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US Students Suffering From Internet Addiction 307

goG sends in a piece from IBTimes on the latest study to confirm what is becoming pretty obvious. The article mentions the Internet addiction rehab center we discussed last year. "American college students are hooked on cellphones, social media and the Internet and showing symptoms similar to drug and alcohol addictions, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Maryland who asked 200 students to give up all media for one full day found that after 24 hours many showed signs of withdrawal, craving and anxiety along with an inability to function well without their media and social links. ... 'Texting and IM-ing my friends gives me a constant feeling of comfort,' wrote one of the students, who blogged about their reactions. 'When I did not have those two luxuries, I felt quite alone and secluded from my life.'"
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US Students Suffering From Internet Addiction

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  • First post? (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2010 @07:56PM (#31991928)

    I'm here all the time!

  • Re:Irony (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2010 @08:03PM (#31992058)

    Irony is when a situation is the opposite of what you might expect. It's expected that an internet-addicted person might blog about their addiction.

  • by RsG ( 809189 ) on Monday April 26, 2010 @08:25PM (#31992390)

    I would say that it's only an addiction if it's actively interfering with your normal life. That is, your job, your education, your family, and your interpersonal relationships.

    Doesn't really work as a definition for "addicted". To provide a counter example, there are "high-functioning" alcoholics - just as fucked up as regular alkies, but able to hold it together enough to keep a job, maintain relationships (albeit often dysfunctional ones), etc. Often the shit hits the fan for them eventually, though this isn't guaranteed.

    A better defining question for addiction is: can you quit? The oft-modified joke "I can quit anytime I want, honest" has a grounding in reality. An addict would be very hard pressed to quit. Quitting would hurt too much. When they do ditch the thing to which they are addicted, they usually have to cut it out of their life altogether, and can't (safely) go back. As an added drawback, half the time "quitting" involves trading a crippling addiction for a less serious one.

    The difference between a user and an addict is, when you take their whatever away, the user is okay, and the addict is not.

  • Boredom (Score:2, Informative)

    by AnonymousClown ( 1788472 ) on Monday April 26, 2010 @08:33PM (#31992500)
    Boredom is probably another reason why kids are getting fat: when they're bored or blue, they get the munchies.

    Where's School House Rock these days!

  • Re:Exactly. (Score:5, Informative)

    by beakerMeep ( 716990 ) on Monday April 26, 2010 @08:49PM (#31992670)
    Yet here you are -- here we all are. And interestingly enough you are completely missing the point (or trolling). And perpetuating a stigmatized, misinformed stereotype.

    Addiction does not just relate to substance abuse and chemical reactions from illicit drugs. Addiction is a state described by a set of behaviors and reactions (physical and mental) when faced with the loss of the stimulus. It has nothing to do with how much something will take to addict a particular person. That's fallacy logic.

    ala wikipedia:

    The medical community now makes a careful theoretical distinction between physical dependence (characterized by symptoms of withdrawal) and psychological dependence (or simply addiction). The DSM definition of addiction can be boiled down to compulsive use of a substance (or engagement in an activity) despite ongoing negative consequences—this is also a summary of what used to be called "psychological dependency."

    TFA basically states that they are seeing symptoms characteristic of CHEMICAL dependence too -- which is why this is unusual. If they actually were seeing symptoms of OCD, they would say they saw symptoms of OCD. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a completely different disease that only has partial symptom overlap with addiction. You should maybe consider reading up on it sometime as it probably afflicts someone you know (1 in 200 adults).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2010 @10:42PM (#31993802)

    I would say that it's only an addiction if it's actively interfering with your normal life. That is, your job, your education, your family, and your interpersonal relationships.

    In the context of a college classroom student addiction to the internet does actively interfere with education. I've taught college classes for the last six years and the steady trend has been students spending more and more time piddling on their laptops or texting in class. Catch them and ask them to stop; they resume as soon as they can. Despite it being heinously obvious, students will spend half of the class with one hand in their bookbag and looking down into it just so they can text. They will persist in this activity no matter how detrimental it is to their performance. Nevermind the fact that it is disrespectful and they are aware of this fact. Students get angry when you call them on this. Of course, if I were to come to class and spend a sigificant portion of it texting they would be calling my department chair.

    I would attribute to the technology usage in class to me being boring but the most frequent comment I receive on evaluations is that I am enthusiatic. This is not some luddite rant; I love technology. However, it is disheartening to watch bright students earn low grades simply because they are too engaged in the internet to pay attention long enough to learn.

  • Re:I don't buy this (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @12:07AM (#31994572)

    I quite disagree with nothing chemical. the drug war would like us to separate chemicals into good and bad groups, but let us take a step back. we take in chemicals like steroids such as cholesterol and sugar to live. these change the levels of our neurotransmitters. Ok, we also know that things such as tanning and running and eating and doing drugs and playing video games and learning cause changes in our neurotransmitter levels. A high bandwidth sensory overload causes a dopamine spike just like drug use. The Internet is an unlimited stimulus that causes a pleasurable reaction in our brain. If we use it every day our body adjusts its reactions to regain balance and homeostasis. When cut off it takes time to readjust. Addiction is a stupid word. Here read this article -

    The thing about drugs is, they let us up the neurotransmitter levels in our brain with little effort. That is why we treat them differently than gambling, internet use, running and tanning. It is EASIER to hit dangerous levels but in the end, they are all the same sets of chemical reactions hijacking our food and sex pathways to confuse our brain into feeling pleasure.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.