Internet Addiction is a Real Problem.
What is the purpose intended of the Internet? Glenn Zachowski believes that it is intended for information when needed and like any other social function, short periods of pleasure. Just like with any social function, there is a chance for addiction. Internet addiction is a fast rising problem in the United States today. According to Dr. Cash, in his article Hooked on the Web, “…6 to 10% of 189 million Internet users in this country have a dependency that can be as destructive as alcoholism and drug addiction” (QTD. In Kershow 1). Some destructive problems of internet addiction are ignoring relationships, not going to work, and increased weight gain. The truth is that there are more than enough facts out there to show that internet addiction is a huge addictive threat.
Some of the symptoms of internet addiction are much similar to a gambling addict. In a interview with Glenn Zachowski, he shared his ideas “A person who neglects their own care and appearance, neglects normal socialization, doesn’t want to attend public events. Their emotions are not free flowing. They are more bottled up and secluded from other individuals. This can be very helpful when trying to decide if a loved one has a problem. It is not an addiction if a person works from home on EBay and use it as a profitable business. But if someone sits there for hours bidding on random items while missing work and time with their family, then this is a problem. It depends if the people have control over what they are doing or if the Internet has control over them.
Internet gambling is on the rise among teens and pre-teens, according to gambling addiction experts and psychiatrists, who cite a mountain of anecdotal evidence and research on the phenomenon. According to new data being released by the National Annenberg Risk Survey of Youth “approximately 357,000 males between the age of 14 and 17, are gambling online at least once a month” (Donaldson-Evens 1). The trend can be attributed to a growing acceptance of gambling in American culture, an increase in accessibility because of the Internet and more betting shows on TV. According J. Michael Faragher, from the Fox news article “Junior Jackpot: Teen Gambling On the Rise”, “kids are three times as likely as adults to get hooked on a bad habit, meaning up to 12 percent of children and teens who gamble will probably become addicts” (qtd. In Donaldson-Evens 1).
For example, Poker is one of the largest gambling games on the internet. There are many sites were teens can go to and play without having to spend any money at all. Pogo.com gives teens an option to play five card draw with fake money given to them. There are some Internet sites such as pokerstars.net where teens actually can use a credit card and bet online. Just about every 16-year-old has a credit card which they get from their parents. That card works perfectly with this site and will allow them full access to Internet tables of poker. “Kids are more susceptible,” says Faragher, “they don’t have the kind of control and brain executive functions adults have” (qtd. in Kershow 1). There needs to be more control on the Internet to make sure that teens do not fall into these addictive traps.
One of the most argued addictions is online video games. These games take a place by players creating his/her own character and then leveling it up though a series of quests. Each quest can take hours to fully complete depending on the player’s knowledge of the quest and the game. A patient of Dr. Cash, Mike, is an example of the symptom of video game addiction. Dr. Cash states
On a list of 15 symptoms of Internet addiction used for diagnosis by Internet/Computer Addiction Services, Mike, who is unemployed and living with his mother, checked off 13, including intense cravings for the computer, lying about how much time he spends online, withdrawing from hobbies and social interactions, back pain...
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