Since the invention of world’s first computer – ENIAC, in the early 20th century, computers have evolved to become much more efficient and compact. Moreover, they have become inseparable electronic gadgets in our personal as well as professional lives. Today, computers are found in almost every house and offices belonging to government or private organizations.
They are used for a number of personal and professional tasks like – maintaining social media accounts, playing games, sending and receiving e mails, organizing and maintaining database, booking tickets etc.
Such high degree of usefulness of computers, mainly on entertainment front, has resulted into some people developing an unusual and inseparable bond with the machine, which is in professional language, called as “Computer Addiction”.
Long Essay on Computer Addiction in English
Below we are providing a long essay on computer addiction, covering all the popular sub topics under it. The essay stresses upon to convey to you the right information in most appropriate format possible.
After going through the essay you would know the basics about computer addiction- definition of computer addiction, causes of computer addiction, types of computer addiction, symptoms of computer addiction, how to reduce computer addiction, treatment of computer addiction etc.
Computer Addiction Long Essay
Computer Addiction refers to an irresistible urge to use a computer, consequently resulting in its excessive use up to an extent, where it interferes with a person’s personal, social or professional life.
Computer addiction isn’t specific of a particular task performed on computer and may involve variety of tasks like – playing games, maintaining social media accounts, making online purchases etc. However, before proceeding any further, it must be kept in mind that internet plays a vital role in computer addiction. In the absence of internet, the computer wouldn’t be irresistible enough to cause addiction.
What is Computer Addiction
In medical terminology, computer addiction is defined as excessive or compulsive use of computer by an individual, despite serious consequences to physical and mental health, relations with family and friends or degradation of professional performance.
The addiction could both involve online as well as offline activities performed on computers. Playing games on computer is the most common addictive activity that could be performed both online and offline. Chatting on social media accounts and maintaining one’s status, making updates is another addictive activity performed online.
Causes of Computer Addiction
There could be many physiological and psychological causes which could lead an individual to develop an addiction towards computers. Studies have revealed that people suffering from depression or anxiety are more likely to develop computer addiction in comparison to a mentally healthy person. They do so in order to escape reality and in absence of any moral support, gradually become more addicted to whatever they love doing on their computer.
To better understand we will take up real life example of a kid, who has developed depression over time due to his/her consistent poor performance in school examination. In absence of proper guidance and proper moral support from family, friends and teachers, such child will try to find an escape route to forget his/her failures, even if it provides only temporary solace. Now, if somehow the child has accessibility to a computer, with or without internet, s/he is more likely to develop a habit of playing games in order to gain temporary satisfaction.
In some cases a person who is bound to sit over a place for long duration, either due to some physiological reasons or other commitments, may tend to use computer, mainly to escape boredom.
There could be several social, professional, psychological, physiological and environmental causes that force a person towards computer addiction. It is also not mandatory that a person should be suffering from any prior mental condition or inability to develop computer addiction, but even a physically and mentally healthy person could develop an addiction to computer.
Types of Computer Addiction
There are mainly four common types of computer addictions, broadly classified based on the tasks performed. Though there could be several types of computer addictions, here we have discussed only the most common types of computer addictions commonly found.
1) Gaming Addiction
Gaming Addiction is one of the most common form of computer addiction, mainly found among youngsters and adolescents. It involves playing games on computer for unusually long hours, compromising health, social life and academics. Games could be played both offline and online that is, they could be played without internet or with internet respectively. Though, mainly children and youngsters are more prone to develop computer gaming addiction, nevertheless it is known to have addicted even mature people belonging to larger age groups.
2) Social Medial Addiction
Social media addiction is also one of the most common forms of computer addiction found throughout all age groups. Social media addiction involves several activities relating only to social media accounts like facebook, twitter, whatsapp etc. It includes, constantly updating status, posting thoughts and pictures, real-time chatting with friend/s, peeping into other people’s accounts etc. Social media addiction is usually found in adults i.e. above the age of 18 years. Though, in this era where computers are found in every household, even small children are operating their social media accounts and making regular updates.
3) Gambling Addiction
Gambling Addiction isn’t very common, but has severe social and financial consequences on the addict. There are several gambling sites available online on internet, which prompt the users to gamble by investing a small amount in order to win back in much larger denomination. People usually invest all their money, in hope to win a jackpot, only to become more and more financially drained with every chance. Apart from adding financial burden on the victims, it also affects their family, relatives and friends.
4) Online Shopping Addiction
This is also the most common type of computer addiction found mainly in developed and developing economies throughout the world. There are hundreds of commercial websites available on internet, which are selling thousands of products on attractive discounts for anyone with a computer with internet and a disposable income. An increase in people’s purchasing capacity has led to a boom of online e-commerce websites which sell all kind of products targeting the customers across all age groups, ethnicity and financial backgrounds etc.
Symptoms of Computer Addiction
Some of the most common symptoms of computer addiction are discussed below-
1) Spending Long Hours
Spending unusually long hours operating a computer is the foremost symptom suggesting that a person might be a computer addict or fast moving towards becoming one. This doesn’t mean that every person who spends long hours on computer, is an addict. For example a ticket booking clerk employed with railways, might be spending 7-9 hours on a computer on a normal working day.
But he/she can’t be categorized as a computer addict. The term “computer addict” is more appropriate when used in context with someone who spends hours on computer, doing things those are harmful to his/her mental, physical and social well being.
2) Compulsive Behaviour
Computer Addiction is also identified by a very strong and compulsive urge to gain access to a computer. An addicted person shows high level of willingness to use a computer with no apparent reason at all. S/he might have a hidden objective in mind but will usually refrain from revealing it. They might want to play games, complete the present stage only to move onto another, do online shopping or simply surf through the internet for “n” number of activities.
