For some users surfing the Internet becomes the obsession of need. Virtual reality gradually replacing real-life ghostly friends on the net are suddenly soulmates, while daily activities become unbearable routines.
To give just two examples, in September 2007 a 30-year-old man in China died in an Internet Cafe, after 72 hours of continuous play a game online. A similar case was reported two years earlier in South Korea, while another man died after playing Starcraft for 50 hours, all in an Internet Cafe.
Although not yet defined as a true addiction, many people suffer the consequences of obsession about the online world, warns Dr. Diane M. Wieland, professor at La Salle University, Philadelphia, treating patients with addiction to computer. Although the rate of Internet addiction is hard to measure now, dr. Wieland believed that between 5 and 10% of Internet users go on to develop addiction.
The criteria used by therapists to identify net addiction
1 Are you concerned about the Internet (often think about what you did before the net or anticipate next online session)?
2 Feel the need to use the Internet more long time?
3 Have you repeatedly made unsuccessful efforts and to reduce the use of the Internet?
4 Do you feel restless, moody, depressed or irritable when you have to pull off the Net?
5 Do you stay more online than you proposed?
6 Use the Internet as a way to escape everyday problems?
7 Have you lied to family or friends hiding them your concern more intense Internet?
8 You risked the loss of an important relationship, a job or career because of the Internet?
Physical symptoms of excessive use of the Internet is manifested by headache, disturbance in attention, feeling of tiredness of the eyes, blurred vision, pain in the neck and shoulder muscles.
Alarm signals excessive use of the Internet
1 change lifestyle to be able to spend as much time on the net
2 decreased physical activity
3 lack of interest in their own health
4 giving up important activities to remain longer on the net
5 deprivation of sleep or changes in sleep rhythm, the same purpose
6 drastic decrease in social activity, resulting in the alienation of friends
7 gradual neglect of the family
8 desire to spend more time online
9 neglecting job and personal obligations
Internet Addiction covers a wide variety of behaviors and problems, the most common being the use of virtual sex addiction sites adult online game addiction, whether by luck or not, and virtual networking addiction, specifically a supraimplicare in relationships with the opposite sex.
The difference between computer addiction and the Internet lies precisely in relation to other people. If Internet addiction is about inclusion in a network of users, very large, in which you know that you're never alone, that any time you can contact with someone else, even if you propusesesi this entry online.
What comes first, depression or Internet addiction?
There is no clear answer and, especially, generally applicable to this question, researchers unable accurately demonstrate whether depression precedes the misuse of the Internet, or is a consequence of it.
Usually, people who choose to flee Internet experience lower self-esteem and fear of being rejected by others.
Solitaries are drawn to electronic communication because it provides anonymity, anonymity which helps to overcome the difficulties of real-life relationships.
Psychologists say that computer mediated communication and removes us more than others, the absence paraverbal elements (eg, high tone of voice) and nonverbal ones such as gaze, gestures, touch.
The disappearance of facial expressions, voice and eye contact inflexiunii make communication less threatening on the net, helping them overcome those shy discomfort that occurs when they meet and talk directly with others.
Online disinhibition effect
It is well known that people say and do things in cyberspace that they would not do in a face to face relationship. On the net are more relaxed, uninhibited and thus express more freely. This disinhibition effect is of two kinds. Some share very personal things, deep emotions, fears or desires. Experts call this benign disinhibition.
There are also a toxic disinhibition, which is manifested by foul language, anger, hatred and even threats by exploring pornographic sites or those who have explicit violence, places that these people would actually visit.
Why do we feel so attracted to virtual friends?
Firstly because of the protection they offer anonymity and the fact that we are not forced to look him in the eyes that talk. In special situations, when discussing emotional topics, people tend to bypass gaze, is easier to talk about personal things without even look in your eyes.
Extremely important is asincronicitatea, that we are not forced to deal with the immediate reaction of the other. Benefiting from the facility to "stop time" after saying something conversational partner and talk back to us only when we are prepared to deal with.
On the other hand, communicating online with someone, it becomes a character in our inner world, not as we modeled a character presents himself on the Internet, but according to expectations, wishes and our needs.
Moreover, not being present in the vicinity, some people believe that imaginary character "created" exist in another world, devoid of expectations and responsibilities of the real. These people separate fiction from reality online offline, and therefore do not consider that to be held responsible for what I do on the Internet.
How to get rid of Internet addiction?
Hard. Through therapy and medication, especially with family and friends need to notify the danger in which we find ourselves and to help us.
After China and South Korea have admitted that they face serious problems in this regard and decided to allocate space and funds for finding serious treatments in Europe in March 2007 opened the first clinic for Internet addiction rehab in Amsterdam.
"Denial is strong among Internet addicts who say it is impossible to be dependent on a car," said dr. Wieland. Answer "one more minute" to request to get on the Internet is similar to that given by an alcoholic who says he will quit "after another glass."