Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's November 2001

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Internet Addiction The topic of this evaluative research project is Internet addiction. This addiction is more serious than most people think. It can lead to serious problems that can impair families, relationships, and hinder job performance and duties. The symptoms of Internet addiction are numerous and can be mistakenly associated to other causes, which explains why many people addicted to the net are also in denial. I will take a personal position that is against this addiction and it's consequences.

Although the psychological symptoms of Internet addiction could be associated to other causes, they're distinctly similar to being addicted to drugs or caffeine. The most obvious symptom is the user's inability to stop Internet activity spontaneously. The user will often say they are going to get off but in actuality stay on for much longer than desired. Going along with this symptom, individuals will crave time at the computer and once there, will retire to a sense of euphoria and well-being when on the Internet.

Family and friends could possibly be neglected as well. According to Maressa Hecht Orzack, a clinical psychologist, feeling depressed and irritable when not at the computer, lying to cover computer activities, and problems with school or a job are also distinct symptoms of Internet addiction.

The physical symptoms of Internet addiction are easily recognizable, and can help to identify an Internet addict in progress. Due to the long periods of time on the computer, addicts may develop carpel tunnel syndrome and dry eyes. Back aches and migraine headaches can also become prevalent with so much computer activity. Sleep disturbances or a change in sleep patterns is a significant symptom. The individual might wake up in the middle of the night just to check their email or surf the night away.