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Hey guys,

I wanted to know what you think about internet addictions? I have suffered from a serious addiction from online gaming (PC games). Just recently have I overcame it. It has really affected my life in a negative way. I wasnt social in school, I found it much easier to meet online people than get along with friends in real life. I would play upwards of 25-30 hours a week during my school year and 60-80 hours during the summer. I would go through the day thinking about playing games, and it sucked. My parents were upset with me, I had friends, but never really hung out after school.

Luckily, I slowly got bored of it. It took about 4 years for me to realize that it was doing no good. The only thing that I have learned was how to type, how to program simple scripts, and learn the in's and out's of computers. Granted, that can help if you want to go into the field, but I am going to be an econ major so it is kind of irrelevant.

For some reason, I think that my addiction isnt really gone, but I use a different vise to sooth it. As you can see, I am active on these forums, as well as my facebook, and another forum. It seems like my addiction went from gaming to online web surfing. I have noticed a serious difference in my social status. I have came out of my shy shell, I go to parties when I can, hang out with friends often. So, I do think I have improved my life by leaving games.

So what do you think? Kind of like an open discussion, do you think there is such a thing as an internet addiction?

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Hi UnsureLifeJon,

I think you're right, that the internet can become an addiction. I'm on nightly, and even pretty much can't wait to get back on after dinner everyday. To me the internet is more like a friend, especially since I found the communities. I have someone to talk to without being judged since you remain anonymous. I can get opinions and advice without being "put down" by anyone, or use it as a sounding board for my problems. It doesn't do much for my social life, but then I don't really have one being a caregiver anyway. However, I do feel I am being social and in touch by talking to somebody online. I also use the internet to catch up on my reading by subscribing to one of those E-reader websites; good way to catch up on my reading without having to go to the library all the time, and my book is always in (of course you do have to pay for most of the books, but they are cheaper than the bookstore and many titles are under $5 or free). It seems you may have benefitted from the social websites like facebook as you are going out more often. All in all, I think it's a positive addiction, depending on your circumstances.

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http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=3830&cn=66

There is a good introduction to internet addiction on this site. The tricky part of the internet is that there are not very many boundaries for users to use. People can click on bookmarks, zip into different features offerred online, and then become engaged in tasks that they did not originally set out to do. For instance, when one sets out to check email, he can easily end up following a rabbit trail and find himself reading an article on Wikipedia that has not much to do with the original task. Certainly, this is not necessarily bad, but it may easily become a time trap.

As for whether internet addiction exists, I think it does exist, and that the symptoms described in the above article are pretty good signals that may suggest one is an internet addict. One of the important signals is when one begins to neglect physical needs – their own or those of others - in order to continue online activities. Another is when someone neglects their own responsibilities as well. For example, neglecting to take out the trash, wash the dishes, do the laundry, etc. When going online is truly confused as a basic need to live, there may be a problem.

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Thanks for the posts!

I think you are both right. The internet has many positive upsides with rather limited downsides. I think it can certainly be a "time trap", as I said before I spent too many hours playing video games on the net. I think that is should be studied more heavily because I know many people that are (IMO) dependent on the internet. They do seem to keep their priorities in check, but sometimes they get a little slack.

I guess for me, since I was bullied in middle school, getting into an online gaming life was too tempting. It wasnt being judged, and I would get to interact with humans on a day to day basis for hours on end. I was able to manage my grades as well as my athletics, but I couldnt wait to get home and get on my computer. I needed to play everyday. When I would go on vacation, my mind was on the computer most of the time, I couldnt enjoy the beach or where ever I was.

Today, it seems whenever I get bored I get on the net. When I am out with friends, doing homework, or doing chores around the house, my mind isnt drifting off into online gaming. So I think I have overcome my addiction to a point, but I think that I will always enjoy the internet more than I should.

If you were to know someone with an "internet addiction", would you interact them like a drug addict? By this I mean, when you see someone with a problem, like alcohol or cocaine, would you be proactive and try to help them? It seems like some people dont think it is a serious addiction, when I know first hand how difficult it can be to get off of it. Health wise, it is probably the healthiest addiction, as long as you keep your nutrition good and shower. It is by no means as life threatening as controlled substances. But do you consider it to be a serious addiction?

Edited by UnsureLifeJon
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No, I do not consider internet addiction to be as serious as abusing hard drugs. The risks one takes consuming street drugs are completely different compared to someone who may or may not have an internet addiction. As the article suggests, there is no definitive factor where one can say in the positive that person A has a serious addiction to the internet. Time spent interacting on the net alone is not enough as people do have careers that exploit the internet, and may function very healthily in their other responsibilities. But, should one come across another person who behaves like Sandra Hacker, as mentioned in the introduction, then clearly support will have to be offered.

Also, there is nothing wrong with enjoying the internet while not enjoying an idyllic beach setting or wherever you are. Some people expect to have a good time with friends or family at the beach so they have expectations, focus on them, and act upon them. Yet, there will be members of the same group who have no expectations whatsoever regarding a beach so they will think of other things. It's just a matter of communicating and sharing the same goals and intentions with all the participants.

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That is a good point. Life is about enjoying the most of it right?

