Internet Revolution Part 2

By: Ryan Dearbone
By: Ryan Dearbone

Whenever you log onto the Internet, you enter into a virtual world full of information and services at your fingertips. However, some Internet regulars can become addicted and never want to leave the comforts of their computer.

"It has become such an integrated part of life that you cannot get away from it."

For some users the Internet is more than just a way to quickly get things done, it becomes an addiction.

"They get up in the morning, check their email. Go to work. Use the Internet at work for whatever business they happen to be in. They go home at night, turn on their computer, check email, browse around and they do that a lot," said Dave Becklye, the Director of Networking and Computing for Western Kentucky University.

Internet addiction is becoming an increasingly larger issue as more people log on to the information super highway.

Online addiction is characterized by an emotional attachment to the web to the point where it becomes a majority of the user's life. Psychologists say that between 5 to 10 percent of all online users will develop an "unhealthy addiction" the Internet.

Click here to find out more information on the "addiction" and how it affects
people.

"As more and more things are coming available like the online services. Being able to purchase things online, to be able to do online banking, be able to pay your bills. All of these things give people more reasons to use the Internet," Beckley continued.

With all this time spent online, some online experts say online addictions can lead the user to putting personal material online. However, its not always safe to give out your information online because of online identity theft and credit card fraud.

"The same opportunities for exploitation and manipulation and being personally endangered that can happen on a physical campus can happen in a Myspace kind of world," said Mark McElroy of Connect Kentucky.

Still, not everyone thinks its as dangerous as it seems.

"The potential for an individual's personal info to be compromised in a digital manner is analogous to the potential information compromised in the physical world. In many ways, its more limited in a digital environment," McElroy noted.

Online dependency doesn't stop on a personal level. Some people depend on the Internet for a steady source of income.

"If the Internet were to go away you would see a lot of businesses that have put a lot of work-at-home folks out there, they would probably, a lot of them, go out of business because they couldn't afford the real estate costs to pull those people into the brick and mortar building," said John Quesinberry of Nortel Networks.

Click here to take a questionnaire to determine if you are addicted to the Internet.

And to read more about if Internet addiction is real click here.


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