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Online Addiction

Because it's not official until you post it online <a>[Source]</a>
Because it's not official until you post it online [Source]

Have you ever known someone who couldn't put down their cell-phone? Whether at school, on a date, or even during a job interview?

People can become crippled by their toys and online connectivity. Consider the two girls who climbed into a storm drain to play around, but got stuck. Using their cellphones, they updated their Facebook status and waited for help instead of calling their parents or the police for help.

What about the people who have become addicted to online gaming? Not just gambling, but online multi-player games as well. People have lost their education, jobs, marriages, and their lives playing games, from Starcraft to World of Warcraft.

Prevention and Detection

The real animals could use your attention right about now <a>[Source]</a>
The real animals could use your attention right about now [Source]

The first and most obvious method for dealing with this is to avoid it entirely. Some of us know we have addictive personalities and are best served by not playing at all. For example, I would probably enjoy playing World of Warcraft, but after studying the game and learning how addictive it can be, it's just something that I know better than to mess with.

But if you or someone you love doesn't already know or is confident they can handle it, then the key is to set reasonable limits on time and money that they can devote to their hobby (just like any other hobby).



One of the reasons that gaming or any other online activity can be such a strain on a relationship is the amount of money that people spend on it. Games like City of Heroes

Time is no different. If someone's hobby was whittling wood, folding origami, or common activities like fishing, there comes a point where it's just too much.

The key factor is whether the online activities interfere with their ability to do other critical things like job, work, school, etc. Speaking of:

Probably the easiest way to know if there's an addiction or not is whether the person in question can handle their other responsibilities. This is all a matter of priorities.


Once I worked with a guy who was an Everquest player. Normally, he wouldn't stoop to cleaning and straightening the store and would instead help customers until the doors closed expecting that the rest of us would have finished closing procedures.

Then one night, he was straightening, stocking, and generally being a maverick close to a full hour before closing time. When I asked what was up, he told me a friend had called to tell him that "his dragon had popped" (meaning that a special event in the game was available and he didn't want to miss it).

While some people shake their heads at this story, I do not count that as a form of addiction. If he was hurrying home to watch a football game or go on a date with his girlfriend, no one would think anything of it. He met his responsibilities first.

On the other hand, you often hear the stories of people who call in sick or cancel plans to make more time to play. This is when you start to know you have a problem.

Signs of Dependence

How do you know when you've let it go too far? It's pretty simple really; if you can keep to reasonable limits that you and the people you care about agree on, then you're fine!

But no one's happy without a bullet-list so here's one for you just in case:

But really, the biggest clue that you have a problem is when someone suggests that you do. To immediately deny it (called denial for that reason), is foolish. Instead, talk it out!

As long as you don't spend more time, money, or attention on your online use than anyone else would on a more "traditional" activity (fishing, sports, shopping), then you're probably ok. Otherwise, it may be time to seek professional help.

Online Addiction: From gambling to surfing and online gaming, people can destroy themselves and others with online addiction.
Posting Online: The Internet never forgets anything completely. Make sure you don't make mistakes that will stick with you for the rest of your life.
Protecting Photos: The Internet never forgets anything completely. Make sure you don't make mistakes that will stick with you for the rest of your life.
Getting Tricked: You WERE doing fine... until someone convinced you to install a virus or give away your passwords. Don't fall for it!
Account Hijacking: One of the most common security risks today is people getting their accounts taken over and then used to trick their friends and family.
Trusting Webservices: An online service promises they'll 'Never abuse or misuse your data' and you believe them? Think again.
How to Steal Identities - Why It's So Easy
Credit Freeze
Data Defense
Credit Monitoring
Id Theft Insurance
The Identity Theft Victim's Mini-Guide to Recovery
The Geek Privacy Principle
Nothing to Hide
Data Abuse
RFID - Radio Frequency IDentification
Privacy Alias/Persona
Data Defense
Online Addiction
The Consequences of Posting Online
Photo Safety
Tricks and Scams
Account Hijacking
Trusting Companies
Bad Passwords
Password Tips and Tricks
Password Protection
Password Mugging
Computer Security
E-mail Safety
Kids and Computers
Shopping Online
All About Warranties

Online Addiction

Concerned about online addiction? You should be. Learn the types, the signs, and the preventions.

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The Consequences of Posting Online

It's fun to post online. What you think, what you feel. But words typed and posted on the Internet can come back to bite you more than anything you could say with your mouth.

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Photo Safety

You can reveal far more than you intended when you post a photo online. Don't make a critical mistake and check your photos before they're online.

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Tricks and Scams

Just because you won't willing give up data doesn't mean that I can't trick you out of it. Don't fall for these well known tricks!

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Account Hijacking

One of the newest threats we face is the risk of someone getting control of your online account and using it against you and the people you know. Do everything you can to prevent that from happening!

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Trusting Companies

Store, online or off, are not known for being fair and helpful unless it benefits them to be so. Good deals exist, but many are bad deals in disguise. It's not in your best interests to be too trusting with any of them.

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