A disorder in which the individual turns to the Internet or plays computer games in an attempt to change moods, overcome anxiety, deal with depression, reduce isolation or loneliness, or distract themselves from overwhelming problems. The elderly, as well as children and adolescents, are particularly vulnerable because they may not realize the extent of their dependency. In many instances, individuals with computer addiction may seek help for another condition, such as depression, phobias or other addictions.
Computer addiction is defined as the immoderate/compulsive use of computers so much so that it interferes with daily activities. It is a ...view middle of the document...
Constant excessive computer gaming can cause the user to place more importance to the events within the game instead of events that are happening in their real lives. Also, someone whose main circle of friends are those on chat rooms might find it difficult when it comes to face to face communications. Physically, the use of computer mouse and keyboard over long hours daily can cause repetitive stress injuries to the wrist and hands. Sitting at the computer desk for prolong hours causes back problems and late night computer sessions eats into sleep time which leads to sleep deprivation. Long-term sleep deprivation will cause drowsiness, difficulty in concentrating and decline of the immune system. Certain forms of compulsive behavior may lead to ethical problems or computer addiction. The author, in the capacity of an IT instructor, witnesses some of this behavior on a daily basis. Students sign an agreement to abide by the institution’s acceptable use policy and regularly disregard the restrictions that the policy contains.
The acceptable use policy states that students may only use the institution’s computers for academic purposes. This instructor reinforces that policy by reminding students that they should not use the computers to play online games, participate in social networking, or access file-sharing sites. This instructor also observes students involved in these activities on a daily basis. The students who participate in these activities either do not understand the policy or do not feel an ethical obligation to comply with them (Personal observation. Research conducted by Grusser, Thalemann, and Griffiths (2007) found that “gaming has an addictive potential that is also mirrored by addiction-related cognitive components like significantly stronger positive outcome expectancies” (p. 291). Positive outcome experiences are those experiences that add a reward to a particular activity. These positive outcome experiences may lead to expectations in other areas and lead the gamer to more destructive or addictive behavior. Gambling, more specifically online gambling is another activity that leads to addiction and manifests in other compulsive behaviors. A 2008 study concluded that “the pathological gambler has clear tendencies towards alcoholism, nicotine addiction, or drug addiction” (Beteille, 2008). Many other activities when left unchecked may lead to compulsive behavior and ethical conflicts. These activities include excessive cell-phone texting and social networking.
Disadvantages of Computer Addiction
A person addicted to the Computer will spend most of his time alone, locked in a room, with only his computer for company. This kind of isolation can lead to a lack of social life, and when he does venture outside, he might find his social skills have suffered. Possibly his only regular interaction is with online people, and he might now struggle to hold conversations and feel comfortable in social or public...