Internet Addictions: What are they anyway?

There are many things to be said on the topic of internet and internet addiction. Though there has been recent “buzz” about it and more people are “finding out about it” the reality is that it has been around for quite awhile.  An internet addiction can look different for different people, much like a drug addiction.  You can be addicted to heroin, or ecstasy, or cocaine.  Internet-wise, it is almost the same thing.  There are different types of addictions and different severities like any other addiction.  For example, types of internet addictions can include: online gaming, social media, pornography and chatrooms.

A person with this type of addiction can be completely oblivious to it, or in denial.  They may say something like, “How can this even be possible?  But, I’m not using a mind altering substance, so I’m not addicted.”  These assumptions and questions are completely inaccurate.  For example, for someone addicted to porn, the sexual release triggers a chemical in the brain that is proven to be almost as addictive as heroin.

Part of the reason treating this addiction is so difficult, is the easy access.  An internet addict can walk into Starbucks and see a sign that says “free wifi” and it would almost be as if an alcoholic or drug addict walked into a coffee shop that read “free vodka” or “free coke.”

In many conversations, this topic is viewed as weird or creepy or even disgusting based upon the type of addiction.  This makes the addict much less likely to seek help or support and can throw them even deeper into their problem.

This is a very real and a very dangerous addiction.  Men with pornography addictions, many times, are the ones who sexually abuse women to get a new fix, because they have become tolerant to it.  The same can happen with women.

Women struggle with this, too, though it is sometimes less likely and even more taboo, it does happen.  We need to be able to empower these “closeted” addicts to open up and seek out support.  This is the kind of thing that can and will ruin relationships.  We must keep an open mind and reach out to support people, or reach out for support for our own addiction.

I believe that internet addictions are revolutionizing our society and the more we encourage these addicts to get help, the more information we can get to learn to treat it.


By:  An Anonymous Student