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The Addictive Nature of the Internet

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The Addictive Nature of the Internet

The purpose of this paper is to show the many different ways that people can become addicted to the web (Internet) and to try to explain why. The various aspects of the web, such as the wide range of information, the advanced technology, and alternate ways of communication have contributed to its addictive nature.

People of all ages and backgrounds have become so absorbed in using the web, either through work or play, that they have, in effect, become addicted to using it. Some common types of sites which people just cannot seem to stay away from include chat rooms, dating services, sex, pornography, shopping, and sports.

The prevalence of Internet use and the growing realization that it has become an addictive vice for some has spurned the creation of groups such as Webaholics Anonymous, Interneters Anonymous, Netaholics Anonymous, the Internet Addiction Association, and the Internet Addiction Support Group (IASG). All of these self-help groups can be sought on-line, which is rather ironic, given the topic, but nonetheless the groups seek to aid those addicted to using the Internet. The name, Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) has even been given to this growing phenomenon of Internet addiction.

"Addiction" as defined by Webster's New World Dictionary is "the condition of being addicted (to a habit) or of being an addict." "Addict," on the other hand, is defined as one who has given oneself up to some strong habit. Some may say that being addicted to using the Internet is not a "true" addiction, but according to the Webster definition, Internet addiction can be and is every bit as real and as hard to manage as a drug or alcohol addiction.

Depending on where it is one looks ...

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...ng from. Anyone who thinks that they may have a problem or knows someone who does should try to be open and honest about it, and should seek help before the situation becomes out of control. For anyone who reads this who is addicted to the Internet, I wish you the best of luck in controlling the disorder. For anyone else, beware of the possibilities!

Works Cited

"Results of Internet Behaviour Questionnaire." http://www.ifap.bepr.ethz.ch/~egger/ibq/intadd.htm. (April 15, 1997)

"Richard's Web Central - Interneters Anonymous." http://www.itw.com/~rscott/ia.html. (March 20, 1997)

"Self Help & Psychology Magazine Article: Internet Can Be As Addicting As Alcohol, Drugs And Gambling." http://cybertowers.com/selfhelp/articles/internet/intaddic.html.(March 20, 1997)

"Symptoms of Internet Addiction." http://www.addictions.com/internet.htm. (March 20, 1997)
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