Listen, we didn't ask you here today to watch "Corwin's Quest: Realm of the Yeti" on Animal Planet. I know, I know, that is what I said on the phone. We invited you over because I feel... we all feel...that we need to confront you about something.

Yes, I am serious. Wait; before you get upset, just hear me out.

We've been noticing changes in your personality since it began?your behavior, the tone of your voice, your priorities. We all see it. You disappear for long periods of time without leave. We'll all be hanging out, and you'll slide into a back room and lock the door. We all know what you're doing back there.

As your roommate, I can confidently say that it's affected me the most. You don't even try to hide it from me anymore. You'll do it right there in the room?as soon as you wake up, right before you go to bed, and any number of times during the day. Even if the only times you did it were in front of me, that would be too many. But I know that you do it other places. That's right. People have seen you do it in the library, in the union...Andy even told me he saw you do it during class on a purported "bathroom break."

What? Yes, of course I'm recording "Corwin's Quest." Try to stay focused, OK?

The point is that you have a problem. It's not the end of the world. I know you, and I know that you can beat it. But the first step is going to be to admit it to yourself, and then you need to be willing to accept our help and support. I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but the effort's going to have to come from you.

What do you mean you don't know what I'm talking about? Don't pull that B.S. on me, man; you know exactly what I'm talking about.

No, not your drinking problem. That's still a bit of a gray area. I'm talking about your webmail addiction.

Now listen, we all do it?nobody's denying that. Hell, we all have to do it. But there's no reason to check your mail more than two or three times a day. Now maybe you'll be expecting an email, and you'll check it a little more frequently than usual. Fine. That happens to everyone every now and again.

But you've been checking for new mail 20 to 25 times day. No, I'm not exaggerating; I've been keeping track. Last Thursday, you checked your web mail 54 times. It was scary, man. You just kept the window open while you were scrolling down your "recently updated" friends' profiles on Facebook, and every 10 minutes you'd pull up your inbox and click the "refresh" button. You weren't even leaving enough time for it to log you out.

How can you say I'm blowing this out of proportion? Look, you're checking your web mail right now! Zach, get him away from that computer.

Try to think about this logically. How often do you get mail that you're actually glad to receive? How much pleasure do you really get from reading the student digest? Or your affiliate house's meeting minutes? Or dorm-wide emails about some jackass pissing in the elevator? Or the steady stream of notices sends you for 50-percent-off sales, even though you specifically unchecked the "send me updates from!" box when you bought your "Reservoir Dogs" poster at the beginning of the year? (Well, was it worth it? WAS IT!?)

Sure, you could blame it on society. You could blame the culture of relentless information-trafficking. You could blame it on the mysterious "digest engine" for sending 19 student digests per day. You could blame it on Facebook for notifying you each time a friend makes an impulsive (but rarely clever) post on your wall. You could blame Ticketmaster for hectoring you with awful advice such as "Don't miss Disney's 'Snow White on Ice' at the Bank of America Garden!"

Hey, get back here! Brian, block the door! No,, hit him with that giant novelty toothbrush! OK...yeah, just keep him on the ground. Come on, man, do you think we like doing this?

What I'm trying to say is that in the end, the blame rests with you. You're the one who logs on. You're the one who can't go 10 minutes without a fix. You're the one who, after finding out your grandparents' internet was out, insisted that your family drive around Fort Lauderdale looking for a public library or an internet café just so you could read a solitary digest entry from some guy who's selling his van. You were on vacation, for god's sake!

But this is where the healing begins. We're all here for you, pal, every one of us. We're going to be watching out for you?helping you watch out for yourself?until you've got this thing licked, you understand? Give me a hug. There.

Good. Let's put on "Animal Planet." Next week we'll talk about your coke habit.