3) Stress and Fatigue
If a person with access to computer in his/her house, always looks worn out and fatigued, there are good chances that s/he might have developed a particular kind of computer addiction. Prolong use of computers for unfruitful activities, leaves a person tired and looking dull in appearance. Suppose if someone plays games on computer for many hours, then s/he will obviously look physically and mentally fatigued. Such persons will shy away from social interactions and would like to spend their remaining time in taking rest, only to start all over again.
4) Unusual Sleep Pattern
One of the most significant impacts of computer addiction on mental and physical health of a person begins with sleep disturbances. Anyone who is addicted to the computers is more likely to compromise his/her sleep in order to spend more time with the computer.
Sleep is undoubtedly a vital activity necessary for physical and mental well being of a person. Not getting the required sleep could cause ailments like blood pressure, headache, stress and diabetes apart from stress, dullness, fatigue and depression. Therefore, if a person displays an inability to sleep, it is possible that computer addiction is behind his/her sleeplessness.
Reclusiveness or social isolation is one of the vital signs indicating that a person might be a computer addict. A computer addict becomes introvert and usually shies away from usual interactions with family and friends. S/he prefers to live in isolation, undisturbed in the company of his/her computer. Slowly they move deeper into their addiction if not given proper counseling and moral support.
Effects of Computer Addiction
Computer addiction could have a negative impact on a person’s mental, physical health and social life. During initial stages the social life of an addicted person seems to suffer. An addict spending hours on computer will refrain from meeting friends, relatives and is also most likely to stay away from any social gathering.
Over time, if the person’s infatuation to the computer isn’t curtailed, it will damage his/her mental and physical health as well. Stress, fatigue, irritation, compulsive behaviour, depression are only some of the mental consequences of computer addiction.
There are also a variety of physical consequences of computer addiction on a person. The most common and also the first physical effect on a person is tiredness. A computer addict always looks tired because of lack of sleep and rest. If the situation is allowed to continue for long, it may cause serious complications like obesity, heart diseases, neck pain, joint pain, sore and dry eyes etc. The eyesight is also affected, with the person losing his/her normal eyesight due to persistent staring onto computer screen.
How to Reduce Computer Addiction
Though, the computer is irresistibly addictive due to hundreds of entertaining and informative options it provides, there are a number of steps which we could take to move away from getting addicted to it. Some of the most easy and fruitful steps that we could take to reduce or even eliminate computer addiction are given below.
1) Set a Time Limit
It is wise to set a time limit to your computer use, in case if you find it difficult to straightaway stop using it. If you admit that you are excessively using your computer, so much so that it is harming you physically, mentally and socially, the best way out is to set a limit to your computer use and resolve to follow it. You can decide to use computer, suppose for, half an hour after lunch/dinner every day or for a couple of hours, only during the weekends. Whatever time you set, just make sure to stick to it.
2) Use only When You Need
Another feasible step towards reducing/eliminating computer addiction is to take a resolve to use the computer only when it is needed, that is, to only perform useful and productive tasks on it, other than playing games, gambling or watching movies. There are a number of useful tasks for which a computer can be used like – booking travel tickets, sending e-mails, making presentations, maintaining data etc. A decision on your part to use the computer only when it is needed will help you overcome the addiction more productively.
3) Develop Other Hobbies
If you are willing to come out of any particular kind of addiction, it always helps to develop a hobby that is more advantageous and beneficial. Similarly, if you want to come out of your computer addiction, you must be on constant lookout for other more friendly and harmless, but equally entertaining options.
For example, chatting with friends could be a real stress buster, providing great entertainment than playing games on a computer. Former will leave you energetic, happy and refreshed in the end while latter will leave you stressed and tired. Playing real outdoor games, cycling, taking walks are some other good alternatives to computer addiction.
4) Find out New Ways of Entertainment
This is especially for those who are addicted to computer purely for entertainment purposes. Suppose, if you spend hours on your computer playing adventure games or watching adventure movies, then you must search the real world for real entertainment options of your liking. You may satisfy your adventurous soul by hiking on a mountain or planning a trip to a forest. On the other hand if you play rummy for hours on your computer, then you must give it a try to play real rummy with real cards with family and friends.
5) Seek Help
Deciding to seek help is a wise decision which requires courage and an understanding of one’s own real situation. In most of the cases there is only a need to tell your family, friends about your present situation, and they will be more than willing to help you. The moral and emotional support that they provide could change the course of your life, getting you free from your addiction. You may also seek professional help if your addiction is severe. There are many psychiatrists and medical professionals out there, willing to help someone who is in need.
Computer Addiction Treatment
Many computer addiction treatments involve behavioral therapies, which usually target on psychological cause which initially led to the addiction. The root cause behind a person’s computer addiction is for the medical professional to assess.
Suppose, if a psychologist finds out that his patient, was initially suffering from clinical depression which led to his/her computer addiction, then the modus operandi would be to treat the depression, assuming that the addiction will automatically ward off.
Giving motivation, encouraging hobbies, counseling, discussions are some of the conventional treatment methods for computer addiction.
In today’s world computer has become an inseparable part of our personal and professional life. The fact that it is used in almost every walk of our life, make it an absolute necessity which can’t be avoided at any cost. It therefore, depends up to a large extent on the addict’s own willingness and effort to come out of the addiction.
If s/he really wants to break free from the urge to useless computer use then s/he will take all the remedial measures as listed above. Last but not the least, family and friends too, play a significant role in getting a person out of his/her computer addiction.