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Computer users in dark lab

Young men spending seemingly endless hours leveling up in Runescape.

Computer addiction is an obsessive addiction to using computers.

The term was used by M. Shotton in 1989 in her book Computer Addiction. It is relatively recent academically, since widespread use of computers by the general public for non-professional purposes only began in the 1990s. However, there are examples of obsessive recreational users dating back to the first time-shared computer games, and many NetNews users were considered obsessive in the 1980s.

An extension of this behavior is the theorized Internet addiction disorder, symptoms of which are pathological or problematic Internet use.

As gaming in the form of PC games and game consoles from various companies like Nintendo and Sega caught on and spread through the end of the millennium, the use of Internet as an increasingly viable medium for communication also rose, and traditional offline activities such as politics and dating began to take advantage of online capability. As a result, computer addiction became a more serious study, and a more vocal social concern. With the almost-ubiquitous use of computers in the 21st century, it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish users who are merely highly engaged in their computer use from those who could be considered truly addicted. Criteria based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria for substance dependency is often used to distinguish extensive use of computers from compulsive over-use, or addiction.

In 2004 the Finnish Defence Forces revealed that they allow some conscripts to postpone their military service for three years for dependence on computer games and the Internet.

The study of cybersex, emotional infidelity, the impact of computer use or violent video games on the brain's capacity for empathy and sympathy, the dangers associated with dating systems and obsession with computer games are all part of this field.

EffectsEdit

Excessive computer use may result in, or occur with:

  • Lack of social interaction.
  • Using the computer for pleasure, gratification, or relief from stress.
  • Feeling irritable and out of control or depressed when not using it.
  • Spending increasing amounts of time and money on hardware, software, magazines, and computer-related activities.
  • Neglecting work, school, or family obligations.
  • Lying about the amount of time spent on computer activities.
  • Risking loss of career goals, educational objectives, and personal relationships.
  • Failing at repeated efforts to control computer use.

Origin of the termEdit

British e-Learning academic Nicholas Rushby suggested in his 1979 book, An Introduction to Educational Computing, that people can be addicted to computers and suffer withdrawal symptoms. The term was also used by M. Shotton in 1989 in her book Computer Addiction.

HistoryEdit

There are examples of computer overuse dating back to the earliest computer games. Many NetNews users were considered obsessive[attribution needed] in the 1980s.[citation needed]

Press reports have noted that some Finnish Defence Forces conscripts were not mature enough to meet the demands of military life, and were required to interrupt or postpone military service for a year. One reported source of the lack of needed social skills is overuse of computer games or the Internet. Forbes termed this overuse "Web fixations", and stated that they were responsible for 12 such interruptions or deferrals over the 5 years from 2000-2005.[1] [2]

See alsoEdit


ReferencesEdit

  1. WHO study shows Finnish teenage boys as heavy computer users. Helsingin Sanomat. URL accessed on 2007-07-17.
  2. Lea Goldman. This Is Your Brain on Clicks. Forbes. URL accessed on 2007-07-17.
  • Dawn Heron. "Time To Log Off: New Diagnostic Criteria For Problematic Internet Use", University of Florida, Gainesville, published in Current Psychology, April 2003 [1] (Identifies incessant posting in chat rooms as a form of emotional disorder).
  • Orzack, Maressa H. Dr. (1998). "Computer Addiction: What Is It?" Psychiatric Times XV(8).
  • Shotton, MA (1989), Computer Addiction? A study of computer dependency. New York: Taylor & Francis.
  • Cromie, William J. Computer Addiction Is Coming On-line. HPAC - Harvard Public Affairs & Communications. Web. 20 Oct. 2010. [2] (Explains symptoms and other various attributes of the new disease).
  • UTD Counseling Center: Self-Help:Computer Addiction. Home Page - The University of Texas at Dallas. Web. 20 Oct. 2010. [3].
  • Dawn Heron. Time To Log Off: New Diagnostic Criteria For Problematic Internet Use, University of Florida, Gainesville, published in Current Psychology, April 2003 [4] (Identifies incessant posting in chat rooms as a form of emotional disorder).
  • Orzack, Maressa H. Dr. (1998). "Computer Addiction: What Is It?" Psychiatric Times XV(8).
  • Shotton, MA (1989), Computer Addiction? A study of computer dependency. New York: Taylor & Francis.
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