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Psychological advantages of the Internet

Psychological desadvantages of the Internet

Psychology on the Internet

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DISADVANTAGES OF THE INTERNET

Communication via the Web

Although there are many advantages, researchers argue some disadvantages of an internet based society. Most of these drawbacks are a result of decreased face-to-face communication and the ability to escape identity.

Negative effects on family communication

Although there are conflicting research findings on this topic, an article published by Science Daily reported that time spent on the Internet was associated with later declines in within house family communication and a decrease in the number of friends and acquaintances with which they kept ties.

Lack of conflict resolution

The same article suggests that communication on the web is taking away necessary human conflict. For example, if an Internet conversation starts getting heated or if someone gets angry, it is too easy to just sign off and not deal with the issue. Resolving conflict is a part of life that shouldn’t be avoided and is usually psychologically helpful.

Lonliness

Another proposed disadvantage is that a couple of studies have found strong correlations between frequency of Internet use and loneliness. People that use the Internet often are more likely to become lonely and depressed than those that don’t. One proposal as to why this is the case is because of a potential reduced social support system as a result of the Internet.

Internet addiction

There is some controversy over whether it is possible to actually be addicted to the Internet or not. Some researchers, like John M. Grohol, claim that it is simply people trying to escape their problems in an online world and cannot be classified as an addiction. He demonstrates his theory with this model and states that what some people call an addiction is just someone that is caught in stage one.

go to Grohol's article

Other psychologists, including Jennifer R. Ferris, believe that Internet addiction is a true psychological disorder with definable symptoms. The symptoms are comparable to any addiction, withdrawal, loss of relationships or job and significant time consumption.

If an actual addiction exists or doesn’t exist, the underlying themes that support the addiction theory are still an issue. Whether people are trying to escape problems and reality or they will go through withdrawal if they aren’t surfing the net or chatting, it is still psychologically unhealthy.


Copyright 2003: © Kristin Mentzer