WUFT News

Internet Addiction Becoming More Serious, According to Research

By on October 25th, 2013

Tucked away in his bedroom, Scott Marshall takes a break from his busy schedule by playing a quick game of Nazi Zombies.

As trivial as this may seem, Marshall recalls a time in his life where his gaming hobby could have been his downfall.

“I used to play World of Warcraft… very extensively,” he said.

Marshall, who had previously subscribed to an online gaming community, admits to the excessive use and fascination that comes with using the Web — including playing online games uninterrupted for up to 12 hours at a time.

“But then you realize you spend a whole day sitting on the couch in front of a computer doing nothing,” he said. “And that didn’t really sit well with me.”

Professionals in the medical field believe Internet addiction should be taken more seriously now that the Web is increasingly integrated into our everyday lives.

Daniel Howes, an addiction therapist, said that Internet addiction is far more serious than some would choose to believe.

“Because it’s something to joke about, like, “Oh, I’m addicted to the Internet,’ but what does that really mean?” Howes said. “But if you say, ‘I’ve lost two jobs, my kids don’t eat dinner,’ you start thinking about how serious it is.”

Experts say Internet addiction could be especially dangerous for college communities, like Gainesville and the University of Florida, where students have the Web and other technologies readily available to them.

Despite the increasing seriousness of Internet addiction, it has not been added to the latest edition of “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.”

The American Psychiatric Association did, however, include a section in the fifth edition of the DSM, which discusses the “Internet gaming disorder” as a condition warranting more research before it can formally be considered a disorder.

While researchers have barely scratched the surface in their discoveries about Internet addiction, some professionals have already begun warning people about addictive behaviors online.

“Social interactions are not fake relationships, they’re real relationships,” said Raechel Soicher, a Santa Fe psychologist. “When you’re not having any others outside, then that’s an indicator.”

Marshall said he is familiar with these issues.

“At what point does it become too much to be spending online for periods of time?” he asked. “It’s amazing how 12 hours can go by and you don’t even realize it.”

Nonetheless, Marshall said he now realizes the benefits of curbing time on the Web and gaining control of an Internet addiction.

“It’s much nicer being in the real world,” he said.


This entry was posted in Health and Science and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Health and Science

Jessica Grobman, born HIV-positive, said she believes better sex education in Florida schools would help children grow up safer and healthier. “If education was just more encouraged, it definitely could be a great outcome,” she said.  Photo courtesy of Jessica Grobman.

HIV Positive Student Advocates Comprehensive Sex Education

Jessica Grobman was born with HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus. But it was not until she learned about HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in middle school that she began to understand she was different.


FTN-feature

UF Graduate Students Offer Free Therapy To Those In Need

Volunteer graduate students studying clinical health psychology staff the Free Therapy Night clinic at Gainesville Community Ministry. The equal access clinic focuses specifically on mental health.


UF_Shands

UF Health Shands Hospital Responds To Mold Discovery In North Tower

After a complaint from a cancer patient, UF Health Shands Hospital has removed mold from three patient rooms in the hospital’s north tower.


Selena Sattler searches for the grade of her favorite fast food location on What the Health. The app was recently released in Florida, allowing users quick access to local restaurant grades based on health inspections.

Mobile App Offers Restaurant Health Inspection Grades

An app called What the Health offers users instant access to health inspection data for restaurants in the area. Launched in Florida on Jan. 26, the app assigns letter grades for restaurants based on county health inspection findings.


Chris “Boris” Marhefka and Carlee Daylor prepare meals to be delivered to members for the week.
Eat The 80 recently launched a Facebook campaign that helped raise $3,000 worth of meals to help families undergoing cancer treatment.

Meal Delivery Program To Help Families In Need

At the end of its one-week campaign, Eat The 80 raised $3,000 for meals to give away to families. The money will provide meals for four or five families over the next month.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments