Cyberaddiction: Too Big A Problem?

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate July 2001

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Imagine a young boy who does not have many social skills. Let us call him Ron. Ron has mutual respect from his peers but simply is too shy to talk to them. In addition, he does not particularly care for them. He feels very alone and has trouble making friends due to his shyness. He has heard about the communities of CB radio and having your very own handle. This appeals to him slightly, but he still has a fear of interpersonal communication. He fears that people will not like his voice and that he will most likely not know what to talk about. Thus, he is still left alone.

One of his few friends, Jake, just got a new computer. This computer is attached to the phone line in his house using a device called a modulator/demodulator, or "modem". He utilizes his modem to attach to what is entitled a Bulletin Board Service (BBS).

The BBS is located on a bigger computer that allows other users to log into it. The users are able to type text and save it to the big computer, and then other users can view the text and reply to it. It is a primitive, but efficient, means of text-based communication. Ron likes this and frequently goes to Jake's house. This presents him with a nice way to make friends. Many things aid to the greatness of the "'net". Ron enjoys the anonymity of it. Nobody can hear his voice and therefore would not recognize him. He can become any kind of character or personality that he wants and if he "messes up", he can just start over. It is only text, which is the most appealing trait. Therefore, he goes over Jake's house just about every day after school to play with his...