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How much is too much Internet use? When you feel more comfortable with your online friends than your real ones, or you can’t stop yourself from playing games, gambling, or compulsively surfing, than you may be using the Internet too much. Or even worse, are an Internet addict.
IN 2005, a South Korean man died
after reportedly playing an online computer game for 50 hours with few breaks.
The 28-year-old man collapsed after playing at an Internet cafe in the city of
Taegu. The news reports state the man had not slept properly and had eaten very
little during his marathon session. It goes on to say that the cause of death
was heart failure stemming from exhaustion. South Korea is a pretty wired
country. The Internet penetration there is very high. Malaysia´s not quite
Studies suggest that 1 in 8 Americans suffer from problematic Internet use. Those estimates are higher in China, Taiwan, and Korea where 30 percent or more of the population may experience problematic Internet use.
The online, interactive game craze in China continues to astound analysts. The market for fantasy and adventure "massively multiplayer online role-playing games" (MMORPGs) shot up 54% to $460 million in 2005, and research firm IDC predicts China will overtake South Korea as the biggest Asian market for this type of Net entertainment by next year.
What is Internet Addiction?
Internet addiction is defined as any online-related, compulsive behavior which interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on family, friends, loved ones, and one's study or work environment.
Symptoms often identified were
While controversial, the researchers concluded that “the more hours people use the
Internet, the less time they spend in contact with real human beings.”
Types of Internet Addictions
The Process of Internet Addiction
Similar to other addictions like to gambling, smoking, drugs, alcohol or sex.
The keyword is RELATIONSHIP.
Internal addiction destroys relationship with God, with other people and with yourself.
With God, you have replaced God with the Internet. You look to the Internet for comfort, security and peace.
With other people, Internet takes up so much of your time, money, and energy that you have no time for other people, social communal interactions and friendship building.
With yourself, the Internet destroys your concept of relationship by offering you a false delusion that it will supply all your needs.
You are at greater risk of Internet addiction:
The Signs of Problematic Computer Use
A person who is “addicted” to the computer is likely to have several of the experiences and feelings on the list below: How many of them describe you?
Being “addicted” to the computer also can cause physical discomfort. Are you suffering from the following physical problems?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been shown to be an effective treatment for compulsive disorders such as intermittent explosive disorder, and pathological gambling. CBT is a familiar treatment based on the premise that thoughts determine feelings. Patients are taught to monitor their thoughts and identify those that trigger addictive feelings and actions while they learn new coping skills and ways to prevent a relapse. CBT usually requires three to months of treatment or approximately 12 weekly sessions. The early stage of therapy is behavioral, focusing on specific behaviors and situations where the impulse control disorder causes the greatest difficulty. As therapy progresses, there is more of a focus on the cognitive assumptions and distortions that have developed and the effects of these on behavior. This involves assessment of the type of distortion, problem-solving skills and coping strategies training, modeling in therapy, support groups, and keeping thought journals (Treatment Outcomes with Internet Addicts
Dr. Kimberly S. Young, Clinical Director Center for Internet Addiction Recovery Published in CyberPsychology & Behavior, 2007, Vol. 10, No. 5; pp. 671-679).
Helping a child or teen with an Internet addiction
It’s a fine line as a parent. If you severely limit a child or teen’s Internet use, they might rebel and go to excess. But you can and should model appropriate computer use, supervise computer activity and get your child help if he or she needs it. If your child or teen is showing signs of Internet addiction, there are many things that you as a parent can do to help:
How to Help Computer Obsessed Friends
Approach to Break the Bondage of Internet Addiction (adapted from Alcoholic Anonymous)
1. Admit that you are an Internet Addict
2. Confess to God and ask for his help
3. Confess to your trusted friends and ask for their help
4. Say no to Internet Addiction. DELETE all facebook etc accounts. Use the Net only for work or study purposes. Connect to people by phone.
5. Be accountable to one or two other trusted persons. Find a support group of former Internet addicts
6. Find alternative ways to replace the Internet in your life
7. If you fail, try, try again.
There is a need to differentiate Internet Addiction from excessive use of Internet. Excessive use may not be healthy either but is not a bondage. Internet addiction is a bondage and you need to be set free.
Note: acknowledgements to all the sources used. This article is for information and not for commercial use.
| posted 24 November 2010 |
An earlier article I wrote on Internet addiction before facebook etc. Confessions of an Internet Addict
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"spiritual forming disciples of Jesus Christ with informed minds, hearts on fire and contemplative in actions"
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