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Freshly pathologised today - internet addiction

According to research by Stanford U and followed up by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Some extracts:

"Elias Aboujaoude, lead author of the study and director of Stanford's Impulse Control Disorders Clinic, says that too much focus is placed on the benefits of the internet and not enough on the problems it creates for a minority of users...Most concerning to Aboujaoude is the fact that internet addicts are exhibiting similar behaviour to alcoholics. He specifically points to people hiding their nonessential internet use and using the internet to escape a negative mood....The study found that 13.7 per cent of respondents found it hard to stay away from the internet for several days at a time, 8.7 per cent attempted to conceal non-essential internet use from family, friends and employers and 5.9 per cent felt their relationships suffered as a result of excessive internet use".


Where to start? I suppose at the start... So, focusing on 'problems' more than benefits - I suppose one could say that gyms ought to have a big sign in the lobby warning you might get a muscle cramp, or sports teams could highlight the risk of injury. Parallels are so easy to find it is like shooting sloths in a barrel. Feel free to add your own. As to hiding use and using it to disguise a negative mood, well whoopy do - the same could be said of drinking 'too much' coffee, watching 'too much' TV, reading 'too many' books, going to the gym 'too often' etc etc. And why might people engage in deceit? Because of peer pressure or a sense that what they were doing lacked validity or was otherwise worthwhile. As the Internet has only been truly mainstream for maybe eight years, there is also the problem of what is or is not normative. I choose to spend a lot of time on the internet - blogging, mooching around cyberspace, e-mailing, instant messenging etc - as I work from home and live on my own, so it is source of virtual company as well as entertainment and edification. Twenty years ago, the equivalent might have been writing letters to the papers, flicking through encyclopaediae, writing to friends or calling them etc, and I do not consider that any of those activities need to be pathologised either. I still do a fair amount of some of those things to. I think Mr Aboujaoude has focused on the form, rather than the substance, and his findings are really rather silly.
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Blogger UK Daily Pundit said... 9:45 am

I blog because it saves me throwing things at the television when I see one tosspot after another telling us how to live our lives. Have a guess which of those Impulse Control Disorders is cheaper and more satisfying?  



Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 10:21 am

you can lots of good stuff to read online and listen to music and work all at the same time
and you get to meet and interact with people from all over the world without having to buy them a drink, this morning I have stuff in my mail box from Illinois, alabama and Connecticut. its also nice to get real news not the BS peddled by MSM.
It will be the intenet that finaly destroys communist china and prevents finaly prevents genocides and war.Probably why politicians want to control the internet.  



Blogger Rigger Mortice said... 11:10 am

peter .

what'll destroy commie china more specifically and indeed extremist islam is porn,drugs and booze.

it is nigh on impossible to police the internet whne there's geeks about who know more than the police about tech stuff.

god bless it.and when you see how the bloggers are beginning to set some of the political agenda it's good for democracy instead of us having to sit there and swallow the lies/  



Blogger Croydonian said... 12:01 pm

Yup, I think that Babylon will fall, because it always does - people don't like being slaves. The more information is available to people tyrannised by the sundry dictatorships around the world, the harder it is to control them.  



Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 12:04 pm

porn, drugs and booze
mmmmmmmmm almost heaven
huge amounts of freely available firearms complete the picture for me.  



Anonymous verity said... 5:54 pm

What will destroy communist China is what is already destroying the communist aspect: capitalism. China is getting rich. They've even got Ikeas all over the place, which means there are people who are living in places they're fixing up. I think it's wonderful.

Their goods enjoy high standing in the international marketplace now and, as has always been the way of the Chinese for thousands of years, once given their head, they're getting rich.

Yes, it's going to take a while to bring the standard of living of 1.2bn people up to us, but Guandong province is now as rich as Hong Kong and this wealth is seeping out to neighbouring areas.

They have worked on their infrastructure, which is good enough to get goods to the international market from almost anywhere. They've skipped the industrial age and they're in the high-tech age - not unlikely for hundreds of millions of brain boxes. They's just built a luxury "sky train" across the Himalayas to Tibet.

China will join the top table within 20 years, as will India. Then the world can be run by the triumverate of Anglosphere, India (which is semi-Anglophone anyway) and China and everyone else can STFU.

Trade is what keeps the wheels of diplomacy turning.  



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