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Internet Adicction

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Surf but Don’t Drown

Whether playing a game, socializing with your friends or simply just surfing the web, internet has become the most powerful tool being used in today’s modern society. Internet addiction is compared to substance addictions. It can have a lot of impact in ones life. What is Internet Addiction Disorder? Do you spend too much time online? What makes internet so addictive? Does Internet cause harm in ones life? How is internet addiction disorder similar to drug addictions? Those are some of the main questions that arise when dealing with this topic.

Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) does not have a cemented definition due to lack of research. One of the many definitions for IAD is mentioned by Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery (IIAR) as being similar to the use of drugs and other addictions. “Internet addiction is described as an impulse control disorder which does not involve uses of an intoxicating drug and is very similar to pathological gambling” (IIAR)

IAD is becoming by far one of the most common issues around the globe and although there is treatment for such an addiction more and more people are suffering each day which brings up the topic as to what makes internet so addictive.

Using the internet is more then just passing the time. People have developed deep emotional connections with online-friends and to the extent where the internet is the only life they have. “Some Internet addicts may also create on-line personas where they are able to alter their identities and pretend to be someone other than themselves. The highest risks for creation of a secret life are those who suffer from low self esteem, feelings of inadequacy, and fear of disapproval from others. Such negative self concepts lead to clinical problems of depression and anxiety.” (IIAR) Some of the activities online that lead to creation of on-line personas are popular games such as War of World craft, MMROPG Sherwood, which are multiplayer online games that let you create a person and allows you to complete quests, or interact with other players in a virtual community.

Multi-User Dungeons, more commonly known as MUDs, differ from chat rooms as these are an electronic spin off of the old Dungeon and Dragons games where players take on character roles. There are literally hundreds of different MUDs ranging in themes from space battles to medieval duels. In order to log into a MUD, a user creates a character name, Hercules for example, who fights battles, duels other players, kills monsters, saves maidens or buys weapons in a make believe role playing game. MUDs can be social in a similar fashion as in chat room, but typically all dialogue is communicated while "in character." (Young).

As Dr. Young goes into detail of what the main source of internet addiction it can be said that she is pretty accurate on her research as these kinds of games do indeed give people a false glimpse of hope and safeness from the outside cruel world.

Being addicted to the internet can harm ones social life. Ignoring family activities, friendships and avoiding other problems in life are part of the addiction. Eye sight, excessive weight gain, rude behaviors are some of the effects the internet has on kids and adults. People who are addicted to the internet have different personalities.

What most people online who think they are addicted are probably suffering from is the desire to not want to deal with other problems in their lives. Those problems may be a mental disorder (depression, anxiety, etc.), a serious health problem or disability, or a relationship problem. It is no different than turning on the TV so you won't have to talk to your spouse, or going "out with the boys" for a few drinks so you don't have to spend time at home. Nothing is different except the modality. (Grohol 1999)

The amount of time spent online could be spent performing exercise or socializing in the real world with real people. It may seem in a way that it is the same socializing online and in the real world but the inactivity could lead to a person being overweight, having heart problems and such. The common thread through all of the students have is excessive computer use to the point that sleep patterns are disrupted and hygiene suffers. Teens will often act agitated if their computer time is disrupted. Students will bounce back and forth from porn sites to online games when parents enter the room.The effects



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