Internet Addiction

The Internet has provided much positive impact on people throughout the world for the last ten years. It can be informative, convenient, resourceful and fun. However, the Internet can also offer harmful influence on human such as pornography, security and privacy. There is another significant issue involved people’s life. These days, there are many people spending too much time on the Internet while they may not realize themselves whether or not it is too much. Therefore, this can be another type of addiction that has invaded the human. Some point out that it is an Internet "Addiction Disorder" while psychologists are still not confident what to call this type of situation. This is because some people stick with their computers, whereas they do not even care of the Internet.
Therefore, perhaps this phenomenon can be called "Computer Addiction" as well. However, this essay will focus on Internet Addiction Disorder, and provide possible solutions to this problem.
MyOxfordCounsellorAddictions are not actually defined very clearly. This is because it can be unhealthy or even healthy and also a combination of both. It is clear that when people are satisfied by some activities such as hobbies, they would like to spend their times on these activities as much as possible. In addition, it can also be creativity, learning and self-expression. Despite of this, some psychologists define addiction as a behaviour pattern of compulsive drug use characterised by overwhelming involvement with the use of a drug and securing of the supply, as well as the tendency to relapse after completion of withdrawal.
Internet Addiction Disorder is said that it is closest to pathological gambling. This is because some Internet users cannot control themselves when they should access or disconnect the Internet. Becoming addicted to the Internet can be caused by several reasons. However, there are still the most considerable reasons why many Internet users become addicted.
Firstly, Internet addiction behaviour compensates for a lack of satisfaction in other areas of life, such as friendship problems or any depression. When people feel dissatisfied in life, they have the possibility to develop an Internet addiction. In addition, the behaviour of accessing the Internet is going to be seriously intensive if they are pleasurable while using the Internet. Therefore, it can lead to the beginning of a serious Internet addiction. This is because they do something that may take some effort to change their lives.
Next, the Internet is so reinforcing, stimulating and rewarding. The online content is immediate, constant, uncensored, and unregulated; anything people require is on the Internet. People can certainly have freedom of expressing their opinions by posting anything they wish, while it is not censored or suppressed. Individuals can also interact with one another, and download or upload information independently. Consequently, it can be clearly seen that these kinds of factors are so appealing to participants.
The last significant reason is that Internet addicts often had psychiatric disorders before they are addicted to the Internet. These people may be suffering from manic depression or had abused alcohol or drugs at sometimes in their lives. These mental disorders that accompany most addiction disorders can intensify the trauma. As a result, they cannot control themselves whenever they access the Internet.
Many psychologists believe anyone who accesses the Internet has the possibility to be addicted. Internet Addiction Disorder can happen to people who are depressed, lonely or high family conflicts.
Therefore, there is no exactly particular group affected by Internet Addiction Disorder. However, some specialists mention that age and education seem to impact the demographic profile of people with Internet Addiction Disorder. Especially, students and homemakers who are young or well educated are the major players.
Additionally, there is the most popular question from the millions of people that is "where do Internet users go when they are using the Internet?" The answer is that those people who are online addicts are often attracted by these kinds of website listed below:

1. Day trading
2. Adult sex chat
3. Online pornography
4. Playing computer games
5. Gambling in virtual casinos
6. Chatting with online strangers
7. Obsessively checking stock quotes
8. Searching for information not relevant to work

How about children? They are the most vulnerable candidates that everyone is concerned. The most popular place children always go is online game websites. Those can spend several hours on playing online games such as Counter Strike, League of Legends, World of Warcraft and so on. Some do not go to their schools but go to an internet cafe or their friends' houses so as to play those online games. Now the further question is not only about Internet addiction but it is about negative impacts on those children, particularly violence in the online games. The MMORPG's (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) are especially addicting as they allow a user to instantly communicate with hundreds if not thousands of other users.
MyOxfordcounsellorThere is currently a debate among psychologists and psychiatrists as to whether "Internet addiction" constitutes a true addiction and should therefore be recognised as a psychiatric disorder. The past 15 years have produced many empirical studies demonstrating that a significant number of individuals appear to report psychological problems associated with excessive Internet use. The extent and severity of these problems may be somewhat overestimated because of the relatively low methodological quality of many studies in this area. Most studies have utilised inconsistent criteria to identify Internet addicts and/or have applied recruitment methods that may have caused serious sampling bias.
More specifically in relation to Internet addiction criteria used in most studies, the main problems with the measures used is that they tend to:

• Have no measure of severity
• Have no temporal dimension
• Overestimate the prevalence of problems
• Take no account of the context of Internet use

With Internet addiction we need to distinguish between addictions on the Internet, and addictions to the Internet. Most “Internet addicts” are not addicted to the Internet itself, but use it as a medium to fuel other addictions. Some very excessive Internet users may not have any negative detrimental effects as a consequence of their behaviour and therefore cannot even be classed as addicted. In short, a gambling addict who uses the Internet to gamble is a gambling addict not an Internet addict. The Internet is just the place where they conduct their chosen (addictive) behaviour.
Children usually like to imitate what they see, so the Internet as medium can bring about violence to children as same as movies and television programs. It can be seen that Internet games can be a cause of violence because these games could invite players to engage with the action, disengage the critical faculties and take pleasure in the substitute experiences of gratuitous violence. Some Internet games send the following false messages to the players. The computer industry becomes more sophisticated in its productions. It can do the games more realistic version of events. Gaming texts therefore promote the idea of full sensory embodiment.

What are Internet addiction warning signs?

As a matter of fact, Internet users are able to know themselves if they devote their times to access the Internet too much. There are several characteristics of Internet addicts identified by many MOC - IA-4psychologists. Consequently, this part will offer the most significant warning signs of Internet addiction.
If you responded to four or more of the following statements, the Internet users may be suffering from Internet Addiction Disorder:

1. Feel preoccupied with the Internet while offline.
2. Feel a need to use the Internet with increasing amounts of time in order to achieve satisfaction.
3. Stay online longer than originally intended. 
4. Use the Internet as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a poor mood (feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety or depression).
5. Lie to family members or friends to conceal the extent of involvement with the Internet.
6. Jeopardise or risk the loss of a significant relationship, job, education or career opportunity because of the Internet.
7. Keep returning even after spending an excessive amount of money on on-line fees.
8. Go through withdrawal when offline (increased depression, anxiety).
9. Have an inability to control the Internet usage.
10. Feel restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop Internet use.

To deal with Internet addiction is certainly difficult thing to do. It is the same as facing with any other type of addiction. It can be said that although all addictions can be cured, as long as people agree to do whatever might be necessary. Definitely, this is not an easy procedure or practice.
Here at MyOxfordCounsellor you could benefit from my experience as a counsellor in this field and from the effective treatment programs which I develop for each client with Internet Addiction Disorder. I use my own strategies which so far have proven to be successful.





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