmarked as your home page.
  • You find yourself ending emails with ~~~~ and try to italicize and bold messages with apostrophes.
  • You always check all kinds of texts to see if they are wikified.
  • You attempt to remove curly apostrophes in everyday life.
  • You spend most of your breaks editing Wikipedia instead of eating your food, doing schoolwork, or socially distancing with friends.

Level III[edit]

  • You regularly write {{fact}} or {{cn}} in the margin of any book you are reading.[citation needed]
  • When you try to explain something, you have an urge to add wikilinks with "[[]]".
  • You get confused when you can't find the little blue edit markers on books and magazines.
  • You accidentally say "Does this spot on my hat look notable?"
  • You accidentally refer to other people as "users."
  • You accidentally end your comments on other websites with ~~~~.
    • You try to end things you say in real life with ~~~~. (???)
  • You begin to adhere to MOS:NUMERAL in your personal communications.
  • When you close your eyes you see wiki code. (A case of Tetris Syndrome, personified.)
  • You have dreams about an anthropomorphic Wikipedia.
  • You fantasize about an anthropomorphic Wikipedia
  • If so much as one thing you don't know comes across your mind, you bolt for the nearest computer to see if Wikipedia has a page on it.
    • If it does, you drop whatever you were doing before the urge took you and edit the page obsessively, whether you know the topic or not.
    • If it does not, you obsessively check every single paper encyclopedia you have and search six different search engines for information on the subject. Then you proceed to write three screens worth on the topic and create an article on it, which probably will never be seen or thought about by another being in a thousand years.
  • You change your clock to match UTC rather than your own time zone because it's easier that way.
  • Your official signature in real life is ~~~~.

Level IV[edit]

  • You start playing WikiLadders – the game where you open two random articles and try to get from the first to the second using only the links in the first and subsequent articles...
    • ...and then go back to try and do it again using fewer links.
  • You try editing magazines.
  • You try editing Uncyclopedia in an attempt to escape from Wikipedia.
    • You fail miserably, and return to Wikipedia once again.
  • You donate your life savings to Wikipedia.
  • You skip an important date to look up references for an article on a subject you'd never even heard of before you discovered Wikipedia.
  • You turn up late for work and bleary-eyed after a particularly aggressive XfD (and you know what XfD means because you've looked it up already.)
  • Your state/provincial/territorial/national reference librarians know you by first name.
    • Your state/provincial/territorial/national reference librarians know you by first, middle, last, and nicknames.
  • You add Wiki to most words in real life, and have sent letters to the Oxford University Press demanding that "wiki" be added as an official prefix.
  • You only use CamelCase for words.
  • You have conversations with your sock puppet on the talk pages (this is against Wikipedia rules but don't tell your sock puppet).
  • Your best friend is your sock puppet (also against Wikipedia rules).
  • You start falling in love with your sock puppet (Actually... this is not explicitly against Wikipedia rules... yet)

Level V[edit]

  • Reality and Wikipedia begin to blur (think Existenz)
  • Friends begin to shun you, knowing you will only talk about Wiki issues
  • You add citations for an article about Wikipediholism that are removed for WP:NOR.
  • Some Wikipediholics say the Wiki Prayer before beginning a day long chain of edits.

Wiki Prayer[edit]

(Source:[1]; adapted from The Serenity Prayer),

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the pages I cannot edit,
"The courage to edit the pages I can,
"And the wisdom to know the difference."

The Subterranean Wiki Prayer Revisited, Nos. 5 and 36[edit]

"Johnny edits the Main Page
"I re-write the Stone age
"Napoleon and Shakespeare dress like a light bulb
"We'll be here all night – refresh the same page"

See also:


One edit is too many and a thousand is never enough.

12 steps of recovery for Wikipediholics[edit]

  1. We admitted we were powerless over Wikipedia; that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that an Author of Knowledge greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our obsession for editing and article creation over to the care of The Author of Knowledge as we understood them.
  4. Made a searching and fearless knowledge inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to the Author of Knowledge, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our factual mistakes and gaps.
  6. Were entirely ready to have the Author of Knowledge remove all these factual defects.
  7. Humbly asked them to remove our shortcomings by motivating us to be diligent in our research and study.
  8. Made a list of all persons (defined as editors or administrators) we had harmed by spreading unverified rumors, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal knowledge inventories and when we are wrong promptly admit it.
  11. Sought through Wiki prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with the Author of Knowledge, as we understood them, praying only for knowledge of their will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to Wikipediholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

With all due reverence and respect to those who suffer from genuine addictions and have found relief and recovery through twelve-step programs, and equal respect for those who have tried and failed to do the same thing.

