Addiction and the Net
> 11/21/2005 10:13:32 AM

CBS News in Boston ran a story over the weekend that focused on internet pornography addiction.  Now while I thought this story was a little over the top (particularly the graphic which basically equates internet pornography with mass murderers), the message about the dangers of internet addiction is an important one.  An excerpt:

Dr. Elizabeth Englander teaches at Bridgewater State College. She says, "All kinds of deviant behavior pops up a little bit more on the internet because people feel as though what they do online doesn't count".

She says that the internet can make a bad addiction worse. "Anything that makes people feel anonymous makes them more likely to act impulsively or to act on things that are deviant or they otherwise wouldn't do." Dr Englander also says, "They may find that they need to do more and more to get the same feeling".

Pornography is only one aspect of the net that threatens to affect the public with a higher incidence of addiction (CBS reports that only 1 in 5 that are addicted to the net are also porn addicts).  Internet poker and day trading are other potentially problematic practices.

One of the fundamental problems about pornography is that it creates unrealistic portayals of ideal sex which have little to do with intimacy and the role sex plays in a "real" relationship. Sex addiction is a verifiable addiction and many people suffer from it as a primary psychological problem. It is, however, frequently associated to other chemical addictions.

The internet permits for anonymous sex and with the advent of broadband communications and web cams the act can be done with two consenting adults viewing each other in real-time.

Soon will we need Bill Clinton just to define if this is really sex?

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