During the last 5 years of my life, I found the most enjoyment playing games on the internet. It bothered me that my parents constantly pestered me about playing the "internet games" less. Eventually they started to back off of it, like they have given up hope. But now that I think about it, maybe the understood that it was my source of happiness. It hadn't effected my grades, I did what they asked, and was still honest to them. It was a confusing time for me.

With marijuana, people tend to grow out of it. It is typically used in high school and college. Perhaps my case of internet addiction is similar in the fact that I am growing out of it. I am starting to change habits, make decisions for my future rather than the present. I guess I am maturing?

Thanks for the posts! I think this "discussion" has really helped close some issues of mine.

-Jon

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Hi UnsureLifeJon,

I'm glad you are growing out of this internet addiction and maturing. I'm just the opposite--I'm getting more and more into it as I mature (age). I actually use the internet to keep me distracted and to tire myself out to keep from thinking too much about things which keep me awake, lying in bed trying desperately to sleep. So, I guess it's a good or bad thing depending on personal need. I'm glad this discussion has cleared some things up for you. Take care...

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Personally, I think the Internet has its good points & bad points!

I would agree with Kaudio in the fact that you could go on the net answering your emails & end up looking through a site that you didn't even know existed! Taking up time that you could of looked at by doing something else that is important in your everyday living!

What I try to do is limit myself throughout the day, spent on the Internet. I find that because my son has a Laptop & I have a PC, that when he goes out to College or his girlfriends and his laptop is so easly available, I tend to spend more time on the net on his laptop, because I can plug it into any room that I am, or even when it is lovely outside like it is now, then I just get an extension and sit in my garden on the laptop. Where as I couldn't do that with my PC.

The net does take a considerable amount of my time but... with what I've been through these last couple of years & still going through, that I don't know where I'd be without the net? Well I've got a good idea, and it's not being here talking to you guy's IMO!

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Like Paula says, the internet has its good and bad points..

I find it very addictive...I spend way too much time online for my own good..I don't know what I'd do without the internet:eek: I suppose in a way it's a place for us to hide from reality.

It can be a serious addiction... for me, I go through phases where I practically live online and I completely lose track of time.. Then I start to feel bad because I've wasted so much time and I try to stay away from the computer but it's so hard to break this habit!

I still love my little computer though...I'd be lost without it....

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My thoughts on video games as a source of happiness is that the games provide an outlet for the players. Games provide a framework for competitive and cooperative play, and the players are able to compete with each other and in groups, sharing their successes and losses, their drive to win with each other, and the knowledge they gain in order to develop a reputation of the “strongest”. The feeling of the win, especially when one shares this feeling with a group, can be very powerful. But, in real life, this framework is not as readily provided as a package.

People tend not to be comfortable celebrating progress – any progress – in real life, whether they win or lose from their own perspectives. So, for instance, if a student succeeds in any given subject, a parent may complement him for the effort, and immediately pressure him to improve his scores overall. Thus, the student will tend not to celebrate his success in one subject as he immediately focuses on the subjects he is not doing as well in. In other words, even if this student may have something to celebrate over, he is taught that his progress is not yet worthy of such positive recognition. This process is not restricted to child-parent relationships and can be present between employees and employers, etc.

Students are not taught to play cooperatively, but to remain independent. There is no encouragement given to students to seek help in groups in the way a dedicated player will often seek squads. Culturally, people are inclined to study alone, to raise their grades alone, and this leads to the false logic that people somehow manage to do everything alone. But, video games often take an opposite approach by encouraging players to partake in some way the experiences of others. Ladder systems post the results of every match a player participates in, replays are often easily created to allow players to review exciting matches, and groups often begin practice matches with a focus on teaching members specific tactics observed from others. Clans, squads, and other groups tend to create sites and small communities online to keep their members updated on the latest plans and other information.

The behaviour of a group in a game assumes that success depends on how effectively they can meet the game objectives. Almost immediately, without much concious thought, players immediately apply their imaginations to see how their own groups can achieve the game objectives as efficiently as possible. In so doing, these players recognize that the game provides everyone with strengths and weaknesses, and that the composition of their own groups gives their tactics and strategies a very unique feel; but this recognition also suggests a deeper, unexpressed assumption that everyone is capable of improving their game play, and that a willingness to try and to use one's imagination are the only barriers to success.

Thus, I suppose this is my long way of saying that everyone, young or old, computer literate or not, is starved for the cooperative experience that multiplayer video games provide packaged and readily accessible. They are hungry for not only the personal win and the promise of improving their own game, but for the collective sense of achievement one gains as a part of a group. With this in mind, I think the lesson people can learn from video games is to somehow establish the culture that video games so easily facilitate and nurture. Namely, a culture that encourages people to celebrate both their successes and losses whatever they may be.

As for your parents who tried to nag you away from the computer, you certainly could have complied with their requests. But, with no other framework taught to you that could harness your energy and your drive, why would you?

Honestly, writing about video games reminds me of my own video game experiences. I am happy that I am now able to put them into some sort of perspective now.

Edited by kaudio
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  • 5 months later...

Your story of how you were is pretty much a mirror image to my own life. Even though i still play them, i don't NEED or have an overwhelming urge to play them. In fact, i'd rather be out spending time with friends. And the way you said you got over video games ... it is the same for me. I played so much of them, until i started to get bored with them, and found better things to do.

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