Just when you think you’ve heard it all, you discover a new twist on ordinary activities now deemed by society at large, to be an addiction. Computer addiction is a case in point. The term ‘addiction’ usually conjures up ideas pertaining to drugs or alcohol. This colloquialism has bad connotations. When you hear people talking of computer addiction, how do you know if you aren’t a geeky addict?
Now, in the strictest sense, according to one dictionary/thesaurus definition, addiction is described as “fixation, inclination, bent; see habit, obsession”. This description certainly does not connote a rabid personality, engulfed in an obsession which takes over their lives. The word, fixation, is ambiguous. You may have a fixation on achieving your goals. This is, rhetorically, not synonymous with addiction. The word, inclination, is much more mild. You may have an inclination to have a spotless home environment. This doesn’t mean that you exercise that inclination. The word, bent, is most ambiguous. You may be bent on not wasting food, but still, it happens. So how does the term, computer addiction, fit into your life and the popular psychology?
Let’s assume that computer addiction is a legitimate addiction. If one might suffer from computer addiction, here are the signatures:
1. Your computer use becomes as enthralling to you as heroin is to a regular heroin user. You just can’t leave it alone, and still feel right. You can’t function unless you’ve had a computer ‘fix’.
2. You find yourself neglecting family and financial responsibilities to the extent that you’d rather post on your fave message boards than fix dinner or pay the bills.
3. You’d rather surf the net than kick back and watch an excellent movie.
4. You’d rather surf the net than talk face to face with a friend or family member.
5. Upon waking, you rush to your computer to make a connection. You don’t even know what you want to research.
6. If someone interferes with your surfing, you grumble some nonsensical reply that leaves them in no doubt as to your priorities – the computer wins.
If these six points describe your computer use, you may well have a computer addiction. However, if you look over the signals, it’s also apparent that this so-called addiction is easily remedied. Once you realize that your computer use has re-prioritized your life negatively, you can simply set new priorities. Take care of business and family needs, then surf to your heart’s content.