-The essay's broken down into different parts.... -
Describing the Issue
Getting On-line for a couple of hours is common. Normally, this is just an occasional thing, but for some it becomes and obsession. These people are addicted to the Internet. The Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) is one of the many results of the widespread of the Internet. Although quite common, many people do not recognize its existence, and by doing so do not allow the addicted to get help. There are many different things that the Internet offers which people can get addicted to: online Chat sessions, Cybersex (sex that takes place through an electronic media), online shopping, and even simple things such as online entertainment (games, video clips, horoscope etc). The results of these addictions can be social, psychological, economical and ethical, and can end up being quite harmful to individuals and their families, institutions and businesses.
IT Background of The Issue
Internet Addiction has evolved due to the huge development of technology around the world. People in different countries go online for different reasons, at all times of the day. In order to connect to the Internet one must have a computer. The computer must have a modem which is connected to a phone line. The phone line connects the user's modem to an ISP's (Internet Service Provider) modem with which it communicates. The ISP connects the user to a server which allows the user to access Internet sites via a browser. This is where the user can find different pornographic sites, online shopping sites, chat sites etc. Some of these sites offer software which can be downloaded such as chat software.
Analyzing the Impact of the Issue
Internet Addiction is one of the many results of the widespread of the Internet. There are different things that the Internet offers which people get addicted to. Currently, Internet Addiction is not recognized as an important issue; many people do not even acknowledge its existence and as a result of this ignorance, the social, psychological and economical aspects of society are all getting harmed.
People who are addicted to the Internet tend to isolate themselves from their outside environment, spending all their time locked up in their room with their computers, and therefore miss out on many experiences one should go through during ones life in order to be a fully developed, mature human being. This includes dealing with every day problems and solving them, interacting with other people etc. Some of these people have a physical addiction to Cybersex (sex that takes place through an electronic media) and reach a point where they cannot be able to have normal physical interactions with people. All these harm the individuals social skills.
The psychological implication of Internet Addiction on the individual is huge. Addicted people constantly think about the Internet, and tend to neglect their responsibilities. This effects not only themselves, but their environment as well. For example, a mother who is addicted to the Internet might forget to attend her child's activities at school because she is too busy chatting online. If she decides to quit, her withdrawal symptoms will also effect her family. Both her addiction and her withdrawal could have a large psychological impact on her child.
Many economical difficulties as well as prosperity's arise from Internet Addiction. Many businesses get harmed because the addicted people stop spending time working and spend all their time online looking at non-work-related sites. Recreational centers get harmed because they no longer receive money from the addicted people, who entertain themselves via the Internet.
The people who do benefit from this syndrome however, are people who have online businesses, because many people get addicted to them and do their shopping online rather then going to a store. Computer shops benefit because people update their computers more often in order to make their web surfing faster and smoother. Electric services, Internet service providers and phone line companies also prosper because of the extended hours people spend surfing the web.
Solutions to Problems arising from the issue
Two possible solutions to IAD are a large campaign advertising the problem, and the banning of all sites that aren't information related i.e. dictionaries and encyclopedias. With larger public awareness people will know to be careful of the use of the Internet. Also, psychological sessions for both the addicted and the addicted persons family (like
those for alcoholics) could evolve as a result of this awareness and will offer help to addicted users. As part of the campaign software which blocks accesses to certain web sites as well as block the use of certain software such as chat programs (like Net Nanny) could be introduced to the public. Companies, schools as well as individuals could all install these programs on their computers and protect themselves.
The banning of sites will kill the problem for people will no longer have anything to get addicted to. Users will be left with only information sites, which most people find boring and therefore will not spend extended amounts of time viewing them.
Both solutions have drawbacks, the first might make people afraid of the Internet and refrain from using it out of fear of getting addicted. Also, have a large economic impact on society because it would cost a lot of money to host such a campaign as well as to purchase the software offered, however, in the long run it would save people a lot of money. Companies would not have to worry about their employees looking at non
work related sites rather then working, and parents would not have to worry about getting tutors for their children because they're not doing homework.
The second solution would probably not last for long. Many web designers as well as companies who publicize their products and sell them online will protest for their sites will all be banned. A black market for the banned sites will eventually evolve and this will make users want to view them even more then before making the problem of
bigger rather then smaller.
When comparing the two, it is clear to see that the first solution is better and more realistic. Such a campaign will help the people who are already addicted and will help prevent others from getting addicted and will also be better in the long run.