Running Head: INTERNET ADDICTION LEFT MY BROTHER HOMELESS
INTERNET ADDICTION LEFT MY BROTHER HOMELESS
Internet Addiction Left My Brother Homeless
Professor Heather Clark
September 18, 2018
Dear Professor Clark,
The core reading I chose was Internet Addiction Left My Brother Homeless. In this essay, I will discuss how being addicted to the internet can affect our everyday lives, how it intertwines with existing conditions that one may already have (gambling, shopping, etc.) and the path it could lead us on. The audience for this essay is my Instructor, Professor Heather Clark, for course English 111, and the students in my class.
I received very valuable and helpful feedback from a fellow classmate for my first draft. The ending ended abruptly leaving readers wondering what happened to the person that the core reading was written about. She suggested that I bring the ending back to the original story and provide more details about the brother in the reading and also provide information on how to help someone with internet addiction.
I faced multiple challenges while writing this draft, the main one being organization. The feedback from my classmate and rereading the chapters in my book has helped me tremendously with this challenge. Hopefully the audience will enjoy this essay!
I am sure most of my audience has insight and understanding on the issues regarding how time spent on the internet and social media is causing not only addictions but also health concerns. In today’s society most of us possess adequate prior knowledge of how internet usage can become problematic not only for us but for our families as well, yet, some of us are still hooked. This dilemma is affecting our relationships, our jobs, and in some cases our livelihood, health and our ability to communicate, yet some continue to spend countless hours on the internet playing games, chatting, shopping, gambling, social media, etc. We must realize that this excessive use can be abusive and causing in some cases irreparable harm.
Dictionary.com defines addiction as “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.” Although addiction is a choice, it has a powerful influence on the brain that makes us lose control over our normal behavior.
When social media first came on the scene, I found myself spending lots of time being glued to my computer and cell phone. It did not matter whether I was at work, home, driving, shopping, at church, or at an event. There were times when my family and I were having dinner, and instead of conversing with one another, we found ourselves constantly on the internet via cell phones and tablets. I know you all can imagine what happened to our communication.
In the article, although Ross didn’t understand why his brother was so heavily addicted (although never diagnosed but shows symptoms) to the internet and failed to become something in life and he hadn’t turned out the same way, reality set in when he made the decision to not judge his older brother without walking in his shoes. Ross spent a whole day with his brother from the time he woke up until the day ended. He discovered that his brother’s normal daily routine was much different than yours and mine. His day consisted of getting up whenever, going to the store and purchasing a meal with food stamps, then to the local soup kitchen for a free lunch and then spends at least 10 hours a day at Oregon State University in the computer lab on the internet. He did this every day.
According to the article, Ross’ brother is content with his lifestyle because at least he doesn’t have to work for a corporation that doesn’t pay enough, but Ross is worried that his brother may be a lost cause and someday, homelessness will kill him.
Studies show that the internet when used excessively, can be addicting and how it intertwines with pre-existing addictions. Psychologist David Greenfield stated being on the internet make you feel like you are high at times. He based his theory on a well-known Psychologist named B.F. Skinner. Skinner said that if we think a reward is coming, it is more satisfying than actually receiving the reward. The article shared how internet use can provide people with the same good feeling as alcohol or drugs.
Although internet addiction is not considered a disorder, there are test used to recognize an addictive internet user. According to psychguides.com, the test provides key characteristics for pathological usage of the internet and classifies the subject’s addiction as mild, moderate or severe.
When the author visited the treatment center, the first thing he asked the staff was if they had Wi-Fi. He caught himself and wondered if he had an addiction as well. Of course, he decided that he did not have one. Ross said his brother was fascinated with computers from his youth. The article stated Greenfield surveyed 18,000 web users, the study was conducted in 1999, and he discovered that 5.9 percent of the people surveyed were found to have symptoms of being addicted to the internet. The director of the facility Ross visited was concerned that there are not enough treatment facilities to obtain data to support research on the percentage of people possessing symptoms of internet addictions. Of course, treatment is necessary, however, Clinical psychiatrist, Jerald Block, stated “computer compulsive use is difficult to treat.” Ross ask questions that myself wonder. What happens when you leave the treatment center? Do you avoid jobs that require the use of a computer and do you promise to never look at computers again? Perhaps a solution to help someone with internet addiction may be to encourage them to seek counseling and get them involved in interest that doesn’t involve the internet. In accordance with the article at least two countries China and South Korea has announced internet addiction is number one on their list of public health treats.
Hopefully in the near future, the World Health Organization will code this as an actual addiction like any other and help the general public realize that this is an epidemic in need of research, a plan of action, treatment and treatment facilities.
Ross, Winston. “Internet Addiction Left My Brother Homeless.”
Newsweek, October 7, 2009, http://www.cengage.com/custom/static_content/OLC/s/76656_762181f?ross.pdf.
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