Effects of Internet Addiction Essay

Like any addiction, internet addiction has various effects on an individual. As the connotation of the word “addiction” suggests, the effects are not always very good. There are effects that are general to all addictions. The addict becomes dependent on the internet, loses control of self to the internet, and discontinuing the use of internet leads to disturbances in mood and behavior. There are also effects that are particular to internet addiction. As an internet addict becomes accustomed to the accelerated sense of time, the addict can acquire technostress.

The symptoms will be the “internalizing [of] the standards by which the computer works: accelerated time, a desire for perfection, yes-no patterns of thinking” (Heim 201). Many internet addicts being college students, as implied in Moore’s The Emperor’s Virtual Clothes. When a student becomes addicted to the internet, time originally spent on studying turns to internet time, and grades start to fall. An A and B student in Moore’s book turned to a D and F student within a semester due to internet addiction.

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Even though a student may believe they are in control of their lives, their addiction actually takes over them as the addiction “appears to make the individual’s life more manageable” (Donovan 8). The internet allows for a place where individuals can interact with other individuals behind the screen, without knowing the other individual’s appearance. Such an interaction consequently makes both individuals lose real life communication skills, and even become socially withdrawn.

Online, emotions can be expressed with symbols and specific words designated to convey a feeling. On the other hand, it takes away the need for using visual communication skills of the face, body, and hands. Without exercising these skills, they can weaken. And as one spends more and more time online, they can become used to only communicating with typed words, and finding it difficult to talk to people in real life. As with Moore’s encounter with an internet addict: His fingers are constantly tapping.

When there is nothing to type-for instance, while waiting as the computer answers his previous request-he strokes the outside edges of the keyboard or taps the table. His eyes are locked on the screen and it occurs to me that Rob has barely made eye contact with me all day, even over our cheap lunch. He seems both eager to tell me his story and embarrassed by it. (Moore 59) Rob then says he spends a lot more time on computers than with people, and that it is more comfortable for him on the

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