#Internet #Addiction – guilty as charged?

This article is about e-addiction. Don’t reach for your dictionaries, I just made that up. The addiction, however, is very real and I’ve experienced it myself, both as a gamer and as a netizen.

According to this article in the Washington Post :

‘[internet] Addicts lose interest in other hobbies or, sometimes, never develop any. When not allowed to go online, they experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, depression or even physical shaking. They retreat into corners of the Internet where they can find quick success โ€” a dominant ranking in a game or a well-liked Facebook post โ€” that they donโ€™t have in the real world, experts say.’

The emphasis on ‘success’ is mine, and I believe it is the foundation of this psychological addiction. If real life sucks, go online and become a ‘god’ who is respected and adored by everyone. Or words to that effect.That kind of ego stroking is very hard to ignore because we all want to be respected, admired, liked.

The real problem, however, is not that we find ‘success’ online, but that we do not find it in the real world.

In a way, I guess this is just another First World problem, but it is real, and it will become more prevalent as the mobile generations swap their Smartphones for SmartJewellery, or SmartClothing, or SmartGoggles…or whatever. All these future devices will be fantastic, but they will not make living in the real world any easier.

Definitely food for thought,

Meeks

p.s.in Korea, the pressures of real life have already created a whole society that is more ‘connected’ than any other. And they’re starting to have serious problems. This case is unusual but brings home the message.

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About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

26 responses to “#Internet #Addiction – guilty as charged?

  • Jeri Walker (@JeriWB)

    I was married to someone who was addicted to the Internet. I always joked if anything ended my marriage, it would be that. Turns out that was just the tip of the iceberg regarding his “issues.” That’s not to say everyone who gets sucked into online time is going to go down such a scary road, but it is an issue that deserves a lot of attention.

    Like

  • EllaDee

    There are so many ways of avoiding the real world… not one of them has ever worked for me… dammit. It always finds me. Books are the closest I have come, similar to you staying up all night gaming, I have read into the wee small hours of the next day to my [temporary] detriment. For me, it’s not the internet per se I miss but the community & connections it enables.
    However, from a less flippant POV, there are many people who are more vulnerable than I for whom various addictions are a danger, online no less real than gambling or drugs with the lure of a feeling of success and/or obliteration of an unsatisfactory reality.
    The other part of the problem I think is creation of a consumer oriented society by profit driven corporates for whom a sense of satisfaction with real life equates to marketing failure in a designer world of see it, want it, have it and be damned,

    Like

    • acflory

      Yes, are definitions of success have changed so much I hardly recognize the word sometimes. Things have come to replace the sense of achievement you get from doing something /for yourself/. So much is now so easy, it has lost all value.
      Oddly enough, that decrease of value is reflected in the gaming worlds too.
      Truth is, you always take yourself with you wherever you go so there’s no true escape.

      Like

  • Candy Korman

    People become “addicted” in one way or another to all sorts of things. I certainly know folks self-described as “Tango Addicts” or “Work-Out Addicts” or “book addicts.” For me the problems arise when the person is swallowed up on that one obsessional activity and the rest of their life fades away. It’s one thing to stay home and finish that novel draft (losing out on socializing and sunshine) but when you become a captive to your activity it becomes a problem.

    Interesting stuff!

    Like

    • acflory

      Yes, I think that sometimes there is a fine line between ‘I want to keep doing this because I really like it’ and ‘I need to keep doing this because….whatever’. To me, the minute that word ‘need’ pops up, my alarm bells start ringing.

      Like

  • Let's CUT the Crap!

    I had no idea. This is terrible. Terrible. Breaks my heart.

    Like

  • Hariod Brawn

    “Physical shaking” – my god! I’m often sceptical about people claiming to be ‘addicted’, be it to food, or sex, or dope, or whatever, as it seldom turns out to be no more than a minor and readily treatable neurosis rather than any clinical, pathological condition. Can people really physically shake simply by being denied internet access? I’ll read the article. [Another reason to stay online – hahahahaha!]

    Like

    • Hariod Brawn

      Read it. Hmm . . . $25,000 dollars for a 45-day treatment program. Excuse me if I’m sceptical.

      ‘Ruston thinks we should be careful about how we use the word โ€œaddictionโ€ in casual conversation about tech use. For serious cases, she agrees that Internet addiction is a real problem. But for the kid who just wonโ€™t put her phone down during dinner? Calling her an addict may do more harm than good.

      ‘We should be careful to stop using the word “addiction” so kids can have an internal sense of control,’ she said. ‘They have to know that the device does not control them.’

      Earlier in the piece it’s suggested that the problem really comes down to poor impulse control, which is something I’d agree with. We seem far too keen on labelling ourselves as the victims of some supposed addiction, as if we’re helpless bystanders. I don’t believe in Free Will, but I do believe in Free Won’t.

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      • acflory

        ‘Tis not ‘the device controlling them’, it’s the ego, pure and simple. Give people a taste of success, in whatever medium, and they’ll want more because it’s pleasurable. Why is it pleasurable? Because the brain provides it’s own chemical cocktail to make us feel good – the natural high. ๐Ÿ™‚
        I’ve never taken drugs but I have, once upon a time, stayed up all night playing a game. Many of the people I play with now spend every moment of their leisure time in-game. :/

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hariod Brawn

          Ah, well I don’t know anything at all about gaming, Meeks, and maybe that needs to be treated separately to screen addiction per se, as the competitive aspect within us is a primal force. Inviting that force out into the open (as games do) is a challenge it can’t refuse by its very nature.

          Like

          • acflory

            -grin- I consider myself to be a very uncompetitive person, but as you say, in a game the challenge is almost impossible to refuse. And like gambling, the feedback doesn’t have to be positive all the time to keep a gamer coming back for more.
            -cough- you should try it sometime. ๐Ÿ˜€

            Liked by 1 person

        • Hariod Brawn

          So why are you attracted to gaming, if not for the competitive aspect?

          Like

          • acflory

            I kind of compete against myself, if that makes any sense. For example, I set myself goals such as farming for all the materials I use in my crafts. Achieving high end crafts this way is hard but when I do manage it, I feel as if I’ve succeeded at something.
            I would like to be THE best crafter in the game but…I can settle for being just a good one. ๐Ÿ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      -cough- I rest my case. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  • lorigreer

    It is so easy to spend hours on the Internet in different activities. Turning off my gadgets works for me. Thoughtful post.

    Like

  • drewdog2060drewdog2060

    Reblogged this on newauthoronline and commented:
    A thought provoking post on an important issue. Kevin

    Like

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