Thursday, September 29, 2022

Are we hooked on computers?

Do you spend a lot of time on your computer and check your e-mail on a regular basis? Do you regularly use social networks such as facebook or twitter to communicate with your family and friends? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then you are definitely showing some symptoms of computer addiction. Just like drugs, computers have several effects that have lately become worrisome.

I personally know people who can be referred to as computer addicts. Although I don’t have a computer at home, like many others, computers play an important role in my daily occupations.
I would like to find out if i am a computer addict. I would also like to find help for those who are ‘addicted’. As defined by Wikipedia, an addiction is a persistent behavioural pattern marked by physical and/or psychological dependency and tolerance that cause significant disruption and negatively impacts the quality of life of an orgasm. According to the encyclopaedia, addictions are frequently linked to substance abuse, particularly drugs such as narcotics, stimulants and sedatives amongst others. There are many ways in which a person can become computer addicted. Addiction can be caused by every day activities which are performed on computers. Such activities include online messaging and computer arcade gaming, which could last several hours on a daily basis.

Nowadays, people rely too much on computers as a medium for every day communication. Some people become so obsessed with computers that, they spend their entire time sitting in front of the computer. Not only does this affect their own lives, but also others around them. They can go to the extent of neglecting their work and even their own personal hygiene. People rely on computers for many different reasons, including working, playing and socializing. However, some may use the computer to escape from emotional feelings of depression like overcoming distress. Some play arcade games online every day. Such type of internet focused addiction is often referred to by professionals as Internet Addiction Disorder (I A D). Admittedly, there are many who are addicted to watching pornography.

Such people have confused and very perverted ideologies about sexuality. They sometimes end up becoming rapists. People who are bound to have such problems in particular are those who are having marital problems like bitter divorce cases. As relationships fall apart, users reliably turn on their computers and go as far as forgetting about important work related meetings, social gatherings and indeed family time.

Computer addiction can also be harmful to one’s overall health. It can lead to physical problems. Such problems include back- aches which are caused by sitting for long hours. Wrist pains are caused by using a mouse and key board for prolonged hours. Starring at a bright computer screen for long durations can also cause eyestrain. This may ultimately lead to head aches and eventual optical complications. Late night computer usage can cause insomnia which eats away sleeping time.

This deprivation of sleep causes drowsiness, lack of concentration and collapsing of the immune system, ultimately leading to unconsciousness. Prolonged computer usage may also lead to lack of much needed physical activity. This then inevitably causes eventual obesity. It builds up every day.
I spoke to Mrs Ronelle Tonkin, the school nurse at Maruapula who explained addiction as a term which can be used broadly. She explained that computer addiction ignites compulsive behaviour, which builds up in to a passionate activity with dedication, more like an illicit hobby. I then spoke to Tsitsi, a career guidance counsellor at a local public institution, who insists that computing has a long way until it can get to a widespread addictive stage in our country, ‘ Those types of addictions are only found in developed countries,’ she said.

However you classify it, excessive use of computers remains a serious problem for some people. The only advice to addicts would be to get help. It is undoubtedly not easy to stop on your own, as much as it would be difficult for cocaine addicts. Family, friends and work mates, including your Doctor or mental practitioner may be useful in helping you to curb your computer usage. If you have people looking over your shoulder, most of the time, then chances are that you’ll be less likely to ‘abuse’ the computer. Computers addicts are bound to show abovementioned symptoms.


Read this week's paper