I'll share some of my personal experiences too, then talk a little bit about what I think of TSC in general. I've only been a member at TSC for a month and a half, and I've had issues with spending too much time on the site too.
About 11 days after joining, I realized I was getting too wrapped up in where I was going to be on the charts someday. I knew my SAdva3 times would be (mostly) red; I felt that the ring records could be beaten with some planning and persistence (which I know I have based on my past gaming experiences). I was getting obsessed with what players I was going to pass at what points in my playing, both on the game charts and in the sitewide rankings. What about eventually submitting stats for SA2(B) and Riders? What about maybe getting more Sonic games to try to climb higher? But I was getting a swelled head, and I was spending far too little time on homework and studying and things that mattered more. I spent 12 days away from the site and from my GBA SP.
Then came Thanksgiving break. There was some homework that would be due the next week, but I figured it wasn't a big deal. I spent plenty of time in those five days working on some SAdva3 stats. The biggest achievement was me beating a four-way tie by one ring. But I was getting too self-centered again, too obsessed with what other records I might beat in the future. When classes resumed, I took another hiatus of about 12 days.
Then I came back for a couple days, but pulled out again, partly because I had final exams to study for, and partly because I still cared too much about my standings. Now most of my finals are over, so I'm cautiously coming back. But to keep my pride in check, I'll be submitting stats at least three at a time, and other than when I'm submitting those and/or reading new posts on the forum, I'm not letting myself peruse the charts again just for personal pleasure.
Well, enough about me. Now for my thoughts about TSC:
I like the site. I like the system it's built on. Ties for stats aren't broken by seniority or by newness; especially on the ties for first, this shows respect to the legends without stopping newcomers like me from joining the fun. Charts for ring records add variety to the skills needed to excel. The formula for translating game points to sitewide points is cubic; provides good incentive to get to the top of the charts, but it's not so steep that you have to be red in games to get anywhere at all. And where would we be without a forum?
But I get the impression the community isn't nearly as active or deep or involved as it used to be. I wonder how much of the change is from members seeing less and less free time as, well, life happens and other things take priority. I also wonder if the whole idea of the competition has been getting stale for many people -- they feel they've maxed out, or they really have maxed out, or they've just lost interest in striving for temporary TSC glory.
So how do I justify my continued competition here, besides the fact that it's still new to me and I'm a college student with too much time on my hands? Maybe it's not about the competition. Don't get me wrong, the competition is a vital part of the site. But there's something to be said about the experience we share of good and bad Sonic games, of good and bad playing sessions, and objective measurement will never quite capture that. We strive for the best of these experiences. And I want to share in that.
Well, enough about my thoughts. I'm just one player.