Internet Addiction Seminar

17 February 2004

Last week, a speaker held a seminar to inform students at Alfred State of problems with internet addiction. The cases she told of were rather extreme and often times ended in violence.

Internet addiction can happen to anyone, but unlike addictions to drugs or alcohol, this can’t kill you. Only in extreme cases has internet addiction turned deadly. The internet is like a door to the world on your desk. People use the internet all over the place no matter where they are. Whether it’s at work at the office, doing research for that paper due tomorrow, or receiving email on your cell phone; the internet is virtually everywhere you go.

We use it in our daily lives. We all get on the computer, e-mail, chat, book hotels, win bids, buy new computers, we can do just about everything on the internet. Sometimes it goes further than that. Every now and then, someone will become obsessive compulsive with the internet. It goes from being their window to the world to actually becoming their whole world. They become preoccupied with usage, lose interest in the things they value, use it as an escape mechanism, and most often the problem continues despite the consequences.

In one case, there was a teenager whose mother noticed something wrong was going on. She took charge and took away the modem and cut the phone line. Her son found a way around it and was online in no time. The mother then proceeded to take away the long distance and cancelled the internet provider. The mother also kept a loaded gun in the house and the son found it. He shot her, and then shot himself. In the suicide note, he said what happened, happened, because his mother had taken away his entire world.

This could have been avoided, had the mother set a limit on the amount of time he could stay online. If she had set restrictions on the computer, or his online life, perhaps it wouldn\'t have ended the way it did.

Internet addiction is a real thing, and just like other types of addictions, it can lead you down the path of destruction. There are warning signs that show if a problem develops. There are steps to get rid of the problem. Don’t lose yourself or anyone you know to internet addiction.