While some media news and reports seem to be truthful in their effort to inform and educate the public regarding internet addiction, it is not surprising to see bad science and misinterpretation presented in others on the same issue. The media coverage of internet addiction is damaging and blowing the issue out of context. The widespread internet concern is reinforced and underpinned by media reporting about internet addiction and young people, characteristically stressing its destructive consequence on the physical and mental health of users. This creates an immediate call for public and social attention. The media are replete with anecdote of internet victims, although they fall short of dependable statistics. It is apparent that the media loves to scandalize and hype.
Media is a major source of news and information about social problems. Increasingly newspapers, television and radio news and talk shows, either for sensationalism or out of sheer ignorance depict social problems in away that lead audience into making invalid correlations. Reading or watching news about internet addiction issue may lead audience to believe is real and can be generalized. Media coverage offers that internet addiction shares negative facets of alcohol and drug addiction (Brian 110). For instance, symptoms of withdrawal, tolerance, negative life impacts, and craving are present. As Johnson (690) points out, internet addiction has resulted in consequences like failing school, relationships and family problems.
Some of the media reports on the consequences of internet addiction are constructed to make the news appealing. Media studies indicate that media reports focusing on pornography’s additive possibility claim that about 40-50% of online users who consume pornography will ultimately develop addictive symptoms (Mick, Pettigrew and Pechmann 511)
This topic is an important area of study for three reasons. One, internet addiction is becoming a serious problem for some people, and mental health professionals are not certain whether it should be regarded a genuine disorder. Secondly, the introduction of internet addiction concept has ignited a controversial discussion by both academicians and media. It is misrepresented and scandalized in the media. Thirdly, media coverage of the problem has raised public concern about internet addiction.
Even the media do contest that only physical substances which are ingested into human should be considered addictive. While many believe the concept applies to only incidences involving drug ingestion, delineating addiction extends to include several behaviors that do not encompass an intoxicant, like compulsive gambling, television-viewing, and video-games (Yellowlees and Shayna 1447). Some mental therapists are unfamiliar or unaware with the internet. This makes its seduction or addiction very complicated to understand. Many people view it as an illness just like other forms of addiction. In...