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The Internet Has A Negative Impact On American Families

1210 words - 5 pages

The Internet Has a Negative Impact on American Families

Does the Internet truly have a negative impact on today’s family life? Many say that is most definitely does. Have you ever known someone who is obsessed with the Internet or spends more time on the Internet than they had intended to? You might begin to think they are addicted. Ricco Siasoco defines Internet addiction as “a broad term including users addicted to chat rooms, auctions, web surfing, among others.” These other Internet addictions may include cyber relationships, gaming, and trading. I have read several articles related to Internet addiction, and can not come to a conclusion on whether or not it is a true addiction. However, I do believe that the Internet does have a negative effect on American families.

There have been many studies performed to research the idea of Internet addiction. It is just like any other addiction, including gambling, alcoholism, and eating disorders, and all of which destroy families in one way or another. Experiments created by psychologists and sociologists to explain the addiction resemble those of pathological gamblers described in the DSM-IV.[1] Using that information, a survey was made to determine if users have Internet addiction. The questionnaire includes eight questions such as “Do you feel the need to use the Internet with increasing amounts of time in order to achieve satisfaction?” and “Do you use the Internet as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a dysphoric mood?” Participants who answered yes to five or more of the questions were considered addicted Internet users.

One aspect of the Internet that people can become addicted to is Cybersex and Cyber Relationships. Alvin Cooper of the San Jose Marital and Sexuality Centre concluded from a recent study that six percent of heavy surfers engage in cybersex. I can not understand why people would even do such a thing as have a cyber relationship. One of Cooper’s clients explains, “For me it was the newness that every relationship brings.” A major issue about these online affairs is that they are kept secret from the important people in one’s life and end in broken family ties. In Marc Levenson’s article, Overcoming Cybersex Addiction, he declares that cybersex “is not recognized as a formal psychiatric disorder. But many clinics…treat Internet sex addicts.” Jay Parker of The Internet Addiction Institute says, “Therapy resembles the twelve-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Addicts learn to abstain –a lifetime pledge to avoid any sex online.”

Another addicting feature of the Internet in online gaming. In general, web designers know how to lure users to participate in their sites, whether it is signing up for free materials or registering to join a game room. The article on Clear Lead Inc.’s web site tries to explain why some people become addicted to gaming. Leonard Holmes states, “There are...

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