Monday, 19 October 2009
This morning, while doing mundane things such as guzzling coffee, wondering what I'm going to wear and settling down to read the paper-I stumbled upon a column in the `Life and Style` section of The Daily Mail. A page claiming that people can suffer from an addiction to the internet. Of course the usual targets were sighted and taken aim for. Twitter, Facebook and the habit of constantly checking emails.
Yes, I am in no way denying that people do spend more time on the internet now than they ever used to. Partly because sites like Facebook and Twitter enable socialising when you are alone, and partly because internet is now available on your mobile. With many a shop boasting that they have free Wi Fi. I don't deny that these sites have highly negative consequences such as the recent Vanessa George incident, but as a whole, claiming that there is now an `addiction disorder` to technology, is just another way of not taking responsibility as parents, police, society as a whole. If a child misbehaves, it's of course ten times easier to blame his video game addiction, or her constant obsession with Twitter. "She's detached from the real world", "he has been brainwashed into violence by Grand Theft Auto". If these accounts fail, how about the classic of just branding them with a behavioral disorder. This approach never fails, as proven by the "Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders". A handbook that contained 112 genuine disorders in 1952 when it was first published, and now contains 374. A rise that has coincidentally risen with the decline of society's morals. In a time when "The Great British Family" is no longer present other than in a select few. The Government, rather than address the situation, seems to prefer to bury their heads in the sand and churn out some initials. Initials which can then claim to be a medical disorder, condoning some ridiculous behavior that would otherwise have been sorted out with some kind of discipline.
The recent claim to have people being addicted to the internet, may contain grains of truth. I near have a panic attack if I lose my Blackberry, I Twitter throughout the day and lest we forget checking Facebook for things such as new photos, notifications or events. But so what? I've done well in school, I got through college, I have a close knit group of family and friends, and currently reside in university. At the end of the day, when something new comes along the way to mesmerize us all, that will be held responsible for whatever society decides to do.
The government and police etc should just be grateful they have a virtual safety blanket to blame for their mishaps. For the rest of us, make sure you never die with something like your Ipod earphones in. No matter what kind of overlooked condition you had, your poor little Ipod will only take the fall.