Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Online addiction is no excuse and never will be.

By Abigail Clarke: Contributing Content Blogger

It has come out lately that more and more mental health administrators are recognising internet addiction as a legitimate condition. Fine. Are they only getting to this now? Yes. The internet is still a fairly new phenomenon but even I could put the dots together to call this one is it really that much a surprise? British doctors are describing those suffering from online addictions as people who have lost touch with the real world through social networks and websites. Really? They say addiction behaviours are much more common than most of us realise and that temptations to overindulge in one’s compulsions are always there for every one of us. Talk about poppycock confusing the issues and it sounds like the granting of excuses and condolences to dangerous individuals who have the power to choose not to do what they do. I refuse to accept that. Giving people an excuse to harm others is empowering to them and only works to increase the explosion of sick behaviours we are already experiencing. Victims of sick online people are seeing lives ruined and committing suicide!

Cyberharassment is the only type of addiction, if you call it that, where the behaviour is focused on harming others, not the behaviour harming the addicted. There is no doubt a phenomenon exists that is going on en masse, but I don’t believe it is an addiction per se and if it really is it can NEVER be used as an excuse or tool to help the violators get off legally from what they do to someone else. I believe what we are seeing is spawned by a new generation incapable of forming normal healthy relationships away from a screen. Look at the world today, much among youth, do they talk on the phone? No. They text. They carry out whole relationships in text. To now label online abusive behaviour as an addiction could dangerously cause more grief going forward. We should be wise to not begin educating the public that this is an addiction issue, rather the unveiling of what has been there all along which is that piece of human nature that finds fascination in seeing others suffer and is willing to harm others for nothing more than a cheap thrill and power trip.