Internet Addiction Or Pathological Internet Usage Essay, Research Paper
What is Pathological Internet Use?
Pathological Internet Use or Internet Addiction is a type of impulse control disorder. (Holliday 10) Psychologists put it under this category because the effects of chemicals produced in the brain during Internet use haven’t been properly documented. The addiction is similar to an obsessive compulsive disorder and is also often compared to alcoholism. “An estimated five to ten percent of people who use the Internet can be classified as having a problem.” (Ross 2)
More than 90 percent of addicts became addicted to two-way communications functions: chat rooms, MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons), news groups, and e-mail, says the author of Caught in the Net, Kimberly Young. Typically it’s new users that become addicted, the unemployed, and people with low level jobs. (Schuman 1) In a short article, “Diary of a Mad Mousewife,” Lea Goldman describes how her addiction started, “Six years ago a well-read, suburban bred college kid pulled me into a corner at the all-night library and showed me the Internet Relay Chat (IRC), the grand daddy of chat rooms. By sunrise I was still settled in that corner, illuminated by the blue glow of the monitor and the flicker of the chats scrolling down my screen.”
For many people their addiction started with just such an all-night occasion. Once contacts are made and you have “regular” chat sessions before you know it your spending all your time in front of the computer, even meals.
Can Internet Addiction truly be considered an addiction from a psychological standpoint?
Although psychologist have tried to group Internet Addiction with other addictions such as drug and alcohol abuse and even used the criteria for a compulsive gambler for a compulsive surfer it seems that this addiction is in a league of it’s own. We know what the addiction feeds off of and the artificial feeling of connection that it offers but the largest problem for researchers is finding a way to classify the disorder. “I’ve seen the Internet change the landscape in much the same way crack cocaine did for those who treat drug addicts,” says Jennifer Schneider, MD, an internist and addiction medicine specialist in Tucson, Arizona.
How is a person classified as an addict?
A 1996 survey found that, “The addicted Internet user will spend an average of 38 hours per week online dealing with nonemployment\ nonacademic efforts, compared with “non addicts” in the survey who averaged eight hours. Almost half of the participants diagnosed with PIU reported they get less that four hours of sleep.” Some of the criteria for Internet Addiction are: tolerance, withdrawal, increasing usage, and loss due to usage. (Ferris 1)
What causes or enables a person to become an addict?
Because Internet Addiction is often based on loneliness and feelings of inadequacy, the Internet can provide a means of having a relationship that is easier than real life. A person who finds making friends, and establishing social ties difficult may find Internet communication more fulfilling. (Schuman 1) Ultimately, using the Internet to counteract the feeling of loneliness only serves to compound the loneliness and shame an addict feels. (McCormick 17)
When online an addict can become any type of individual he or she desires. No one can control a user’s actions online, which allows them to develop a definite sense of power and control over their lives. When offline addicts may actually feel they do not have control. (Schuman 1) Despite excessive fees a true addict may return to the Internet and use it as a means of escaping, relieving feelings of guilt, anxiety, and depression. (Ferris 1)
In today’s world the Internet is readily available, it’s used in schools, homes, and in the work place. Now it’s almost impossible to find a home or family in the United States that does not have Internet access. In almost every facet of society addicts see the temptation of the monitor and hear the clicking of keyboards. Removing one’s self from the problem may not be as easy as many psychologists promise.
How can Internet Addiction impair or negatively effect a person’s life?
The Internet is “a socially connecting device that’s socially isolating at the same time,” say David Greenfield, Ph.D. founder of The Center for Internet Studies. (DeAngelis 1) By separating ourselves from each other with TV’s, and computers we keep ourselves from developing real world skills. (Stoll 203) Brian McCormick, in his article “Hooked on the Net,” quoted one man as saying, “I could lose myself for hours or days without ever leaving home. The level of isolation and separation from real people was jarring. I had an active real life with friends and a job I loved, but I was spending more and more time in an online fantasy world, which I found ultimately to be very empty.”
Not only can the Internet keep one from knowing how to deal with real life, it builds shallow relationships. Online friends can’t be depended upon for tangible favors. (200) Although an addict may feel that his online friends are true friends the likelihood that they will still be there in 20 years is slim.
How can Internet Addiction be treated?
Internet Addiction like many other addictions is difficult to treat because the Internet itself is not a bad thing until it is misused. The Internet can be an extremely helpful and positive tool when used properly. The psychiatrist who coined the term “Internet Addiction Disorder,” Ivan Goldberg, MD says that people must first recognize patterns of abuse, identify underlying problems, and make a plan to work through problems before any treatment could be effective. (Ferris 1)
How can Internet Addiction be prevented?
