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Understanding Online Addictions

Feb 19, 2008
Never before in history have we as people had such instant access to whatever we wanted. Thanks to the internet our wildest dreams are just a click away.

Unfortunately, this ability to be instantly gratified can easily be taken to excess, become an addiction. Addiction is no longer limited to drug and alcohol use and abuse, it now includes that lovely little machine you are reading this article on.

First, understand that by addiction what is being referred to an unhealthy recurring engagement in a specific activity. It is an activity that you feel compelled to do regardless of whether it is harmful or detrimental to your health and happiness or that of those that you love.

Online addictions can be broken into five different categories. Naturally the one that most people are aware of is Cybersex. A cyber sexual addiction is when a person is engaged in not only watching but downloading and trading online pornography. This can also include being a part of the adult fantasy role play that is done in chat rooms.

This leads to another type of online addiction. Understand I am not saying that you have to have the one to lead to the second. But a lot of times they are connected. There is the addiction to Cyber Relations.

People that have this addiction can not stay out of the chat rooms. They are compelled to instant message; they belong to multiple social networks and carry on with other member beyond the point of a casual and occasional conversation.

The social networking people become more important to them then the people that surround them.

There are those that are addicted to the information that they can get off the internet. The information highway has become the IV in the arm, one that they can not disconnect from.

Spending large amounts of time on the net gathering information, organizing that information for something on a daily basis, this is an obsessive compulsive behavior.

Finally another online addiction and one that many people are aware of is the gaming or gambling sites and let us not forget eBay. The dangerous part about this addiction is the amount of money that a person can and will loose when they don't know when to walk away.

How can you find out if you are someone you love has an online addiction? There are a number of questions that you can ask to find out. Here is a quick run down:

1. Is there a preoccupation with the net? ( Meaning our your thoughts centered on what you have done online or what you can do next time you are online)

2. Does the amount of time you spend on the net have to increase each time in order for you to feel satisfied?

3. Have you efforts to cut back or stop using the internet been unsuccessful?

4. Do you stay online longer then what you had planned, consistently?

5. Has your use of the internet put a relationship or employment in jeopardy?

If you answer yes to these questions, you may need to talk to someone to get help relieving your self from this addiction.
About the Author
Article written by Jessica Bradbury, she has a site dedicated to information pertaining to addictions, including homeless and addiction counseling and help with overcoming addictions.
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