Internet-use Disorder: Compulsive Addiction or Society’s New Direction?
by Mandy Teerlink
Psychologists are now categorizing addictions to internet gaming and gambling as a psychological disorder. They are focusing most of their research on the rising generation, as they are more prone to this kind of disorder which can be detrimental to health. However, the disorder still requires much more research before psychologists will be able to fully understand the phenomenon or treat it.
Some symptoms that have been established so far are:
- Obsession with internet gaming
- Withdrawal symptoms when not using the internet
- Necessity of using the internet more and more to achieve the same high
- Lack of interests/hobbies
- Internet replaces human relationships
- Internet becomes a tool to escape sadness/depression
- Failed attempts to quit using the internet as often
(List courtesy of care2.com)
The effects of internet-use disorder still require heavy research, but some studies have revealed that the effects can be similar to drug addiction.
Meanwhile, the necessity of declaring internet addiction an actual disorder has come under fire. The web is a relatively new addition to our society, and we are still learning how to apply its many uses. Internet usage that may seem excessive to adults is commonplace for many children. With the increasing advances in technology, it may be that internet junkies are the way of the future.