Internet Addiction is an impulse control disorder. The Addiction starts when one loses interest in the real world and seeks solace in the computer. The only way that Internet Addiction can be prevented is to learn to deal with life whether it promises to be a good experience or bad. Instead of hiding from problems and procrastinating one must get to the root of the issue and solve it. If we don’t begin to live by that simple rule we may find that lack of computer skills is no longer the problem when finding a job, we may simply be so connected to our online lives that an interview will become too daunting for even the most professional person.
Caragata, Warren. “Crime in Cybercity.” Maclean’s 22 May, 1995: alt. Crime. Ed. Eleanor Goldstein. Vol. 5. Boca Raton: SIRS, 1998. Art. 47.
Clark, Charles S. “Regulating the Internet.” 30 June, 1995. CQ Researcher. Vol. 5. Washington: Congressional Quarterly, 1995.
DeAngelis, Tori. “Is Internet Addiction real?” Monitor on Psychology. April, 2000. (March, 2001).
Ferris, Jennifer R. “Internet Addiction Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, and Concequences.” (5 March,2001).
Goldman, Lea. “Diary of a Mad MouseWife.” Forbes 20 March, 2000:328.
Holliday, Heather. “Hooked on the ‘Net.” Psychology Today. July, 2000:10. Infotrac Student Edition. 2000. 5 March, 2001.
McCormick, Brian. “HOOKED on the Net.” American Medical News 19 June, 2000:17. Infotrac Student Edition. 2000. 5 March, 2001.
Ross, Melanie F. “Study shows some Internet addicts suffer from mental illness.” Link-Up May, 2000:2.
Schuman, Evan. “It’s Official Net Abusers Are Pathological.” Tech Web. 13 August, 1997. (5 March, 2001).
Stoll, Clifford. High-tech heretic: Why computers don’t belong in the classroom and other reflections by a computer contrarian. New York: Doubleday, 1999.
Wilson, Tim. “Some People are Too Hooked on the Net.” Internet Week 22 November, 1999:60. Infotrac Student Edition. 2000. 5 March, 2001 .
Below is an essay on "Solutions to the Internet Addiction Problem Among Teenagers" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.
Internet addiction has been an exacerbating problem. In this Web 2.0 epoch, there is a high content variety on the Internet. Consumers have become prosumers who can create and exchange user-generated contents. This makes a large database online. This boosts the convenience of utilizing Internet services. For this reason, the use of Internet has been prevailed in the past decades, while the World Wide Web has become the integral part of people’s life. For instance, people can access the Internet to accomplish multiple tasks, from checking email, playing online computer games to browsing social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. Every 4 out of 5 Internet users would regularly browse social networking sites. Throughout a year, users will post 415 pieces of content on Facebook on average; this means people share more than one piece of content a day. This number actually shows how much time people dedicate to Facebook.
The Internet undoubtedly brings plenty of convenience to human beings. However, the indulgence in using the Internet can be harmful to the Internet users, not mentally and physically. Among these users, these adolescents are more likely to suffer from Internet addiction. There are three solutions are proposed in order to curb the Internet addiction problem, including setting up passwords of computers by parents, installing web filtering system and consulting the professionals.
Setting up passwords
The first solution is to set up passwords by parents of Internet addicts. They should ask their parents to lock their computer with a password that they do not know. The passwords should be complicated that cannot be easily guessed by the addicts. Internet addicts should decide with their family on how much time they can spend on the Internet. They should work out a plan together and put it in writing. Keeping a log of actual time can help the Internet addicts keep track on their own Internet access record. They can use tools like timers or alarms.
Dr. Jere Mitchum
November 4. 1996
TABLE OF CONTENT
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. iv
Growth Of The Internet. 1
THE ADDICTION. 2
What causes it. 2
How To Overcome The.
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The problem of Internet addiction is not very noticeable now and that's why not
many people are taking it seriously, but what these people are failing to see is
the connection between the very rapid growth of the Internet and the addiction
problem. It is really simple logic the bigger the Internet get the more users
will be which will lead to a bigger number of addicts that can have their lives
as well as others corrupted by this behavior. The main objective of this paper
is to make sure that all reader know and understand what Internet addiction is
and how it can be solved or avoided. I can not offer a professional psychiatric
solution but I believe if a person knows more about the addiction, the better
chance they have to help themselves as well as others; that's why I have
included a short summary of the elements of addiction.
I hope that by the time you read my paper you will have a better understanding
about this issue to keep yourself as well as others of.
