Thursday, December 01, 2005

Addicted to Net

NYTimes reports on treating internet addiction.

I'm not denying that there can be such a thing as internet addiction. I mean, I have no problems not using the internet for an extended amount of time. The cold sweat, hot flashes, accelerated heart beat, and panic attacks I get when not on the internet are just coincidences, I assure you. Me? Depdendent? Never.

On the other hand, an addiction to the internet is similar to an addiction to martial arts, throwing cats, or singing about the color blue: it's behvioral. And as such, I would imagine that there are usually underlying reasons for the addiction whether it's a need for escapism or personal identity or whatever else. In short, treating internet addiction as a new entity per se seems a bit unnecessary to me. Is this "new" addiction any different than entertaining and escpaist vices that have come up in the past?
"It's breaking new ground," Ms. Ewing said. "But an addiction is an addiction."

Now wait a second...if an addiction is an addiction, how is the internet addiction (which is just an addiction after all) breaking new ground? I agree with the latter part of Ms. Wing's assessment but I'm not sure about this ground-breaking business. At the very most, we're still on one plot of land and we're now digging over by the rhododendra instead of messing around with the shrubbery.

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