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Alex Douglas-Kane shares her experiences and understanding of Discover Nature Awareness

Monday, 10 December 2012

Has the Internet taken over from Nature?

For example we have Farm Town on Face-book
Explorative research into the causes and consequences of compulsive internet use: Prof. Dr. S. W. J. Lamberts

Although there are obviously many positive aspects related to the development of the internet, for more than 20 years indications have been emerging that some people can become overly attached to computers and certain internet functions, resulting in serious psychological, social, and professional dysfunctioning (Davidson & Walley, 1984; Goldberg, 1997). 


The idea that the internet, or at least certain internet functions, might be addictive, initially met a lot of skepticism: “… IAD (internet addiction disorder) is not a disorder and IAD does not exist; there is little research to show otherwise (and much of that is done poorly)” (Grohol, 1995). Or as Hughey put it: “I prefer to think of these people (internet addicts, GJM) as pioneers.

Eventually, we will all be “connected” all the time. A new age has arrived. Let’s not invent DSM IV classifications for those who are just a little ahead of the rest of us in embracing the future” (Hughey, 1997). Meanwhile, however, it is recognized that certain internet functions may indeed bear an addiction risk and that internet functions such as on-line erotica, internet games, and online chatting are “activities that may carry greatest future risk for behavioural addiction” (Orford, 2005). 


Nonetheless, research in the field of ‘internet addiction’ is still explorative and no consensus has been attained on the validity and reliability of the construct or on its causes and consequences. There is even no agreement on which term to use for the phenomenon. In the literature the behaviour is referred to as internet addiction (Young, 1998), pathological.

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