The Dark Side of Internet Use: Addiction

Amazing things are connected to Internet use but what happens if it overtakes your life?

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Internet addiction is the loss of control over internet use which can have negative outcomes if not maintained, treated and monitored (Ko et al., 2014, Quinn & Oldmeadow, 2013).

One Last Time, I Swear

Do you always feel the need to be connected?  Constant email checking is a form of addition.  First, think when you check your email.  You are probably looking for mail in your inbox (something to do with work and or a personal message). Possibly you need to create a message or response?  I agree in many ways email communication is convenient and useful, however, by checking your email you are ultimately looking for an award without realizing it.  Many connections have made with email addiction and Operant Conditioning. You may check your email five times a day or a hundred times a day and even though you may not have an email in your box you are unconsciously looking for that reward.  Furthermore, research suggests that email addiction can be related to signs of a Workaholic.

Level Up

Do you know someone who you have to ask multiple times to stop playing their online game on their Ipad, tablet, system, computer, etc. ? Do you question if you or someone you know might be addicted to online gaming? Internet gaming takes on many forms from online gambling to online bidding, and interactive virtual multiplayer games.  With the availability of internet use worldwide multiplayer gaming has gained its popularity.  However, a multiplayer online game with motivation users has experienced an increase of addiction behaviors (Kuss et al., 2012).  Check out this Quiz to see if you have some of the signs and symptoms of gaming addiction.

I Have 100 Likes & 500 Followers

Participating in social media networking sites is one of the fastest growing online activities that offer users the ability to share photographs, videos, links and thoughts.  It allows instant feedback through platforms such as Myspace, Facebook, Orkut, LinkedIn, Instant Messaging, and Online Chat rooms (Quinn & Oldmeadow, 2013). Overuse of Social Media can lead to signs and symptoms associated with addiction. Some of the general mental health conditions that link to social media use addiction include anxiety disorders, low self-esteem, mood disorders, depression, eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

 Resources

Internet Addiction Treatment Centers in Ontario

Social Media Use and Eating Disorders

Tedx Talk: What you need to know about addiction

References

Ko, C., Liu, T., Wang, P., Chen, C., Yen, C., & Yen, J.(2014). The exacerbation of depression, hostility, and social anxiety in the course of internet addiction among adolescents: A prospective study. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 55 (6), 1377-84 . doi.4oi:rg/10.1016/j.comppsych.2014.05.003

Kuss, D. J., Louws, J., & Wiers, R. W. (2012). Online Gaming Addiction? Motives Predict Addictive Play Behavior in Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games. Cyberpsychology, Behavior & Social Networking, 15(9), 480-485. doi:10.1089/cyber.2012.0034

Quinn, S., & Oldmeadow, J. (2013). The martini effect and social networking sites: Early adolescents, mobile social networking and connectedness to friends.Mobile Media &
Communication, 1 (2) 237-247. doi: 10.1177/250157912474812

Author: cupton77

Christine Upton completed Early Childhood Education at Seneca College in 2006. From there she completed her BA hon in Geography and English specializing in Advanced Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems at York University in 2010. Christine earned her Bachelor of Education at UOIT in 2012 where she is currently completing her M.Ed. Christine works full time as a secondary teacher at DDSB and as an online teacher with Durham Continuing Education. Christine has a passion for teaching, life-long learning, spending time with her two little girls racing motocross and engaging her students with interactive and hands-on activities

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