Internet Addiction

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There have been numerous definitions for Internet addiction during the past decade. Widyanto and Griffiths (2006) present the most general definition of this construct as being a subset of a technological addiction, which is defined as a non-chemical or behavioral addiction that involves human-machine interaction. These addictions can either be passive, such as viewing television, or active, such as playing computer games. It should be noted that there are many terms used to describe excessive Internet use: problematic Internet use, pathological Internet use, excessive Internet use, compulsive Internet, computer addiction, Internetomania (Shapira et al., 2003; Widyanto and Griffiths, 2006). The internet was created in the arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union, during The Cold War. Today the internet is known as a large access network of other interconnected computer network. The internet provides a plethora of information as well as many services that people is messaging, file sharing, social networking, gaming, etc. The internet is so “convenient” that many people could not even imagine life without it. There is so much information on the internet that it basically caters to anyone with access to it. Being so accessible, the internet can easily become addictive to people just as drug can. The dictionary defines addiction as the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming. ( www.oppapers.com) According to the presentation made by Dr. Mazumder, the term “Internet Addictive Disorder,” (IAD) was coined by a New York psychiatrist, Ivan Goldberg in 1996. And the term Pathological Internet Use (PIU) was assigned in 1996, by Kimberly Young, PsyD, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in Pennsylvania. Young defined Internet addiction as “an impulse control disorder which does not involve an intoxicant”. Davis (2001) distinguishes two types of pathological Internet use, as to their utility. Specific Pathological Internet Use (SPIU) is described as using the Internet to heighten the intensity of a pre-existing addiction and refers to those dependent on content specific functions of the Internet (e.g. online stock trading, auctions, and sexual material) while Generalized Pathological Internet Use (GPIU) is used to describe general, multi-dimensional use without a clear objective (e.g. wasting time, surfing, chatting, e-mailing) Results of studies that have reported the amount of time spent online in samples of individuals who describe themselves as Internet addicts have varied greatly from 8.5 hours per week to 21.2 hours per week (Yang & Tung, 2007). In the paper “Exploring Internet Addiction: demographic characteristics and stereotypes of heavy Internet users”, Soule and Kleen organized Internet addiction into five types (Soule and Kleen, 2003): 1.Cybersexual Addiction: compulsive use of adult websites for cybersex and cyberporn. Individuals who suffer from Cybersex/Internet pornography addiction are typically engaged in viewing, downloading, and trading online pornography or involved in adult fantasy role-play chat rooms. 2.Cyber-relationship Addiction: over-involvement in online relationships. Individuals who suffer from an addiction to chat rooms, IM, or social networking sites become over-involved in online relationships or may engage in virtual adultery. Online friends quickly become more important to the individual often at the expense of real life relationships with family and friends. In many instances, this will lead to marital discord and family instability. 3.Net Compulsions: obsessive online gambling, shopping, or day-trading. Addictions to online gaming, online gambling, and eBay are fast becoming new mental problems in the post-Internet Era. With the instant access to virtual casinos, interactive games, and eBay, addicts loose...
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