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Friday, July 8, 2011
Computer Addiction and Its Harmful Effects
Macrine's nephew has been suffering from computer addiction since he was in college (10 years ago). Let us call him Jim ( not his real name) for this posting. The irony and sad fact is that computer science was his major. Because of this disorder, it took him six years to graduate for a 4 years course with the constant nagging of his DAD. After graduation, his DAD literally forced him to take a job. He stayed only 4 weeks in his job. He was either fired or he quit.
Today, Jim lives alone in the ancestral home of the family here in US. He is jobless. Lucky for him, he has an older brother who is single that supports him. He has no friends and goes out of the house once week to buy his groceries. I talked to his brother last month and inquired about Jim. He is getting worse and not communicative. The family wanted to commit him to a public mental hospital, but he would not go in his own free will. The family has no financial resources to get private medical help, because he has no insurance nor is he covered with his brother's insurance. According to his brother, he seemed to be physically healthy, but not communicating at all. When you talk to Jim, he just gave you a blank stare according to his older brother. I feel sorry for the brothers, but there is nothing Macrine and I can do. I found the following article on Computer Addiction very informative.
"Computer addiction is a loosely used term for the excessive use of computers to the extent that it interferes with daily life. Excessive use may explain problems in social interaction, mood, personality, work ethic, relationships, thought processes, or sleep deprivation. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not include a diagnosis for such a disorder.
The term computer addiction originated long before the Internet. Some people develop bad habits in their computer use that cause them significant problems in their lives. The types of behavior and negative consequences are similar to those of other known addictive disorders.
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. Here's a short video for your viewing pleasure.