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Wired (900wd article) (1 Viewer)

orpheus

Senior Member
Here is a second article I wrote for my school's magazine.
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Addicts spend most of their time looking for their next fix. They shut out friends and family. They shut out responsibilities and priorities.

Moorpark College freshman Jonathan Griffin was obsessed with his next fix. He couldn’t concentrate at work or school. He shut out relationships because of it. He would awake in the morning and it was all he would think about.

Griffin’s addiction wasn’t weed, cocaine or even ecstasy. It wasn’t even illegal.

It was the Internet.

“I used to use the Internet about 12 to 15 hours a day,” says Griffin. “I pretty much used it for everything. I watched pornography, I bought stuff from it, played games on it, talked to people on it.”

When Griffin was in eighth grade he spent so much time on the Internet he flunked out.

“In high school it was a little better but not by much,” says Griffin. “We finally took the Internet out of the house, but I still used it at the library and friends houses.”

Today Griffin sees a therapist for his Internet obsession and has managed to limit his Internet use to three to four hours every other day.

“It has only been a couple of months now so it’s still pretty hard, but it is coming along.”

St. Bonaventure University professor Dr. Kimberly S. Young has seen many cases like Griffin‘s. She is the foremost researcher, author and speaker on the impact of technology on human behavior.

“Frequently parents have contacted me to help their son or daughter deal with an addiction to the Internet,” says Young. “Academic problems often seen are not attending classes because they are online all night and academic probation or failure due to online abuse. Personal problems are social withdrawal and relationship breakups because of Internet abuse.”

Young says she began studying Internet addiction in 1994 after a friend’s husband became addicted to online chat rooms.

“Her marriage suffered as he spent nearly 60 hours a week online and this was at a time when it was still expensive to be online ($2.95 an hour) and they almost ended in divorce.”

Young says the symptoms of Internet addiction are based upon the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) symptoms for pathological gambling. Symptoms include a “preoccupation with online use, lying or hiding the behavior, withdrawal, and continued use despite the consequences,” says Young.

The term Internet Addiction Disorder was coined in 1995 by New York psychiatrist Ivan Goldberg. His diagnosis was meant as a harmless joke. Goldberg, however, unwittingly opened Pandora’s box. Scores of self-described Internet addicts from across the globe began to contact him.

“I think in the early 90s, there was some controversy over the existence of Internet addiction,” says Young. “But since then studies have been conducted throughout the United States and abroad in China, the UK, Taiwan, to name a few, that have confirmed it is serious disorder.”

In addition to researching and writing about Internet addiction, Young lectures at college campuses on the impact of portable devices and wireless Internet on campus life.

“From the Internet addiction perspective, portable devices will make it more difficult for administrators to control or monitor incidents of Internet abuse on campus,” Young says. “Activities such as downloading music or videos to online gambling to pocket porn will be instantly accessible and often not on the campus Intranet so administrators will have to develop new policies to deal with this new technology.”

“I'm online all day because I have a sidekick II and it is always connected to the Internet,” says Lucia Laguna, a junior majoring in international relations and Chicano studies at CSUN. “So I check it whenever I have a spare moment in class, work, school, or social gatherings.“
T-Mobile’s Sidekick II is a hybrid of a cell phone, still camera, video camera and a mini-computer. It is one of many products that cram all of the technologies that appeal to young people into one portable device.
“I think most everyone in LA has one,” Laguna says.

Laguna says that the Internet has facilitated her education.
“Days of research at the library are no longer a college necessity.“ Laguna says she avoids being shut in with the Internet by getting involved in activities and organizations at school but adds, “I still have the sidekick though.”

The Internet has made afternoons locked in dusty reference rooms scavenging for articles a thing of the past. Popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Lycos, make searching through the Internet’s cornucopia of information like taking a cab with a seasoned driver who knows the city like the back of his hand.

On the other hand, it can also be like taking the same cab through the flashy, dizzying streets of Las Vegas.

Launch the popular search engine Yahoo and your eyes will be tantalized by advertisements, chat room links, hobby forums, online communities, music, casinos, retail sites, even the latest gossip on the relationship between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

The temptations of the Internet has infused Paul Durkee, a CSUN
sophomore studying Anthropology, with mixed feelings about ubiquitous Internet access in a learning environment.

“I am now able to do instantaneous research while I am in class, and can take much quicker notes,” Durkee says. “I am now also able to Myspace and instant message people in class as well, which distracts me from learning.”

Durkee says he isn’t addicted to the Internet but he does think it can be a major source of distraction from his studies.

“Many times, I attempt to do projects the night before they are due only to be distracted via Instant Messenger,” Durkee says. “This either causes me to stay up much later and finish or to sometimes finish at school the day it’s due. I get frustrated in the sense that I realize that I have wasted an entire day on the Internet.”
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
it's a good, pretty well-written article, but you need to catch a few little glitches, here and there... such as:

They shut out responsibilities and priorities.

...makes no sense, since the addiction is their top priority... and 'shut out' is a bit off to use for all those things, imo... i'd at least use a different term for 'responsibilities'...

The temptations of the Internet has infused

...number conflict...

overall, it's a good piece of writing about a very serious malady that cripples a large percentage of folks of all ages... love and hugs, maia
 

orpheus

Senior Member
mammamaia said:
it's a good, pretty well-written article, but you need to catch a few little glitches, here and there... such as:



...makes no sense, since the addiction is their top priority... and 'shut out' is a bit off to use for all those things, imo... i'd at least use a different term for 'responsibilities'...



...number conflict...

overall, it's a good piece of writing about a very serious malady that cripples a large percentage of folks of all ages... love and hugs, maia


Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad you caught those errors, because when it comes to editing i have the creators blind-eye.

yes, internet abuse (not prepared to call it "addiction" but i had to use it in the piece to keep the topic unambiguous) can be a problem, especially for academics and relationships. on the other hand, i quoted one person who disagreed so as to temper that characterization.
 

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