Cynthia ValenciaWinter QuarterWRD 104/B. BanwartAcademic EssayMonday, February 19, 2018Importance and Evolution of Internet AddictionAre you using your phone, or is your phone using you? Can you put it down? Can you turn it off? In recent years, internet addiction has been a worldwide problem among the youth. Many of them may end up sitting in front of the computer for hours scrolling through the never-ending feeds of social media without resting. These prolonged activities bring up many questionslike: How did we get to this point? How do you know you’ve become addicted? What are the causes and effects? These are only a few questions that come to mind when thinking about internet addiction. In order to fully wrap our heads around this progressing problem, we need to take a step back and look at facts. Internet addiction can be simply described as an impulse control disorder, which does notinvolve the use of an intoxicating drug and is very similar to pathological gambling (qtd. in “Internet Addiction”). In an informative site, it was claimed that some Internet users may develop an emotional attachment to online friends and activities they create on their screens (“Internet Addiction”). Internet addiction is often compared to other addictions because those suffering from internet addiction use the virtual world to interact and connect with other people in place of making this connection with them in real life, face to face. There are many causes andeffects when it comes to internet or smartphone addiction such as personal, family, academic, financial, and occupational problems. These problems and characteristics don’t only pertain to this issue but are also to other types of addictions.
This insightful background information is essential to understanding Internet addiction more in-depth. Not only has the internet caused many problematic issues but also to narrow the scope of the problem I found that cell phones or should I say smartphones have had a profound impact on our society. What makes our smartphones so stimulating? Why can’t we look away? Or why don’t we stop ourselves from becoming addicted? These intriguing questions lead to the following source.Nellie Bowles, an American journalist and reporter for The New York Times covering internet culture, recently wrote an article named “Is the Answer to Phone Addiction a Worse Phone” that really gets to the core of these questions. He claims that to avoid cell phone addiction it is essential to switch your phone to the grayscale since color plays a vital role in keeping us engaged. Also, Bowles discovered that Silicon Valley is constantly fighting to grab our attention which in turn makes us feel like we are not in control of our own lives. He stated in his article, “After going to grayscale, Bowles not a different person all of a sudden, but I feel more in control of my phone, which now looks like a tool rather than a toy” (qtd. in Bowles).