Those wishing to get rid of the habit, may wish to check themselves in the Clinic. Those who are sick of all these jokes and just want to talk to someone may wish to check the talk page.

Stages of Wikipediholism[edit]

Risk factors[edit]

Those who are the most at risk for catching the disease are those who have created an account, have access to a computer constantly and consistently, and who like the idea of a wiki. Those with Editcountitis may have elevated risk factors, as do hackers, Linux users, and Firefox enthusiasts (because of their exposure to open source technology).

When asked "do you want to be right or happy?", the Wikipediholic answers "be right!" without hesitation.

Early stages[edit]

The patient finds that they "like" Wikipedia. They use the Main Page as a bookmark and consults the articles for information. The patient contributes to articles that they find lacking. They learn basic wiki markup. The patient can, however, give up now and cure themselves.

Middle stages[edit]

The patient uses the Main Page or their watchlist as bookmarks and their homepage. They reduce other online activities. The patient may join a WikiProject and contribute heavily to articles, as well as try editing outside the article and talk namespaces. They learn basic HTML and advanced wiki markup. The patient requests to become an Administrator, and proudly shows off their barnstars. Most refuse cures, which are still available.

When blocked, Wikipediholics have been known to grieve over their loss of editing privileges.

Late stages[edit]

The patient uses their watchlist as their homepage. They may also explore the Recent changes. The patient reduces other "real world" activities such as washing clothes, cleaning their house and talking to friends. Editing takes up more and more time. They may edit on a smartphone on the bus, at work, at home on a laptop and even in bed on a tablet. They may join multiple WikiProjects and contribute very heavily to many articles, as well as trying to edit heavily outside the article and talk namespaces. The patient learns advanced HTML and master wiki markup. They become an Administrator. The patient may use third party software to edit Wikipedia, and accumulate many barnstars. The thought comes to them, while reading this page, "this isn't funny; my contributions to Wikipedia are extremely important". Cures become scarce.

Terminal stages[edit]

The patient uses the Recent changes as their homepage and identifies as a Recent changes patroller. They reduce all other activities besides those relating to "real world" health and Wikipedia (and sometimes endanger the former). The patient joins multiple WikiProjects and contributes very heavily to many articles, as well as to the core of running of Wikipedia. They master HTML and rewrite the Manual of Style. The patient requests to be a Bureaucrat or Wikimedia Foundation employee. They shun third-party software, preferring the "raw" Wikipedia experience. The patient has so many barnstars that they take them off their userpage because they take up too much room and place them in a subpage of their userpage. Extreme denial may result, and cure is almost impossible. Terminal stages are when the wikipediholic spends an inordinate amount of time on Wikipedia, and may spend very little time eating, sleeping or washing due to the amount of time being spent on Wikipedia.

In extreme cases, the patient may begin publishing paper versions of Wikipedia and trying to make profit off of them.

Alternatives to cure[edit]

For those who see no end to their Wikipediholism, they may want to join the Department of Fun to keep things interesting. Also, keep an eye out for more Wikitivities. For instance, write songs like the parody "Hotel Wikipedia" and "Staying Alive" as laments of despair over lost and ruined lives.

You might also want to try a cure of wikipatch. In case of an "OMG" dire emergency and should all else fail, consider checking into the Clinic for Wikipediholics.

You might join troll organizations, but you will probably find very little solace there, since trolls have poor social support for each other, and they are still stuck here like the rest of us.

Perhaps the most effective solution of all is to embrace your Wikipediholism, accept it as part of your identity, and cherish it. Don't just admit it—brag about it! And if others call you a Wikipediholic, take that as a compliment. If they call you a troll, and they will, so what? Spread your Wikipediholism! It is only a good thing! We're all trolls here. Eventually.

Great Wikipediholics[edit]

(At English Wikipedia)

In a class of their own (> 1 million edits)
Other honorable mentions (> half a million edits)

See also[edit]