Can Internet addiction be a real disorder?

Screenshot 64 Can Internet addiction be a real disorder?

Can over-indulgence or overuse of the Internet lead to a type of addictive disorder?  That’s the question various psychologists, doctors, and tech-experts are trying to answer.  A recent article from the Guardian UK suggests that over-use of the Internet may one day become a medically diagnosable disorder.

Can over-indulgence or overuse of the Internet lead to a type of addictive disorder?  That’s the question various psychologists, doctors, and tech-experts are trying to answer.  A recent article from the Guardian UK suggests that over-use of the Internet may one day become a medically diagnosable disorder. 

China, Korea, and Taiwan have accepted Internet addiction as a psychiatric problem, and treatment centers are established to treat people who are considered to have such problems.  Even America’s Diagnostic and Statistical of Mental Disorders may include “internet use disorder” as a part of its official listing of mental illnesses in the future. 

Apparently, Google is also investigating the possibility of Internet addiction in their workplace by deploying campaigns to teach employees about the risks of over-using their web-connected gadgets.

Richard Fernandez, a leading figure in Google’s “mindfulness” movement, says there should be a “balance” when it comes to how technology influences a person’s online and offline life. 

“Consumers need to have an internal compass where they’re able to balance the capabilities that technology offers them for work with the qualities of the lives they live offline,” says Fernandez.

Various psychologists are linking the overuse of social networking sites such as Facebook to one’s social ineptitude.  For instance, a person may spend too much time “stalking” an ex on Facebook, rather than getting off the computer and socializing with friends and family.  Such extreme usage of the Internet can perhaps turn a sane individual into a depressive, temperamental, or even psychotic person

A metaphor that’s usually slung around during some sort of “addiction” illness is that if a person’s craving for something becomes great enough it’s comparable to an addictive drug.

Psychologist Seth Meyers agrees with the notion that an Internet addiction is much like an addiction to some type of drugs.  He points out the stalking of the ex on Facebook to make this correlation between Facebook and drugs:

“Checking Facebook to see what the ex is doing becomes a drug.”

Constantly checking an ex’s Facebook status doesn’t mean that you’re an Internet addict, and it’s not unordinary for many people to strongly associate Facebook with the Internet—Facebook is, after all, one of the most widely surfed social networking site.

Although there are people who feel that Internet addiction is a serious mental disorder, there are also others that feel the addiction “is a symptom of a greater problem.”

So perhaps a person’s compulsiveness to constantly check his ex’s Facebook may be due to his obsession with the person and not with the Internet.  Thus, the Internet is just a method for fulfilling his desire to be able to “stalk” his ex.

However one chooses interpret this particular matter concerning addiction to the Internet, the cliché that our forefathers/mothers have taught us still applies today:

Too much of a good thing is not always good thing.”

Oh look, a bug!