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.