Overindulgence, in anything, (including computers and the internet) will result in devastation of some form.
Have you lost your connection with the real world as a result of excessive computer usage and what the internet has to offer (e.g. video games, chatting, texting, social networking, blogging, gambling, buying, pornography, compulsive surfing, etc…)?
Do you know someone personally, as a result of excessive use of the internet, whose:
marriage has been devastated?
career has been shattered?
family has been broken?
health has been affected?
financial ruin has occurred?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are witness to someone (or yourself) of a computer or internet related addictive behavior. Here in the U.S. we are just starting to recognize these addictive behaviors and are taking steps to provide help and resolution.
One such place to seek help is called reStart: Internet Addiction Recovery Program. reStart is the first program of its’ kind in the U.S. designed to specifically help internet and video game addicts overcome their computer or online dependencies. reStart is a 45 day in-patient (therapeutic) program, 6-bed facility (family style retreat), located in Fall City, Washington.
Current research suggests that anywhere from 6-10 % of the online population is dependent on one or more aspects of cyber technology and the internet. Among gamers, those playing multi-user games (like World of Warcraft) appear to be addicted at much higher levels. Both China and South Korea have designated Internet Addiction as their #1 public health danger and have responded by developing multiple treatment programs. The United States, by contrast, has been slower to recognize and respond to the problem but now is beginning to take some active steps. This program is part of that process.
Another great resource is the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery, located in Bradford, PA. You will find treatment services for:
Studies show that men are more likely to view cyberporn, while women are more likely to engage in erotic chat.
Partners engaged in an online affair go through several personality changes and often rationalize that an online affair isn’t really cheating.
At an alarming rate, people in recovery from gambling addiction have relapsed because of the availability of virtual casinos, as they use the Internet as another vehicle to satisfy their addiction.
Like a drug, gamers who play almost every day, play for extended periods of time (over 4 hours), get restless or irritable if they can’t play, and sacrifice other social activities just to game are showing signs of addiction.
Internet Addiction is an impulsive-control problem and five subtypes have been defined:
Online auction houses create a stimulating place where users can conquer others as the highest bidder, which can be intoxicating as one beats out others in the last precious seconds to win the desired prize.
Take a Test
- Cybersexual Addiction Quiz
- Internet Addiction Test (IAT)
- Quiz for Obsessive Online Gambling
- Quiz for Compulsive Online Gamers
- Quiz for Online Auction Addiction
- The Partner’s Addiction Test
- The Parent-Child Addiction Test
I have personally witnessed the evolution of computers and the internet from the very beginning. On a personal level, I have witnessed the devastation that can occur as a result of overindulgence in the various avenues that computers and the internet has to offer. The internet, in a sense is a virtual world, where your soul and mind can become consumed, if you let it. If you need help, please seek it!
25 August 2009 – Another ‘must read’ article, “Internet Addiction – Do You Qualify?” at Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts. Mr. Mullin’s explores this topic and gives us whole different angle on it.