Monday, March 9, 2009

Internet Addiction.

Internet addictions is apparently something that has become a problem, especially in China. Having the most Internet users out of any country in the world (290 million) is a big reason why. 4 to 6 percent of the population is estimated to be addicts and more than 13 percent of them are college students. In order to qualify as an "addict," as a college student you need to spend over 6 hours online doing non-school related activities. Hard feat... There are even adults that are addicted to the internet China, which is mainly because of online gaming like "Audition." It's an online dancing game for those of you who weren't aware. One lady apparently accrued 68 internet husbands. Malarkey I say! Now for my thoughts on the matter.

My initial thoughts about internet addiction is that it's about as real as unicorns, but after thinking about it critically I take back my quick conclusion. After reading about this article I don't deny that it's a real issue. I just find it hard to understand how somebody could let it go far enough to take over their social life. Personally I think that I'm probably addicted to the internet. However, I use it for vastly different purposes than the example group in the article based out of the internet addiction rehab center in China. For instance, I like to think that the main reason I utilize the internet is for information. Not that I don't use it for recreation (i.e. I don't have cable tv so I watch a lot of my favorite shows on Hulu), I just like to think that I wouldn't use the internet nearly as much if it wasn't a good opportunity to heighten my knowledge on a vast rage of topics. Because after all, people keep saying knowledge is power, right? Plus my personal belief is that if you don't stay up on your internet, your going to suffer socially. Keeping your internet hours up heightens your exposure to all sorts of things which allows you to be well rounded is all sorts of social scenes. I'm a big music head so the net is super awesome to help feed that addiction in my life. Also, by using the internet regularly you won't become an expert at everything, but I think it gives you enough knowledge or knowhow to at least mesh into almost any social situation, granted your viewing the right information online. It's just like reading a newspaper, but the information comes at you in a little more of a disorganized fashion and there is more of it.

While I might not think I'm completely addicted to the internet I do understand peoples addition to online gaming, because I was at one point myself. Not to computer games, but to Halo for the Xbox. My freshman year in college it pretty much ran my life. I spent hours playing online with my friends in the dorm and on Xbox Live. It hurt my social life and my grades. I've since quit, but it has allowed me to recognize this as a real problem for other individuals. I think that these internet rehab centers are a good thing and have the potential to help a lot of people ease their internet addiction.

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