Computer Addiction – A Genuine Problem?

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From parents who are worried about the amount of time their kids spend in front of a monitor to the individual who says they don’t know if they could live without their PC, there are many people in the world who some would accuse of being addicted to their computers. How genuine this “addiction” is seems to be a matter of opinion. Certainly, there is no physical reason why computers might be addictive. But then, addictions are not solely physical in nature.

Often, it is not the computer that is at the source of the problem. What tends to be more of a concern is the specific programs on the computer, one or more of which may exert a powerful hold over the user. People have been reported as suffering addictions to computer games, to internet chat rooms and online pornography. In these cases, it seems that the computer is not the addiction but is an “enabler” to it.

If someone is spending too much time on their computer, then it is not necessarily the case that they have an addiction, although they may be over-reliant on it. There are many stories about executives who become almost inseparable from their laptops because they feel like they are always at work – some who will even bring their laptop on honeymoon with them. This is not a desirable state of affairs, but it does happen.

If you fear that you are addicted to your computer, then you need to switch it off, get up and do something else for a day. If you are still concerned, do the same the next day and see if the feeling grows or diminishes. It may be that you are not addicted, but are habitually linked to it.

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