Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Reflection

Are you a compulsive technology user? Are you constantly checking your email, your text messages or your Facebook newsfeed? If so, you are not alone.

In a recent study by Dr. Larry Rosen (2012), he used a standard measure that assessed disorder amoung Internet users and found that those who showed more compulsive personality traits:

  1. spent more time online each day,
  2. communicated more by all modalities (instant messaging, texting, social networking,
  3. played more video games,
  4.  listened to more music,
  5. spent more time checking for phone messages and Facebook updates,
  6. was more prone to multitasking than other people.

People seem to use their technologies compulsively in 2 different ways:

1. because they either love their device, crave surfing the Internet and love their software and phone apps so much that they cannot get enough of them; or 2. because they become so worried about missing out on some important news that they cannot keep themselves away from the Internet or their phones.

There are other possible factors influencing the development of addiction too. Refer to post 3. For example, Dr. Young (1998) noted that negative life events – such as job dissatisfaction, medical illness, unemployment and academic instability – could trigger addiction. The rewarding qualities of the Internet and the anonymity of being online could help these people avoid their suffering and dull their pain.

In the modern society, a lot of us are addicted to the Internet without even knowing it. We cannot live without internet.

We’re on the internet every single day. The Internet has already taken over our lives. It has made us into – emailing, Googling, gossip blogging, Youtube watching, eBay shopping, Facebook posting freaks!

In a certain way, this may not be a bad thing. In fact, compared to 20 years ago, our lives now have been greatly improved with the advancement of technology and the Internet. Task can be done quicker. Information is instantly at our fingertips. Like for example, we are more up to date by the minute with news available online compared to print media. Essential info can be quickly searched instead of spending time in the library.  Even if we are continents apart, the Internet can help us to connect with our loved ones through online media like Facebook, Skype or instant messaging.. When we are too busy with work, online grocery shopping and delivery courier are readily available to aid us in taking care of these chores.

However, too much of a good thing can lead to an obsession. Some of us spend too much time in the high-tech  world and not enough time dealing with real life. What I mean is that we spend less time enjoying the outdoors, interacting with people & nature and bonding with our family members. The Internet has taken away part of our real social life!

Avoiding Internet addiction does not mean getting rid of our technology. Most assuredly the solution is about balance and moderation.

Several practical approaches to dealing with problematic technology use:

  • moderate our personal technology input
  • being offline at the times when we are normally online
  • set alarms to remind us when it is time to log off and get to work (or school)
  • set a schedule for being online and offline
  • avoid problematic applications such as online chatting
  • examine what activities are lost due to excessive Internet use
  • try support groups and family therapy if necessary

Do not worry. It is not fatal and we are not doomed to spend time in a mental institution or a rehab centre.

Ultimately, the best way to assuage the symptoms of media-induced is to “unplug” for awhile. Get outside in nature, spend some face-to-face time with others and take a break from technology.

Just remember, when you surf online remind yourself of the bad and good of Internet and do not neglect daily lives when your life is hooked online. Emoticon: Wink

Resources:

  • Rosen, L.D., Carrier, L. M., Cheever, N. A., Rab, S., Arikan, M., & Whaling, K. iDisorder: The Relationship between Media Use and Signs and Symptoms of Psychiatric Disorders.
  • Young, K. S. (1998) Caught in the net: How to recognize the signs of Internet addiction – and a winning strategy for recovery
  • Internet Addiction Resource
  • Internet Addiction Counselling Centre
Advertisements

The Addicts 2.0

Another prominent aspect of Internet addiction is cyber sexual addiction.

Case-study 1:

Simon Hale, a paedophile posed himself online as Justin Bieber and Niall Horan of OneDirection and lured girls between 13-15 years old to perform sex acts on Skype. He tricked those young girls by convincing them that if they took off their clothes they would be able to speak with Bieber and Horan in a chat room.

Police found 35 Skype accounts and and more than 180 homemade videos, mostly of young girls after they tracked him in his home in Portsmouth, England. He was previously imprisoned for 5 years in 2005 for child rape.

Simon Hale blackmailed young girls into posing topless for him and sending him the images

In July 2012, he was finally sentenced indeterminately with a minimum of 10 years with the judge warning he was so dangerous to children that he might never be released.

