This article is about e-addiction. Don’t reach for your dictionaries, I just made that up. The addiction, however, is very real and I’ve experienced it myself, both as a gamer and as a netizen.
According to this article in the Washington Post :
‘[internet] Addicts lose interest in other hobbies or, sometimes, never develop any. When not allowed to go online, they experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, depression or even physical shaking. They retreat into corners of the Internet where they can find quick success — a dominant ranking in a game or a well-liked Facebook post — that they don’t have in the real world, experts say.’
The emphasis on ‘success’ is mine, and I believe it is the foundation of this psychological addiction. If real life sucks, go online and become a ‘god’ who is respected and adored by everyone. Or words to that effect.That kind of ego stroking is very hard to ignore because we all want to be respected, admired, liked.
The real problem, however, is not that we find ‘success’ online, but that we do not find it in the real world.
In a way, I guess this is just another First World problem, but it is real, and it will become more prevalent as the mobile generations swap their Smartphones for SmartJewellery, or SmartClothing, or SmartGoggles…or whatever. All these future devices will be fantastic, but they will not make living in the real world any easier.
Definitely food for thought,
p.s.in Korea, the pressures of real life have already created a whole society that is more ‘connected’ than any other. And they’re starting to have serious problems. This case is unusual but brings home the message.