Internet Addiction

Mail Today 19072009 Internet Addiction
Image by Gauravonomics via Flickr

I had been away from my computer for more than a week and I did not miss it. I consider that a good sign. However, I had to find a computer to use to print out my airline boarding pass while I was on vacation. All the fuss made me think about the current state of internet addiction in the United States. I did a little research, and I unearthed the following information.

Winston Ross’ Homeless Brother (www.newsweek.com/id/216911). Ross, who is a reporter for a West Coast newspaper, wrote an article for Newsweek about his brother’s internet addiction. It is an interesting read, and anyone who might be wondering if they—or someone close to them—might be addicted to their computer might want to read the article. Ross’ unemployed, homeless brother lives in a tent. He has use of computers available to him at a nearby university, where he spends ten or more hours a day. In the Newsweek article, Ross stated that China and South Korea have declared internet additiction as their number one public health threat. Can the U.S., among other countries, be far behind? Ross listed intervention resources in his article that can be found on the internet. I checked them out, so read on.

PC Moderator (www.pcmoderator.com). This is an online timer that oversees the amount of time one spends online. It is not available for Apple computers, however. The PC Moderator would come in handy for those who are disciplined enough to log off after setting it to the maximum time for online activities.

Center for Internet & Technology Addiction (www.virtual-addiction.com). Dr. Dave Greenfield, based in West Hartford, CT, has information, including a quiz, to help determine if your online habits create a problem for you. He offers several types of counseling.

Center for Internet Addiction (www.netaddiction.com). This spot has been around since 1995. I liked the abundance of information available here. In addition to a list of signs and symptoms of internet addiction, you will find a number of self tests. They include the IAT (Internet Addiction Test), a quiz for obsessive online gaming, cybersex addiction, compulsive online gambling, online auction addiction, plus a partners addiction test and a parent-child addiction test. The Center for Internet Addiction asserts that one American in eight suffers from problematic internet use.

ReSTART (www.netaddictionrecovery.com/). ReSTART is the first U.S. Rehab facility for internet addiction. This is a 45-day program where clients live in natural surroundings in the Pacific Northwest—coincidentally not too far from Microsoft headquarters. The website gives an overview of the program and views of the grounds, and also provides another addiction survey. The rehab facility, named Heavensfield, has not filled to capacity yet. Maybe they should open a wing for compulsive text messagers and cell phone users.

Identity Fraud (www.myidscore.com). Unrelated to internet addiction, this website is a service of a security company. Answer a few questions and you will receive instantly your id fraud vulnerability score. Scores are from 1 through 999, with the higher numbers showing that one is more susceptible to identity fraud. When you have found your score, you can click on several links for additional information.

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~ by IndianaDunesPoet on November 20, 2009.

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