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Hooked on the Web: Help Is on the Way – New York Times

Hooked on the Web: Help Is on the Way (New York Times)

I hate these articles. They come out a few times a year, and increasingly reporters do less and less actual reporting and research, and instead just report on the “hype,” not the reality. The media should take greater responsibility for their role in actually contributing to the cause of these issues, because they are are not simply reporting on them without bias. Take, for instance, this snippet:

Skeptics argue that even obsessive Internet use does not exact the same toll on health or family life as conventionally recognized addictions. But, mental health professionals who support the diagnosis of Internet addiction say, a majority of obsessive users are online to further addictions to gambling or pornography or have become much more dependent on those vices because of their prevalence on the Internet.

But other users have a broader dependency and spend hours online each day, surfing the Web, trading stocks, instant messaging or blogging, and a fast-rising number are becoming addicted to Internet video games.

So while the author in this article starts out seemingly objectively, she spends the rest of the paragraph, and the next, advocating the opposite point of view, that the Internet is leading to increasing “wave of addiction.”

In fact, the article just pays lip service to the status-quo, the fact that "Internet addiction" is nothing more than a theoretical issue, not recognized by any diagnostic system, not billable as a disorder needing treatment, and with only some basic, weak research to support its existence.

Typically I expect better of the New York Times to do their research and know what it is they are writing about. This is a sad case where the hype plays better than the actuality.

Hooked on the Web: Help Is on the Way – New York Times

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder & CEO of Psych Central. He is an author, researcher and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues -- as well as the intersection of technology and human behavior -- since 1992. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member and treasurer of the Society for Participatory Medicine. He writes regularly and extensively on mental health concerns, the intersection of technology and psychology, and advocating for greater acceptance of the importance and value of mental health in today's society. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

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APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2018). Hooked on the Web: Help Is on the Way – New York Times. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 26, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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