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the last three letters in the address -e.g.
http://www.arabia.com is a commercial site because of the .com- in figure 2 the
percentage of all four major domains is shown, and it is obvious that the big
share goes to the commercial domains. It does not take a genius to figure out
that since the Internet attracted that much commercial interest that means that
more and more people are using the Internet, and even more are willing to spend
time and money on it.
Figure 2 (Source of data: http://www.nw.com)
With such vast growth of the Internet what is considered as a small problem can
grow along with the Internet to cause an even bigger problem. In a recent
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1 Comments on Problem solution essay about internet addiction
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Marc Potenza, a psychiatrist at Yale and the director of the school’s Program for Research on Impulsivity and Impulse Control Disorders, has been treating addiction for more than two decades. Early in his career, he, like most others studying addiction at the time, focussed on substance-abuse problems—cocaine and heroin addicts, alcoholics, and the like. Soon, however, he noticed patients with other problems that were more difficult to classify. There were, for example, the sufferers of trichotillomania, the inescapable urge to pull your hair until it falls out. Others had been committed for problem gambling: they couldn’t stop no matter how much debt they had accumulated. It was to this second class of behaviors—at the time, they were not called addictions—that he turned his attention. Were they, he wondered, fundamentally the same?
In some sense, they aren’t. A substance affects a person physically in a way that a behavior simply cannot: no matter how severe your trichotillomania, you’re not introducing something new to your bloodstream. But, in what may be a more fundamental way, they share much in common. As Potenza and his colleague Robert Leeman point out in a recent review of the last two decades of research, there are many commonalities between those two categories of addiction. Both behavioral and substance addictions are characterized by an inability to control how often or how intensely you engage in an activity, even when you feel the negative consequences. Both come with urges and cravings: you feel a sudden and debilitating need to place a bet or to take a hit in the middle of a meal. Both are marked by an inability to stop.
Substance and behavioral addictions also both seem to have some genetic basis, and, Potenza has found, the genetics seem to share many common characteristics. Some of the same gene mutations found in alcoholics and drug addicts, for instance, are often found in problem gamblers. Furthermore, the neurochemistry that these addictions evoke in the brain is similar. Drugs, for example, are known to affect the mesolimbic dopamine pathway—the pleasure center of the brain. Behaviors like gambling similarly activate the same parts of the brain’s reward circuitry. Earlier this year. Trevor Robbins, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge, and the psychologist Luke Clark, then at Cambridge and now the director of the Centre for Gambling Research at the University of British Columbia, came to a similar conclusion after conducting an overview of the existing clinical research into behavior addictions. The basic neuroscience of the two types of addiction showed a substantial overlap.
In recent years, however, Potenza has been increasingly treating a new kind of problem: people who come to him because they can’t get off the Internet. In some ways, it seems exactly like the behavioral addictions that he has been treating for years, with much of the same consequences. “There are core features that cut across those conditions,” Potenza says. “Things like the motivation to engage in the behaviors and put aside other important elements of life functioning, just to engage in them.” Or, in the words of Robbins and Clark, “behavior for behavior’s sake.”
There’s something different, and more complicated, about Internet addiction, though. Unlike gambling or even trichotillomania, it’s more difficult to pin down a quantifiable, negative effect of Internet use. With problematic gambling, you’re losing money and causing harm to yourself and your loved ones. But what about symptoms like those of a woman I’ll call Sue, who is a patient of Potenza? A young college student, Sue first came to Potenza at the behest of her parents, who were becoming increasingly concerned about the changes in their daughter. A good—and social—student in high school, she found herself depressed, skipping or dropping classes, foregoing all college extracurricular activities, and, increasingly, using the Internet to set up extreme sexual encounters with people she had never met in real life. Sue spends the majority of her time online social networking, but does that mean that she has a problem with the Internet or with managing her social life and her sex life? What if she were obsessively online, for the rest of her life, but learning languages or editing Wikipedia?
The Internet, after all, is a medium, not an activity in and of itself. If you spend your time gambling online, maybe you have a gambling addiction, not an Internet addiction. If you spend your time shopping online, maybe it’s a shopping addiction. “Some people have posited that the Internet is a vehicle and not a target of disorder,” Potenza said. Can you be addicted to a longing for virtual connectivity in the same way that you can be addicted to a longing for a drink?
As far back as 1997. before the days of ubiquitous smartphones and laptops, when dial-up and AOL dominated the landscape, psychologists were already testing the “addictive potential” of the World Wide Web. Even then, certain people were exhibiting the same kinds of symptoms that appeared with other addictions: trouble at work, social isolation, and the inability to cut back. And, to the extent that there was something that people referred to as an addiction, it appeared to be to the medium itself—the feeling of connectedness to something—rather than to an activity that could be accomplished via that medium.
