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Internet Addiction

Essay by   •  October 5, 2016  •  Essay  •  780 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,305 Views

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Internet addiction, a controversial topic among scientists, is when someone uses the internet so much that the urges cause extreme anxiety and lack of social contact. Individuals who are addicted are obsessed with going online and it takes away from their daily lives. There are three subtypes within topic of internet addiction. The first is excessive gaming, the second is cybersex, and the last is emailing and text messaging.

Although people with problematic internet use have some of the same symptoms as people with substance abuse and gambling problems, they are actually very different. The BART, a test that was taken by college students with internet addiction showed that they, in fact, are not more likely to participate in risky behaviors than people without internet addiction. The addicts actually had lower downward dependence and higher novelty seeking levels. Because of the results found during this study, the internet addiction group is looked at as different than substance abuse and gambling groups. People who are in these groups scored low on the decision making part of the BART, unlike internet addicts.

There are some possible explanations for this addiction that have been proposed. The first explanation is that using the internet helps people cope with psychological developmental problems. It was shown by a test that addicts don’t have a great ability to successfully make decisions related to intimacy and their identities. Another explanation is that some people think that the internet is a good way to relieve stress. Children who are addicts have different ways to deal with negative emotions than most other kids. Next, addicts think that the internet is a way to meet people and make your social networks much larger. People who use chatting devices online think that it is benefitting them psychologically by using them. The final explanation is that people become addicted to cybersex because it is anonymous, easy to access, and cheap. For some, this cybersex addiction comes about as an accident and for others it is used for coping with depression or anxiety.

Prospective studies have been done by scientists in effort to better understand how and why an internet addiction comes about. A prospective study is one that follows people over time to see how different factors in people’s lives can affect the amount of times a certain outcome occurs. One study that was conducted showed that hostility in the individual and ADHD were the two most obvious signs of internet addiction for both boys and girls.

The prospective studies that have been conducted led scientists to come up with possible treatments for addicts. Cognitive behavior therapy was used in a study and the majority of people were able to manage their symptoms of internet



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