Ghost at the Machine: Internet Addiction and Compulsive Computer Use

Rachel VanCott

Technology use-particularly the use of the Internet-is a pervasive component of modern society. The Internet has changed the way we work and the way we play, creating new possibilities for self expression and communication. But it also enables (and possibly encourages) compulsive behavior. Internet Addiction is the compulsive use of the computer and the Internet. Internet use is considered compulsive when the user engages in the behavior to such an extent that he is no longer able to meet his responsibilities and physical and emotional needs. Case studies and experts from the realms of medicine and media studies provide a description of the disorder and some of the causes that contribute to the dysfunctional behavior. The author also tackles a larger question: What does Internet Addiction mean in the context of our modern society?



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