By Andy Tarnoff Publisher Published Jun 21, 2010 at 4:28 PM

This morning, I spent way too much time clicking "Check for Update" in iTunes, anxiously awaiting the moment iPhone's 4.0 software hit the Web. Around lunch, it became available and I spent the next hour watching it download and install. Now that it's running, I can barely tell the difference.

Along the same lines, I've spent way too much time reloading AT&T's Web site, waiting to see when my iPhone 4 order would switch from "IN PROGRESS" to "SHIPPED." My problem isn't just Apple-induced hysteria, mind you. There are days when I reload Twitter way too frequently, or check incessantly.

I think, I fear, that the Web has become the official tool for the obsessively compulsive.

Who's with me?

Since the Web is also a resource for finding out everything about anything -- and with the legitimacy falling somewhere between Wikipedia and the Mayo Clinic -- I already know that OCD isn't a huge problem unless it interferes with your life.

So, while washing your hands 100 times a day or checking the lock 20 times before going to bed is a problem (one that I don't have), reloading from one Web obsession to another isn't that big of a deal (especially considering the blog fodder I'm getting right now).

But I wonder what we did before it was so easy to track packages, self-diagnosis illnesses, watch live undersea images of oil spills or instantly figure out who is that guy in that commercial.

Life was either boring or incredibly productive, but I can't remember back that far to tell you for sure.

The "Wikification" of content, the explosive growth of social media and increased ease of eCommerce is only exacerbating the problem, and I don't care to count the number of hours each day I spend online between desktop, laptop, iPad and iPhone. It's a wonder that I'm still finding the time to run outside, which, technically counts as "online time" since my iPhone's GPS is tracking and uploading my slow and plodding running data.

All of this is why I crave the idea of heading out of town and up to the cabin sometimes, even during the amazing Milwaukee summer. Up there, my phone doesn't work, and free wi-fi is as plentiful as stoplights (read: not at all). It's nice to turn off the technology once in a while, but truth be told, I don't know if I could handle it for more than a few days.

When, for example, did you go more than four days without checking your e-mail? I literally, not figuratively, can't remember the last time I did.

So, while it would be nice to dial back the incessant Googling and tweeting on a daily basis, let's be honest: it's not gonna happen. Realistically, it will only get worse for me, as technology and daily tasks continue to converge.

And I'm not especially proud of this. It's just the way it is. I've heard that all great entrepreneurs have a touch of OCD. At this rate, I'll be the next Steve Jobs by age 40.

Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.

Before launching in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.

Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.