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Internet Addiction

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teens-drugs-internetThese days, there is little that can’t be done simply by turning on your computer and clicking on the internet button.  Just like years ago when everyone in the country slowly added tv sets to their homes, today home by home is joining the internet age.  Those that have been online for years now have learned that endless sources of information and entertainment can be gathered simply by checking out the internet.  But with all that power right at our fingertips, the internet has become a sad addiction to many.

Gaming

First there are the games.  The thrill of competing live against someone across the city or across the country in a role-playing computer game has really captured many.  Some of these game designers actually try to make them addicting, luring teens and gamers into hours of play.

Shopping

Then there is the online shopping.  You can search for and buy nearly anything online, and sites like eBay add a dimension of competition as buyers bid auction-style for items.  Again, it is something that can eat up a big chunk of someone’s time.

Social Networking

Another popular thing on the internet now is facebook and other social networking sites.  Did you know that you can instantly find long-lost classmates or acquaintances, and keep in touch with them as well as family and friends as they make posts?  MySpace, Twitter, and all the rest of these networking sites are actually causing concern among some because of the potential for addiction.  Stumbleupon is another site that seems to have been created purely for wasting time.  Hours and hours can go by before a person addicted to the internet comes back to real life.

Effects of Internet Use

Since the internet era is still so new, there is no way to predict the consequences of extensive use.  Some people argue that with all this information in our homes, the next generation will be smarter and more accomplished.  Others worry that our minds are actually going to be infantized and our attention spans will be shortened and empathy lost.  Some countries are reporting that computer addiction is a serious problem and are trying to find out just how to treat or prevent it.

Most people can use the internet sparingly and quit when necessary.  Just like any other addiction, there are some people that just aren’t able to pull themselves away.  For them their need for an internet fix can be as serious as a drug addict looking for their next hit.  Many families today are being affected by internet addiction.  Parents, teens, and college students all have shown an increase in internet addiction.  Many of these people feel distracted or unable to function if they are not sitting at their computer or searching the web.

No one probably expected it when the internet first came about, but people are becoming addicted to it, just like any number of other addictions.  Creating awareness is a good first step toward keeping this from being a crisis in the future.

Sources

MySpace cadets sliding into addiction April 4, 2009

Vedder, Tracy Computer addiction a growing problem Apr 1, 2009

Wyoke, Elizabeth Grappling With Internet Addiction 04.03.09

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Leah Miranda

This article was written by Leah Miranda

Leah joined American Addiction Centers in 2012 and currently holds the position of Events and Social Media Manager. After earning her Bachelor's degree in history, with a minor in teaching, she began her career in the higher education system. Her passion for connecting with people soon led her the field of marketing and social media where she is able to communicate with and inspire others daily. Connect with Leah on Google+

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