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What Are Online Addictions

Aug 15, 2008
The beauty of the internet is that it gives us instant access to anything that we want. From shopping, to gambling, to information, to meeting people, to doing things that we simply shouldn't be doing. This beauty however, for many people, feeds an addiction.

While there is currently great debate going on as to whether or not an online addiction is a legitimate diagnosis or simple a part of a greater problem, there is not denying that there are some behaviors that happen online that do in fact meet the guidelines of an addiction.

First understanding what an addiction is will help you decide if a behavior online is an addiction. An addiction is an activity that you can not live with out, something you feel compelled to do this compulsion is the driving force, despite the fact that you know the activity is unhealthy or harmful to your health, social life or mental state.

Knowing this then, look at what is offered online and we can begin to look what online addictions are. There is online pornography, both adult and child, both of these can cause you to loose your job, your family, your friends and yet people are still compelled to participate it in the activity.

The later of the two types of pornography mentioned will land you in jail as well. Some people may say that you should be allowed to do what you want in the privacy of your own home as long as it isn't hurting anyone.

I ask you to take an honest look at an addiction to online pornography, if it is happening online, chances are greater then not that it is going beyond just online... and it is harming the people around you... and in the case of children you are promoting the continued abuse of children, and you need help.

A second online addiction is gaming or gambling online. Now, these are two distinctly different addictions. There are many games that can be played online that do not involve any type of gambling, people are just "addicted" to the game they are playing.

Online gambling can also be an addiction, if it is consuming your life, if you are building your family and social time around gambling and risking your lifesavings on a daily basis.

Again, as above, if the gambling addiction is going on over the internet, chances are high that a person is also gambling in the real world. There is a difference between doing something for recreation on the occasion, but it is time to face the fact that "an occasion" is not a daily occurrence.

A third type of online addiction is social networking sites. While they are great for the average person to join and hook up with lost friends or meet new people, there are those that take it to an excess. Belonging to multiple networks, spending hours online hooking up with people and developing inappropriate relationships can also be considered an online addiction.

The key here is that the internet provides instant gratification, it fills a "need" that a person has and it does it with out rejection or question. A person that has an underlying psychological issue can easily become addicted to things online. If you feel that you or someone you love has a problem then seek professional help.
About the Author
Article written by Jessica Bradbury, she has a site dedicated to information pertaining to addictions, including drug addictions and help with help on overcoming addictions
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