There is no doubt that the technological advances made by man in the 20th Century equalled all the advances made in all of the previous centuries put together. There is little doubt that the invention that has and will continue to have the greatest impact on all of our lives is the computer.

When the computer was developed towards the end of the 20th Century it was believed that it would reduce all of our working weeks and give us more time for leisure and being with friends and family. No one really imagined that the computer could become an addiction in itself.

In addition, we now have more "screens" to become attached to: phone/smart phones, Ipads, gaming console, Xbox.

Does this describe your situation:

  • Your child is falling behind with homework because of always being on the computer or a device
  • The husband or wife have become a virtual recluse and spend all their time locked away in one room for hour after hour
  • The phone bill has almost doubled over night
  • You are spending longer and longer at the computer or a screen, and don't realise where the time goes

Some of the signs of computer/screen addiction will be very similar to other addictions. They could be, psychological Symptoms and wellbeing issues; inability to stop using device; making excuses; seeing family and friends less and less; tired and irritable; lying; problems with learning/school or even work.

There could be more physical signs of problems arising from too much computer/screen time. For example:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Dry eyes
  • Migraine headaches
  • Backaches
  • Eating irregularities - maybe skipping meals
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Sleep problems

The Web

The Computer is such a versatile tool that it can host a range of addictions. The internet and the World Wide Web is the addiction for the 21st Century. With slogans such as 'if you are not part of the present you are part of the past' it is clear that the marketing is all about getting us to log-on or miss out.

In 1992 the world wide web was created and licensed. The world wide web has increased at a phenomenal rate.

In 1993 there were 130 websites. In 2020 there are almost 2 billion websites. These billions of websites today offer such a vast array of information, meeting people's needs not just in the hunger for information but for shopping, meeting people, sexual fantasies, pornography and gambling to name a few.

The Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is one increasingly popular use for the internet. It is a way of communicating with people from around the world using the internet. Today this can be accessed through Facebook, whatsapp, twitter and a wide variety of other communication platforms. It is a growing worldwide problem and is highly addictive especially for people who are lonely or bored. Once the person starts communicating they can feel they are missing out by not being on-line and this can be part of the addictive nature.

On-line trading is the latest modern method of gambling. This offers an immediate form of feedback. In the past most stock market trading was done through a personal broker or a brokerage firm. Today at the merest click the shares can be brought and sold; days or weeks have been reduced to seconds.

For many people the computer is intended purely for pleasurable pursuits. Sadly addiction is still possible. The video game was the ultimate toy of the 1980's. From there highly advanced and technological games have been developed to be used on the computer. Some of these can be downloaded or accessed in a variety of ways. Ultimately the aim is to keep people on the machine as long as possible. This is exactly what happens for many people remaining on the computer from dawn till dusk or when they get in from school or work till the early hours of the next morning. What started out as a pleasurable pursuit has become an all-consuming addiction.

The roots of this addiction are very similar to the others; the needs are not being met in other areas. Unlike many of the other addictions the internet can actually lead you to the answer as you can meet people, shop, gamble on-line. In addition when you see or meet something/somebody on the internet it is hard to believe that they do not really exist.

However it can also accentuate your problem leave you feeling even more distant from human company apart from the problem especially during IRC of not really knowing who the people you are communicating with really are, i.e. are they really who they say they are?

Computer Addiction

Internet Addiction