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Study: The Reality of Internet Addiction

Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, April 26, 2010 10:14 AM EST
Category: Protecting Your Family
Tags: Internet, Addiction, American Psychiatric Association, University of Maryland, Journalism

Students underwent signs of addiction withdrawl when removed from the Internet, this study finds.

Addiction Symptoms



Forget drug and alcohol addictions.

American college students are hooked on social media, cellphones and the Internet, complete with symptoms of addiction say researchers from the University of Maryland.

When 200 students were asked to give up all media for a full day, after 24 hours many showed signs of anxiety, withdrawal, and an inability to function. Worst was going without texting, email and Facebook, reports the New York Times.

For many it was synonymous of going without friends and family.

"Texting and IM-ing my friends gives me a constant feeling of comfort," wrote one of the students, who blogged about their reactions. "When I did not have those two luxuries, I felt quite alone and secluded from my life."

How bad can the addiction get?

A soon to be released memoir, “Unplugged: My Journey Into the Dark World of Videogame Addiction” tells the story of Ryan Van Cleave who considered suicide the day he decided to end his World of Warcraft addiction.

South Korea classifies 49 million as “Internet addicts,” including one couple who let their three month old starve to death while they were busy on the Internet.

Students did not turn to watching TV news or reading a newspaper, tasks that people of just the previous generation learned to enjoy. Students also did not differentiate between information and news and had no affiliation or loyalty to any particular news program.

Addiction Treatment

The American Psychiatric Association does not yet formally recognize Internet addiction. But a private center called ReSTART opened near Microsoft in Redmond Washington to treat video gaming, texting and excessive use of the Internet.

Besides spending an increasing amount of time on internet activities, other signs of addiction, according to ReSTART include:

• Failed attempts to control behavior

• Heightened sense of euphoria while involved in computer and internet activities

• Craving more time on the computer and internet

• Neglecting friends and family

• Feeling restless when not engaged in the activity

• Being dishonest with others

• Computer use interfering with job/school performance

• Feeling guilty, ashamed, anxious, or depressed as a result of behavior

• Changes in sleep patterns

• Physical changes such as weight gain or loss, backaches, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome

• Withdrawing from other pleasurable activities #


Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, April 26, 2010 10:45 AM EST

Related Story from the Washington Post today:

"The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide whether California can ban the sale or rental of violent video games to children.

The court will review a federal court's decision to throw out California's ban. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Sacramento said the law violated minors' rights under the First and Fourteenth amendments to the Constitution.

California's law would have prohibited the sale or rental of violent games to anyone under 18..."


Posted by Mstardom
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 6:42 PM EST

Violent video games should be ban, especially if they are designed for kids. We as a society should be fostering good behaviors in kids, not violent ones.

No wonder there are some many unfortunate incidents happening all around us. Kids grow-up, not knowing or understanding the difference between bad things and good ones simply because they are introduced to violent toys at a young age.

When I was growing up, my dad would not allow us to play with plastic toys that are classified as dangerous. If he catches us playing with such toys, he would speak to us about it and reprimand us.

Comments for this article are closed.

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