Definition of internet addiction disorder There is no conclusive definition of internet addiction disorder amongst the researchers; however, one is of a view that 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 work environment.
Internet addiction has been called Internet dependency and Internet compulsivity. By any name, it is a compulsive behavior that completely dominates the addicts life. Internet addicts make the Internet a priority more Han family, friends, and work. The Internet becomes the organizing principle of addicts’ lives. They are willing to sacrifice what they cherish most in order to preserve and continue their unhealthy behavior. The disorder occurs worldwide, but mainly in countries where computer access and technology are widespread.
As Africa is a developing continent the disorder is not as rife as in the Northern countries. 2. 2 Various types of internet addiction According to Lessee et al (2012:195) subscribers addiction is an internet addiction with a focus on the abuse of adult websites for cyber and cyberpunk. It has the ability to cause serious negative consequences to one’s physical, mental, social, and financial well-being. Addicts feel the urge to engage in online sex and porn and therefore neglect Page 5 of 14 the actual world where physical intimacy takes precedence.
This leads to spousal neglect and in case where an addict is not in a relationship, it can cause lack of interest in establishing the usual physical relationship. As some websites require one to subscribe, one ends up disposing a percentage of one’s income to these websites, and thus have dire financial consequences. An addict does not insider himself an addict and is likely to continue with this behavior for a long period because in his eyes there is no problem, it is just a lifestyle choice.
According to Wisped, the majority of reasons why individuals experiment with such forms of sexual expression are diverse, and can be associated with an individual’s psychological disorders or issues. Individuals who suffer from low self-esteem, severely distorted body image, untreated sexual dysfunction, social isolation, depression, or are in recovery from a prior sexual addiction are more vulnerable to subscribers addictions. With the increasing availability f pornographic material, subscribers addiction is likely to be on the increase.
During the past months we were introduced to new comers in the field through the media in the form of Vend Porn, which was shot in the rural Vend. Porn has made inroads even to traditionally laid back areas such as Vend. Access to porn in these areas can lead to addiction and dysfunction in traditional values such as family. Not all internet surfers who visit adult websites should be classified as subscribers addicts however they risk becoming addicts if they continue spending more time on these websites.
Research done by Gizmo shows that he world’s top porn sites?Spiders, Liveliness, Weaponry, Tube, Pronoun?are on par with Google and Backbone. Spiders alone averages 4. 4 billion page views per month, double what Reedit pulls over the same time and triple what CNN can do. And it’s not just the amount of traffic that these sites generate, it’s the length of individual visits as well. Most sites, Gizmo included, average three to six minutes per visit. Porn sites average five times that?15-20 minutes per visit.
This simply means taking part in social networks, chat rooms and virtual messaging online to a point in which these online relationships mean more Han real-life relationships with friends or family members. Cyber-relationship addiction is also called internet infidelity and an addict engaged in an online affair goes through several personality changes and often rationalist that an online affair isn’t really cheating. They believe it is a harmless flirtation because it doesn’t involve any “physical touching”.
However, the emotional pain and devastation to a once warm and loving relationship is just the same. Lessee et al (2012: 195) further echoes that the relationships may be emotional or even subscribers in nature, and addicts may use the anonymity of the internet to explore alternative identities by changing the age, gender or personality of Page 6 of 14 their online persona. The addict has the potential to become a stalker or a photographed because by altering the identity, the addict can engage with underage internet users and end-up committing crime.
With the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) monitoring the internet for various cyber crimes, addicts who alter their identities and engage in underage cyber relationship may be caught in the act and be prosecuted, this can cause embarrassment to their families and end up in spouses divorcing them. “The Internet is known as a Redding ground for illicit affairs between people often hiding behind fake names and handles. But most such virtual relationships aren’t dangerous as this when “Adulthood” and “Innerspring struck up a relationship online, it ended in murder.
Americanizes was 46-year old Thomas Montgomery, a married father of two. In May, 2005, posing as a young, handsome Iraq-bound Marine, he entered a teen chat room the popular game site “Pogo. ” (Avail, Mart & Neapolitan 2011). With the widespread of internet use through computers, cellophanes and tablets, many people are able to serve the net and as a result escalate the number of Weber-relationships. New chat sites such as We Chat enter the market at the rapid pace and it shows that there is a demand for cyber communication.
Internet gaming addiction which is also known as net compulsions is extreme online gaming which also includes extreme online gambling and shopping. It has social consequences as addicted gamers spend so much time playing that their personal relationships get neglected and sometimes disappear altogether. An addicted gamer who loses sleep because he’s playing so much simply doesn’t have the energy to invest in relationships. Lack of sleep may also make IM irritable and difficult to be around. It’s not just neglect that costs addicted gamers their relationship.
