The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Internet usage addictive, experts say

By Lauren Jackson/reporter

As computer use and Internet access become increasingly prevalent on all college campuses, some researchers are finding that students are at risk for Internet addiction.

Internet addiction has sparked researchers from around the country to take a closer look. Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine conducted a telephone survey, which suggests that “potential markers of problematic Internet use are present in a sizeable portion of the population.”

Since Internet addiction can be a realistic and potential danger to anybody, Richard Davis, an expert from York University in Toronto, has come up with two major indicators of Internet addiction.

“ First, usage must be so high that it begins to interfere with daily life, such as relationships, occupations or academics,” he said. “Second, the user must have difficulty stopping. College students are at the highest risk of Internet addiction.”

Students with round-the-clock access can find anything from comfort and companionship to entertainment and online shopping.

But, when Internet usage goes from harmless to obsessive, the effects can be damaging.

“ I know a lot of people that are always online, always checking their MySpace,” Stephanie Wood, NE Campus student, said. “It’s crazy.”

Addicts are often obsessed with online activities such as games, online gambling, stock trading, online auctions and, the most common attraction, pornography.

Researchers at The University of Notre Dame conducted a study of students with Internet addiction and found that as a result of the addiction students displayed a variety of negative behaviors such as “declining grades, failure to fulfill responsibilities—academic, professional or social—health problems such as sleep deprivation and legal or financial problems.”

David Greenfield, founder of a Connecticut-based research group, said, “Some students have described that the effects of excessive Internet usage provoke anti-social behavior similar to drug addiction, making withdrawal nearly as difficult.”

For an addict, life revolves around a computer screen and even the idea of not having access can produce high levels of stress and anxiety. However, some students think the Internet does not have a big impact on their lives.

“ I do a little online gambling, maybe a few hours a week, but I am too busy to get addicted,” Daniel Burns, NE Campus student, said.

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