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Running Head: INTERNET ADDICTION 1

Internet Addiction

Paola Corral

RWS 1301

University of Texas at El Paso


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Abstract

In this essay I am going to talk about Internet addiction (IAD) and how it can affect our society

by some testimonies and researches. Ivan Goldberg originally proposed IAD as a disorder in

a satirical hoax in 1995. Internet Addiction is a physical disorder that can cause physical damage

to the brain and can affect our personal integrity. Internet use is increasing over the time and is

affecting younger people more. Some research investigated the effects that Internet addiction

can cause in long and short terms and how to prevent this disease or how to ask for help.
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Community Problem Report: Internet Addiction

Internet addiction is an impulsive control disorder, which is not related to the use of an

intoxicating drug, but is correlated to Pathological Gambling. Some Internet users can develop

an attachment that can be emotional to on-line activities or friendships that the Internet users

create in order to feel satisfaction or feel complete with their lives. There are two types of

internet addiction; the ones who enjoy to meet, socialize, and exchange ideas through the use of

chat rooms, social networking websites or virtual communities. The other type spends endless

hours searching topics of interest or just looking for something that they dont even know.

In the article Ethics of Global Internet, Community and Fame Addiction, by Berger, R.

(2009), he presents that Internet addiction (IAD) can cause physical damage to the brain, just like

drugs. It states that people who consume an excessive amount of alcohol, cocaine, and cannabis

had similar problems in their brain as people who suffer Internet addiction. In China research

came out with a new technique that consists in using a magnetic resonance to investigate effects

on brain structure. Researches scanned seventeen addicted individuals and sixteen non-addicted

individuals to see the difference. Scientist found that the addicted individuals suffered a

disruption to white mater nerve fibers involving emotions, decision-making, and self-control. On

the other hand, non-addicted individuals do not have those problems.

According to Chou, Condron and Belland (2005) he explains how the use of Internet has

extremely increased and affected university students. Some researches like Chou et al (2005)

observed that Internet addiction no only causes mental diseases, but also affects the future of

students, because they spend so many hours that they forget to socialize in real life, have good

grades, and manage their time. Teachers mentioned that fewer and fewer students are willing to
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take early morning classes, and the ones who already registered always come in late. Some

students had very poor grades for the excessive use of Internet.

In the article, Internet Abuse among Teenagers and Its Relations to Internet Usage

Patterns and Demographics, by Gencer(2012) focused in a study of Internet abuse among

teenagers and its relations to some Internet usage patterns and demographic characteristics in a

digitalizing country like Turkey. Researchers studied 1380 high school students, they gave

students a questionnaire about how they feel using Internet. Almost every student had issues with

Internet abuse, but one-fourth experienced problems in their lives like tolerance and anxiety.

They use the Internet to escape from negative feelings. The questionnaire also revealed that

Internet abuse differed a lot based on gender, frequency of Internet use, dominant place

and dominant purpose. Researches also observed that Internet abusers do not differ about

socio-economic status and the type of school they attend.

In addition, Huang (2010) examines five indices of stability in Internet addiction. He and

some researchers studied 351 undergraduate students for one year. The first one is structural

stability refers to the density of the same sets of components and the consistency of relationship

among components over time. The second one is mean-level stability refers to the average

change in a group; in this case how many students increased and decreased Internet use. The

third one is differential stability; this concept indicates individual differences in change. The

fourth one is individual-level stability, this concept indicates how students change in a good way

or bad way. The last one is impassive stability; this concept indicates how students change over

time.

The researchers Niculovic, Zivkovic, Manasijevic, Strbac N(2012) explain that internet

addiction is an individuals inability to control their internet use, which in turn leads to feelings
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of distress and functional impairment of daily activities. They described Internet addiction as an

impulsive-control disorder that makes individuals to live a life out of the reality. Researchers

studying the problems have followed various terminologies such as Internet addiction, Internet

addiction disorders, Internet dependence, Problematic Internet use, or pathological Internet use to

explain the unfavorable effects.

In the article Internet Addiction. American Bar Association, by Search(2004), told us

some testimonies, which show us how Internet addiction can ruin or lifes in some many ways,

even if youre a child or adult. The author classifies Internet addiction as a mental disorder.

There are some symptoms that individuals have to be very careful identifying them like

unsuccessful attempts to stop or control computer use, dishonesty related to computer use,

problems in significant life areas, spending increasing time online in order to get the same

reaction achieved previously in less time.

Other study by Stone,(2009). show us about how a hospital in china named General

Hospital of Beijing Military Regions Addiction Medicine Center (AMC) located in south

Beijing that started a new program to help individuals that had internet addiction problems. It

mentioned an individual that was an excellent student, but he started to play an online game

named world of Warcraft; he spent 10 hours a day playing world Warcraft, so his father took him

to the AMC hospital looking for help. The article says that approximately five million of the

countrys 300 million Internet users are internet addicts (Stone, 2009). China is taking care

about individuals who suffer Internet addiction problems, they rated it as a Genuine Disorder,

but they are taking the problem seriously. CCTV-12, a central government channel, showed

reports on a clinic in Shandong Province in Eastern China that uses electric shocks on

anaesthetized IAD patients.


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People who suffer from this disease can always ask for help. Therapeutic methods are

also being examined in the treatments for internet addiction, like the use of selective serotonin

reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Internet use can cause a lot of problems to our society it doesnt matter if you are a child

teenager, or adult. People need to understand and evaluated themselves in order to know if they

have Internet addiction disorders. There are dangerous effects that these disease can make like

the loss of personal relations, poor grades in school, and mental disorders. The worst thing is that

this issue is increasing among time, so pay attention.


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References

Berger, R. (2009). Ethics of Global Internet, Community and Fame Addiction. Journal of

Business Ethics, vol85, 193-200. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41315825

Chou, C. Condron, L. Belland J. C. (2005). A Review of the Research on Internet

Addiction. Educational Psychology Review, vol17, 363-

388. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23363971

Gencer, S. L. , Koc, M. (2012). Internet Abuse among Teenagers and Its Relations to Internet

Usage Patterns and Demographics. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, vol15,

25-36. http://www.jstor.org/stable/jeductechsoci.15.2.25

Huang, C.H. (2010). Internet addiction: stability and change. European Journal of Psychology of

Education, vol 25, 345-361. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23421688?seq=1&cid=pdf-

reference#references_tab_contents

Niculovic, M. Zivkovic, D. Manasijevic, D. Strbac, N. (2012). Monitoring the effect of Internet

use on students behavior case study: Technical Faculty Bor, University of

Belgrade. Educational Technology Research and Development, vol60, 547-

559. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41488598

Search, K. (2004). Internet Addiction. American Bar Association, vol7, 48-

49. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23672844

Stone, R. (2009). China Reins in Wilder Impulses in Treatment of 'Internet

Addiction'. Science, vol 324, 1630-1631. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20536473


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