Some of them talk so much about their game of choice to the exclusion of everything else that people no longer want to be around them. He can’t or won’t engage in real world conversations or be a source of support or encouragement to friends and family. Because their peers talk about other things, they begin to feel left out, which in turn causes them to feel irritated or offended. It doesn’t occur to them that they have chosen to be left out by devoting all their time to game of which they are in denial about.
Some addicts even go an extra mile by continuing their addiction at work. They become less productive and denominated. In the long they end up losing their jobs or be placed on probation. This can make them lose their families. Among the online gamers young people take lead. That is why the current youth generation is known as the techno-generation because technology has replaced physical games. They even play games to compete with each on who is the best scorer. With various technological gaming gadgets on the market, the suppliers also contribute to the problem.
They push the products on the market for Page 7 of 14 financial gains whilst contributing to the widespread addiction. In the asses, online games became popular, while studies of Internet gaming addiction emerged, outlining the negative consequences of excessive gaming, its prevalence, and associated risk factors. Kiss (2013) stresses out that the establishment of specialized treatment centers in South-East Asia, the US, and Europe reflects the growing need for professional help. Internet gaming is a booming market.
In 2012, more than one billion individuals played computer games, which fuelled the 8% growth of the computer gaming industry in the name year. A recent report by the market research company Nick Partners has estimated the People’s Republic of China’s online gaming market at $12 billion in 2013. Computer addiction is an offline excessive use of computer to an extent that it interferes with normal daily life. As with most other dependencies, specific questions can be asked to assess whether or not someone may suffer from computer addiction.
These questions include assessing how much time is spent on the computer or playing offline games, sometimes relative to how much time is spent interacting with real people. It is a disorder because addicts turn to the computer or play offline computer games such as Solitaire, Spider Solitaire and Pajama in an attempt to change moods, overcome anxiety, deal with depression, reduce isolation or loneliness, or distract themselves from overwhelming problems. The elderly, as well as children and adolescents, are particularly vulnerable because they may not realism the extent of their dependency.
In case of scholars who are addicts, excessive use of computer interferes with their school work, and they end up obtaining lower marks which lead to failure and then trouble with parents. It is a cycle which has the potential to affect every aspect of an addicts life. Addicts have a tendency of frequently turning down social invitation in favor of ‘date’ with the computer and thus have an adverse impact on relationships. Because addicts are in denial of their behavior and have a tendency of hiding it from people close to them they run a risk of attaining help at the volatile stages of addiction where severe damage has been incurred.
Computer addicts may neglect personal hygiene, have poor sleep habits, give up healthy physical activities, and may make meal decisions based on quick and say preparation so that gaming is not interrupted rather than dietary needs. These can lead to health issues such as obesity as mobility is minimal. Page 8 of 14 “Many academic researchers have tried to define internet surfing addiction. It is apparent from their definitions that they agree that internet surfing addiction is a compulsive disorder. Some have defined it as an information over-load addiction.
By and large, internet surfing addiction is a term used to describe the mental status of the people who are simply obsessed with the idea of surfing the internet” (Lessee et al 2012: 198). Using the internet for hours on end can result in withdrawal symptoms similar to the ‘comedown’ experienced by drug users, scientists warned yesterday. Researchers found spending excessive periods of time surfing the internet left people in ‘negative moods’. And, like drug addicts, when heavy internet users go back on the web their negative moods lift.
The research was carried out on 60 volunteers with an average age of 25 at Swansea University College of Human and Health Sciences. Scientists say the results could mean society is in for some ‘nasty surprises’ if internet use increases as expected. Professor Phil Reed, from the university psychology department, said: ‘Our results show that around half of the young people we studied spend so much time on the net that it has negative consequences for the rest of their lives” (Daily mail reporter 2013).
There is an influx of information about anything on the internet and people are drawn to this information to increase their knowledge however without limiting internet surfing time, one can end up being an addict. It becomes an addiction when one surf the internet longer than originally planned, think about the next online surf even when one is not on the internet, tried to stop surfing before but were unable to discontinue using the computer, lied about internet use to hide the amount of time spend surfing the net, when one is away from surfing, one is irritable and using internet surfing as scapegoat from real problems.
Online gambling also known as gambling is an internet gambling using any digital means, be that, computer, cellophane or tablet. It differs from computer gaming in that it is online whereas computer gaming is offline. It forms part of net compulsions behavior. A key issue relating to online gambling is that of financial risk and, potentially, significant loss. It is perfectly possible to gamble away one’s savings, house, car and inheritance. This is, to some degree, related to the issue of gambling addiction, in the hope that ‘just one more bet’ will win it all back.
The internet has however made gambling easier. A myriad of sites have sprung up in recent years offering countless gambling opportunities: online lotteries, bingo, or the more ‘traditional’ card games such as blackjack or poker, providing opportunities to gamble in real-time, around the clock. In South Africa, online gambling has been in existence since 1997 introduced by Omni Casino. Since then, online gambling has grown to have a dedicated website for the South African players. Online Casino Safari offers online gambling to the South African market.
