It seems like every few month, some psychologist likes to come out with a new report trying to drum up some business talking about some technology addiction, with internet addiction being the most popular. Usually, these are pretty blatant attempts to play on people's fears while getting new (lucrative) patients. The latest report appears to be no exception. The coverage talks up the same old story about how people may be addicted to the internet and how it's a huge risk. While the article notes that not everyone in the psychiatric business agrees, it doesn't go into any of the details about those who don't agree with the designation. Our biggest problem with the claims of "internet addiction" is that it's so broadly defined, that it could apply to plenty of people who are perfectly well-adjusted. The question should only matter if it's somehow impacting the person's life. The details, within the article, suggest that while the researcher behind the report talks up internet addiction, she's really discussing much more specific issues: such as a gambling addiction, pornography addiction or your garden variety case of depression. Classifying it as "internet addiction" is more focusing on the symptoms of a problem rather than the actual issue, and is both misleading and potentially damaging -- but guaranteed to make headlines.
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