Friday, March 17, 2006

Internet Addiction and Withdrawal Symptoms

Unlike other common (and well documented) addiction such as alcoholic, drugs or sexual related, Internet addiction is relatively new and is still not very well understood by most people. This is mainly because Internet was only widely used less than a decade ago and most affected are mainly the younger generation.

From DePauw University's computing department:
Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) is a broad term covering a wide-variety of behaviors and impulse-control problems. Generally, IAD can be divided into five specific types:
  1. Cybersexual Addiction - characterized by viewing, downloading and trading online pornography or involved in adult fantasy role-play chat rooms.
  2. Cyber-Relational Addiction - characterized by becoming overly involved in online relationships.
  3. Net Gaming - includes obsessive online gambling, gaming, shopping, or stock trading.
  4. Informational Overload - characterized by excessive web surfing and database searches.
  5. Computer Addiction - characterized by obsessive use of computer games which are not interactive or played online.
Notice that I'm suffering from number four - Informational Overload (obviously) and number two (blogging).

On the right hand side of google search, I found this "Break the Habit" advertising that brought me to this web page Drug Abuse Rehabilitation. This is all just a coincident but I'm pretty amazed that both this article closely resembles my blog title: Break of Information Overload.

Despite all the effort I put in to avoid the addiction, I can't live without the Internet. It's just impossible when all my work, study and networks are online (that's excluding entertainment). With everything situated in one place, it's impossible to live without it. I've even went to the extend of developing the desire of buying a palmtop to bring Internet everywhere with me. Total madness.

Swifty wrote an interesting ( and hilarious ) story about what happens under the Internet Apocalypse. What will the world become when the Internet disappear? How will people react to it?

On Prevent, they suggest that Internet addiction may be a form of stress management (aka procrastination). Makes sense to me:
"Procrastination, low productivity, social withdrawal and relationship difficulties" were common among those spending an unhealthy amount of time on the Web, report researchers led by graduate student Richard Davis of York University in Toronto, Ontario.

He presented the findings here Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association. Excessive Internet use was also strongly linked to procrastination, suggesting that the Web is fast becoming a more interactive alternative to video games or bad TV. In the workplace, especially, this type of online procrastination is commonly known as "cyberslacking," resulting in "significant losses in productivity," according to the researchers. In fact, one 2001 study found 50% of Web surfers admitting that they spent about half of their online time avoiding more productive activities.

The researchers found no differences between men and women when it came to the percentage of individuals showing signs of problematic Internet use, or their underlying psychology. Women are increasingly making up a larger percentage of Web users, Davis pointed out. "For young females, it used to be that young teenage girls used to come home and go to their telephone and talk all night to their friends. Now they are coming home and instant-messaging in a big way."

Now, that makes lotsa sense to me. Okay, what was I suppose to do again?

References: The Political Activist And His Murderous Little Birds, Bloggers Who Do Lots of Cutting And Pasting, Heroic Xiaxue Slayers , Internet as a form of stress management, Internet addiction ,
Tags: Internet, Apocalypse, Addiction, stress, management, procrastination,


soul-d said...

social withdrawal sounds very logical to me. but honestly if i were to live elsewhere in a slightly haute couture, city with underground art, culture, music and theatre scene, THEN i would stay out.

for the time being, internet still remained an eye-opener to me.

i hope this year will change when i'm in berlin.


soul-d said...

Travelled a lot since young, and i couldn't imagine if i were to live like that, experiencing things virtually for the rest of my life.

you, for one should feel so lucky to be in UK. appreciate it till you're back in this miserable developing country where if you belong in the minority, yull earn higher income than the average blue-collar and live a comfortable life.

why do i think it's miserable? there's loads of opportunities here, but it'll take a long time or probably people will NEVER be as open-minded as the west.

It's the minds here that i hate.

Chern Jie said...

Let me tell you one thing, soul-d. When you travel overseas and learn of other society's culture, tradition and history. You'll automatically feel that you need to know more about your own country where you originated.

How much do you know about your own country? Do you know as much as what you know about other countries? We are always complaining that the grass on the other side is greener and the moon on the other side is brighter. But really, it's the same.

This is one common misconception people have about the western countries. No disrespect, but nothing is nearly as perfect as we think it is. When you mixed into the locals, talk about the local gossips, you'll realise that really there's nothing so different from where we come from. Other than the language, the tone of expression is surprisingly similar.

Nothing will change much when you are in Berlin if you do not change your views of your current environment. Maybe you'll enjoy the new environment in the beginning but you'll soon feel that it could be the worst place in the world to be in. Despite the dozens of museums, theatres to go to.

The internet is still more of a common place to search for information regardless of where you are. I suppose you'll find out sooner or later. All the best to your journey to Berlin.

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