Case-study 2:

Jonathan Wong, a 23-year old Singaporean Citizen, was a third-year history major in Britain for a scholarship programme offered by Ministry of Education (MOE).

In 2008, the University of York scholar, was caught possessing child pornography videos, containing some girls from as young as six and contents lasting longer than an hour. He served 6 months in Britain’s jail in 2010.

Jonathan Wong committed acts of indecency on a minor

However, after he was released, the former university student came back to his homeland last year and was caught having sex with a minor. He was diagnosed as a paedophile, Wong said his urges would be triggered whenever he looked at pornographic materials or when he got physically or emotionally involved with underaged girls. Wong is now jailed for 5 years in Changi Prison.

So next time be more mindful of who you speak to online.. Could be a pervert or sex offender or just someone who pretends to be a kid..

Resources: 


The Addicts 1.0

Playing games online is fun and addictive with the high-tech graphics and different genres. Online gaming is a booming industry for game developers. I mean, just look at all the millions of apps available on iTunes and the Android market! This shows that a huge number of users of the technology support these little app games by downloading them on their gadgets. Many of them are willing to spend $ on those games. Lots of $$$.

Keeping abreast with (existing) technology

Look at our phones, tablets or laptops for a second.. I am sure all of us have at least half a dozen online games in them. Even on the tiniest of technologies, online games are there and fun to play with when we take a break from our hectic lifestyle and need something to relax our mind with.

For some, this escape is just a passing fascination—but for others, online games are much more.

Case study 1:

The popular Facebook-centric game Farmville has lead people to lose their jobs and apparently made a mum to shake her baby to death for interrupting her game. In 2010, a 3 month-old baby boy’s mother, 22 year-old Alexandra Tobias, was said to have grown frustrated as her baby would not stop crying and interrupting her online game. She told investigators that she shook the baby, smoked a cigarette to compose herself and then shook him again. Tobias later told an inmate the baby “may have hit his head on the computer during the shaking”.

Gaming.. Farmville.. Addicted.. Murderess.. 50 years in prison..

Case study 2:

The (in)famous RPG – role playing game Diablo III has made an all-time record for fastest-selling PC game. 4 months ago, this game got people queuing and rushing off to buy the game when it was just released and then spent hours hacking and slashing in a dark and fantasy world. Sounds interesting?

Fans queueing at the Funan Mall for Diablo III game 24 hours before launch

This game is so interesting that some people like 18 year-old Chuang in Taiwan went on a self-marathon over the weekend to play the game for 40 straight hours. He booked a private room and played almost two days without stopping to eat. On the Sunday morning, an employee of the café entered the room to check on the man and found him resting on a table. Shortly after being roused, the man collapsed and was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Gaming.. Diablo III.. Addicted.. 6-feet under..

So the next time you play an online game, let these cases remind you of how deadly online gaming can be Emoticon: Devil

Resources:


The IAD

Internet Addict Disorder. The disorder that is used to describe several subtypes of addiction related to the world wide web.

Avoidance

What is the main cause of it?

People use the Internet as a way of escaping from problems. Here is the Top 10 list of avoidances:

  1. Loneliness                         6. Financial problems
  2. Marital discontent         7. Insecurity about physical appearance
  3. Work-related stress      8. Anxiety
  4. Boredom                            9. Struggles with recovery from other addictions
  5. Depression                       10. Limited social life

The severity.

Stages of avoidance

When we over-indulge with the usage of Internet, other things in life are affected. Here is a Top 10 list of the most commonly mentioned activities that suffer due to the excessive Internet usage:

  1. Time with partner or family Emoticon: Wilted rose             6. Time with friends Emoticon: Cocktail
  2. Daily chores Emoticon: Plate                                            7. Exercise Emoticon: Island with palm tree
  3. Sleep Emoticon: Drowsy                                                           8. Hobbies Emoticon: Soccer
  4. Reading Emoticon: Dull                                                     9. Sex Emoticon: Broken heart
  5. Watching TV Emoticon: Film                                         10. Social events Emoticon: Party

Resources: