Methods of Prevention

Internet Addiction Defined


Is This A Bunch Of Hype?


Created by Andy Oliver


Psychiatrist Ivan Goldberg, MD is the doctor who coined the term Internet Addiction Disorder. Goldberg and Young offer some ways people who believe they are addicted, or may be heading toward addiction, can help themselves. First, Goldberg says, people must recognize patterns of overuse. An awareness of the basic symptoms is important. A key signal to this would be time spent at the computer, but also time spent thinking about the Internet or in activities related to the Internet. The next step, according to Young, is to identify underlying problems. Similar to other kinds of addicts, Internet addicts should ask themselves what is causing them to want to escape from everyday life? The third step is to devise and act out a plan to work through the problem, rather than escape it. Escaping from the problem through the Internet, and effectively ignoring it, does not make the problem go away. It usually only intensifies the problem. Finally, the addict needs to take steps to resolve the addiction itself. Young advises a gradually decline in use, until finally a "sensible" amount of time is reached (Murray, 1996).

computer user The Internet is not the enemy just because people become dependent on it. It has many important and necessary benefits. It is fast, ecologically sound, convenient, and informative. In many ways it makes our lives much simpler. In many ways it makes our lives more complex. The Internet provides an escape from reality and everyday problems just like alcohol or drugs. Some argue that the interaction with other people on the Internet fills a social void. People can assume new identities; others interact with that identity and the person may assume these on-line relationships are the same as the real thing. It becomes a problem when people become so engrossed and enmeshed in on-line activities, and their "other" lives to the point of neglecting their health, relationships, jobs, and other responsibilities. As with many of life's pleasures, moderation is the key.

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