This is an example of how online gambling has penetrated the developing world. Whilst battling real-time gambling another strain is exerted, in a form of online gambling. Scratch. Com states that, The South African government is not as keen on Page 9 of 14 Internet gambling in South Africa, though, it seems that the government passed a law in 2011 to deter online gambling companies from doing business with players in that country. However, players were not addressed in the law, which makes it safe for South African online gambling fans to compete without fear of criminal prosecution.
While the desire for online betting and gaming is there, international online casinos will offer legal services to players in AZ. Players in AZ are beginning to demand the freedom to enjoy gambling online, and the government is beginning to listen. In the meantime, there are numerous Internet gambling websites that offer virtual casino action to those players . The socio- economic that this modern form of e-gambling has on a general society, the inhabitants which have access to the internet, cannot be ignored.
There is a danger that online gambling will be abused by underage gamblers. Most sites rely on the correctness of information given by the would-be gambler without making verification checks and it can lead to theft of credit cards and gambling by underage gamblers. Virtual crime has the possibility of escalating real crimes by juveniles. 2. 3 Symptoms of internet addiction The Internet has made life a lot easier by making information more accessible to all and creating connections with different people around the world.
However, it has also led a lot of people to spend too much time in front of the computer, so much so that it becomes the center of their lives. Just like any addiction, the symptoms of internet addiction are as follows: Increasing amounts of time spent on computer and internet activities: internet time surpasses any time spent on other activities. Being dishonest with others: hiding actual activities, behavior and amount of time spent on the internet. Withdrawing from other pleasurable activities: finding other activities boring and substituting them with internet activities.
Physical changes such as weight gain or loss, backaches, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome: being seated most of the time can result in weight gain because of binging or neglect eating which will result in weight loss. Spending too much seating will cause backaches, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome (numbness in fingers and toes). Isolation from family and friends: being less involved in family activities and losing out on benefits of physical relationships.
Page 10 of 14 Having trouble completing tasks at work or home: not being a team-player at home, work or school. Always lagging behind in house chores, school work or work tasks. Feeling a sense of euphoria while involved in internet activities: feeling sexually gratified and less stressed out whenever on the internet. 2. 4 Prevention and treatment of internet addiction “You will probably agree that prevention is better than cure, no matter what is being prevented. Thus it is of the utmost importance to know how to prevent AD” (COMMODE 2011: 185).
The following are typical preventive and treatment mechanisms: Recognize any underlying problems that may support your Internet addiction. If one is struggling with depression, stress, or anxiety, for example, Internet addiction might be a way to self-soothe rocky moods. Have you had problems with alcohol or drugs in the past? Does anything about your Internet use remind you of how you used to drink or use drugs to numb yourself? Recognize if you need to address treatment in these areas or return to group support meetings.
Build your coping skills. Perhaps blowing off steam on the Internet is one’s way of coping with stress or angry feelings. Or maybe one has trouble relating to others, or is excessively shy with people in real life. Building skills in these areas will help one weather the stresses and strains of daily life without resorting to compulsive Internet use. Strengthen your support network. The more relationships you have in real life, the less one will need the Internet for social interaction. Set aside dedicated time each week for friends and family.
If one is shy, try finding common interest groups such as a sports team, education class, or book reading club. This allows one to interact with others and let relationships develop naturally. Multi-level counseling model. Since a multi-level counseling model is effective in helping people with addictive behavior, an intervention model incorporating an individual counseling component, a family counseling component, and a peer support component was developed (Lessee et al 2012:201). Page 11 of 14 Utilization of case work and group work.
Since peer relations are very important in adolescent development, a peer support group approach was used as a supplement to the case work approach. With the use of group dynamics, mutual support, and modeling opportunities, group members can learn from each other (Lessee et al 2012:201). It is quite clear that internet addiction is comprised of various variables and continues to be a field of interest to scholars and researchers. It has been proven that before an individual develops an internet addiction, he may begin using the web on casual basis then continue his use in an unhealthy ways.
Many factors can cause internet addiction, similar to a shopping addict who experiences euphoria when on a spending spree, an individual suffering from an internet addiction may feel a rush and fulfillment when he turns on his computer browsing his favorite websites. If internet addiction caused no harm, there would be no problem. But when excessive computer use becomes addictive, something starts to suffer. You may not have any real personal relationships, or he ones you do have may be neglected or suffer arguments over your internet use.
You may see your grades and other achievements suffer from so much of your attention being devoted to internet use. You may also have little energy for anything other than computer use; internet addicts are often exhausted from staying up too late on the computer and becoming sleep deprived. They also suffer from denials.