Internet Addiction Essay

795 words - 3 pages

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Essay on Internet Addiction
By Andrew Wamae
Introduction
Since the advent of the internet it has been used as one of the most universal tool for
communication between parties in widespread geographical locations; people have used the
internet to access information in websites, to chat, to send emails, to do shopping, to gamble,
play games, watch videos, download files and music, et cetra. The internet has therefore become
a crucial enabler in the lives of many people throughout the world, such that some people even
believe they cannot do without it. Internet addiction may be said to arise from excessive use of
internet that may lead to compulsive behavior by the internet user, or what is called pathological
internet use. People addicted by the internet are known not to be able to resist the lure of the
cyberspace (Griffiths, 2000).
Nature of Internet Addiction
According to the Centre for Internet Addiction (2011) research on internet addiction originated
in the US by Dr. Kimberly Young in 1996. Since then, studies have documented Internet
addiction in a growing number of countries such as Italy, Pakistan, Iran, Germany, and the Czech
Republic. Reports also indicate that Internet addiction has become a serious public health
concern in China, Korea, and Taiwan. Some of the notable signs from the addicts are: heightened
sense of euphoria while involved in computer and Internet activities; neglecting friends and
family; neglecting sleep to stay online; being dishonest with others; feeling guilty, ashamed,
anxious, or depressed as a result of online behavior; physical changes such as weight gain or
loss, backaches, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome; withdrawing from other pleasurable
activities, and other such behaviour. Some people have even been known to prefer cyber friends
than actual friends, and have cyber affairs, and cyber sex. This has led to such people getting
antisocial and getting themselves in anti social behaviors including drug abuse, depressions and
lack of self confidence as they are unable to face the real world.

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Internet addiction has been viewed as a disorder by some psychologists and clinicians in as much
as some practioners are unaware of its existence. (Young, 1998 and Young, 1999). Supporters of
disorder classification have often divided internet addiction disorder into subtypes by activity,
such as excessive, overwhelming, or inappropriate pornography use, gaming, online social
networking, blogging, email, or Internet shopping (Think Quest, 2011). Opponents note that
compulsive behaviors may not themselves be addictive (Psych Central, 2011).
Causes of Internet Addiction
Some of the known reasons that cause internet addictions include: behavioral reinforcement
where internet seem to offer many rewards, emotional and material ; other anxiety related...

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