Netaholics?: The Creation of a Pathology
The year 1998 witnessed the birth of a new disorder...Internet Addiction Disorder. As the number of linkage points, host computers, connected networks and individual users plugged into the Internet has continued to increase exponentially, some have begun to question the Net's impact on our psychological well-being. Among the issues under debate is the question of whether or not Internet use is addictive. Though many regular Internet participants scoff at such an idea, and create satirical Web sites, IRC chat rooms and Usenet newsgroups to make their point, a growing number of professionals in the field of psychology disagree. They argue that Internet participation is addictive, and that in many ways its symptoms, diagnosis and treatment parallel that of other addictions, such as compulsive gambling, shopping and even drug and alcohol abuse.
What are we to make of this new disorder? What, precisely, does addiction mean? Can individuals really become addicted to the Internet?
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