On Line Addiction
Everyday the Internet is accessed by millions of people from the young to the old. The reasons range from gathering information on a topic, to checking E-mail, to chatting with people from all across the world. The Internet is used in business and in homes. It serves almost any purpose imaginable. The Internet can be used as an information source, a learning tool, even for entertainment purposes. Surfing the Internet is one of the most popular pastimes around the world exceeded, some think only by music. Getting On-line and surfing around even for a couple of hours is common. Normally this is just an occasional thing, but for some it becomes an obsession. These people are addicted to the Internet and have been consumed by its wealth of resources.
Our society has generally praised computers without reservation as an incredible intellectual tool. Only recently have we begun to weed out the hype from the reality and realize that there are unpleasant side effects to computing as well. Webster’s Concise Dictionary defines addiction as “a habit so strong that one cannot give it up.” We are all aware that people form addictions to many things, from cocaine to gambling. References to alcoholism, “workaholism,” even “chocoholism,” are commonplace throughout our society. The idea that people can form addictions to computing is a relatively new one, but quickly gaining ground. Take for instance my brother, who was once an “A” student and a model son. He now has to be forced to get off the Internet to do his chores. His schoolwork has gone to the pits and all he really seems to care about is surfing the net. This same addiction has also affected several of my close friends all they do at work is surf the net then they come home and log right in either get into a scheduled chat room or to meet a cyber woman.
There are many dangers associated with this addiction because internet use is clearly a negative addiction when it significantly affects a person’s daily life in a negative way. When obsessive Internet use interferes with family, friends, school, or employment, causing financial, relationship, or physical problems, and continuing despite efforts at control, then it is a serious problem. Some people sink into computer oblivion, neglecting their lovers and families, succumbing to loss of sleep and deteriorating health. I can remember having an argument with my fiance and going to log on the web to talk about it. This is definitely something that I would consider dangerous because the type of advice that I received would have left her battered and beaten. A person lacking a strong mind might have taken the advice to heart and beaten his or her mate. When people start looking to the Internet for advice on dealing with certain issues such as arguments, cheating spouses or any thing for that matter society is really in trouble.
Seeking help for computer addiction could serves to be challenging feet because computer addiction is still not taken seriously enough by the population at large for resources to be made readily available. Aside from the one or two notable cases, which receive mention in the occasional Newsweek article, computer addicts are shrugged off as weenies and nerds who simply don’t have enough to do with their time. And since none of the negative ramifications of computer abuse are immediate or directly harmful (i.e., as far as we know computing doesn’t cause cancer), it seems a relatively low priority as far as potential threats go.
With the millions of individuals worldwide who have access to the Internet and with the many that are already addicted to it’s resources the issue of on line addiction will be an increasingly powerful plague for our society to deal with. Unfortunately the value of the Internet has become infinite and the chances of it ever being banned are very minute those who suffer with this addiction are somewhat powerless. The families and relationships that are suffering because of this addiction have very limited resources that they can turn to for help. The many dangers associated with this addiction are just as important for our society to deal with however until we can see the problem and until it starts knocking on our door this addiction will go on gaining momentum until we as a society are forced to deal with it.