By 2008, the worry about Internet addiction progressed to such a point that The American Journal of Psychiatry published an editorial strongly suggesting that Internet Addiction be included in the next, and fifth, version of the so-called bible of psychiatry, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM ). A decade of research, wrote the psychiatrist Jerald Block, had only proven what the 1997 study had suspected, that the Internet could inspire the same patterns of excessive usage, withdrawal, tolerance, and negative repercussions as more traditional substance use. What’s more, Block concluded, “Internet addiction is resistant to treatment, entails significant risks, and has high relapse rates.” It was a disease that needed treatment as much as any other disease did.
The realization that the Internet may be inducing some addictive-seeming behaviors in its own right has only grown more widespread. One study. published in 2012, of nearly twelve thousand adolescents in eleven European countries, found a 4.4 per cent prevalence of what the authors termed “pathological Internet use” or using the Internet in a way that affected subjects’ health and life. That is, through a combination of excessive time spent online and that time interfering with necessary social and professional activities, Internet use would result in either mental distress or clinical impairment, akin to the type of inability to function associated with pathological gambling. For maladaptive Internet use—a milder condition characterized by problematic but not yet fully disruptive behavior—the number was 13.5 per cent. People who exhibited problematic use were also more likely to suffer from other psychological problems, such as depression, anxiety, A.D.H.D. and O.C.D.
Internet addiction ultimately did not make the list of officially recognized behavioral addictions in DSM-V. but compulsive gambling did. It had taken gambling several decades of extensive research to make the cut, and there simply wasn’t enough systematic, longitudinal data about Internet addiction. But, to Potenza, Block’s conclusions rang true. Sue wasn’t the first patient that he’d seen for whom the Internet was causing substantial, escalating problems; that number had been rising slowly over the last few years, and his colleagues were reporting the same uptick. He had been working with addicts for decades, and her problems, as well as those of her fellow sufferers, were every bit as real as those of the gambling addicts. And it wasn’t just an iteration of college angst in a new form. It was something endemic to the medium itself. “I think there are people who find it very difficult to tolerate time without using digital technologies like smartphones or other ways of connecting via the Internet,” Potenza said. It’s the very knowledge of connectivity, or its lack, that’s the problem.
He agrees that the subject remains far more disputed than other behavioral areas: psychiatrists are no longer debating that behavioral addictions exist, but they are ambivalent about whether Internet use can be classified as one of them. The difference, Potenza feels, is one of degree. Internet use remains so disputed because it’s changing too rapidly for researchers to keep up, and, though the immediate effects are fairly visible, there’s no telling what the condition will look like over the long term.
Internet addiction remains a relatively minor part of Potenza’s work—he estimates that fewer than ten out of every forty patients he sees come in for an Internet problem. These patients tend to be younger, and there seems to be a gender divide: male patients are more likely to be addicted to activities like online gaming; women, to things like social networking. But it’s hard to make generalizations, because the nature of the problem keeps changing. “The truth is, we don’t know what’s normal,” Potenza says. “It’s not like alcohol where we have healthy amounts that we can recommend to people.” In other words, just because you’re online all day doesn’t mean you’re an addict: there are no norms or hard numbers that could tell us either way.
Behavioral addictions are quite real, and, in a number of respects, Internet addiction shares their core features. But the differences that set it apart mean that the avenues of treatment may differ somewhat from those typically associated with behavioral—and substance—addictions. One of the most effective ways of treating those addictions is by identifying and removing the catalysts. Cancel the credit card. Get rid of the bottles. Avoid the places you go to drink or to gamble, and, at times, avoid the people you do these activities with. Be aware of your triggers. With the Internet, though, that solution is far more problematic. Computers and virtual connections have become an integral part of daily life. You can’t just pull the plug and expect to function. A student may be suffering from what she’s doing online, but she also might need to use the Internet for her classes. The thing she needs to avoid in order to do well is also the thing she needs to use to reach the same end.
But Potenza hopes that that very ubiquity can, ultimately, be enlisted as part of the solution. You may not be able to remove the triggers, but you can reprogram the thing itself, a kind of virtual bottle that automatically clamps shut when you’ve had too much to drink or a casino that turns off its lights as you move into dangerous territory. “The hope is to harness these same technologies within the mental-health field to promote health,” Potenza said. Already, there are apps that block certain Web pages or that disable a computer’s Internet connectivity. There are also ones that tell you when to put your smartphone away. Why not customize them, in conjunction with a therapist, to avoid the pitfalls that are most likely to lead to problem use for you personally? As is so often the case, technology may end up being both the problem and the answer.