Caught in the Net: A Summary

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A Summary of the Essay “Caught in the Net”
In the essay “Caught in the Net” Eva Tihanyi explains that people use the internet in different ways and not all to the “same extent” (111). She classifies people into three types of internet users: “dabblers, regulars, or addicts” (111).

Tihanyi describes what attracts people to the Internet. She tells the reader how she uses the Internet every day. Eva Tinanyi shows from this description of her own personal use how the Internet is a way to obtain information as well as to socialize with others.

First, Tihanyi describes the “dabbler”. These people can be seen as occasional users. They spend significantly less time online than other users, just “a few hours a week” (111). Dabblers use the Internet for a specific purpose. Once that purpose has been achieved, they move onto something else. They also prefer other activities, such as meeting people for lunch or watching television to being online. Next Tihanyi discusses the characteristics of the regulars. She describes how “regulars visit the Net not just to gain information but to interact with others” (112). They use the Internet for news, shopping, research, and communication. They may find themselves in chat-rooms discussing topics with others who have the same interests. As regulars have several uses for the Internet they tend to spend more time online: “8—10 hours a week” (111), according to Tihanyi.

Finally, Eva Tihanyi uses a metaphor to compare the dabblers and regulars to the addicts: “They don’t surf the Net, they drown in it” (112). The Internet overwhelms those addicted to it. Tihnayi states that addicts spend “an average of 38 hours per week” online (112). She describes how they create virtual personalities and live virtual lives, eventually creating disorder in their professional and personal lives and causing unemployment and the breakdown of marriages. Tihanyi states that Internet addiction is “the first official mental health disorder...
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