By: Michelle Flood
For: Social Impact of Technology
Professor: Emily Brett
• What is neurosis?
• What is Social Isolation?
• Internet Addiction myth or reality?
• Has technology created social isolation?
• Has technology created neurosis?
Neurosis is defined as; A relatively mild mental illness
that is not caused by organic disease, involving
symptoms of stress (depression, anxiety, obsessive
behavior, hypochondria) but not a radical loss of touch
Social isolation is defined as; The virtual absence of
interaction with others, outside of that required to
perform basic life functions–examples; food shopping,
transportation, work, and entertainment.
Addiction is defined as: a compulsive need for and use of a
habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol)
characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological
symptoms upon withdrawal.
Internet addiction is more of an impulse control problem.
This type of addictions occurs because a person cannot
control their urges and find they are easliy lured away from
their day to day tasks by the internet for what my become
unreasonable lengths of time. Often, there are some deeper
psychological problems, like depression, loneliness or
anxiety, that underlie the addiction. Basically the internet is
their means of escaping from their problems
A recent study has found that internet addiction has the
same effects on the brain as cocaine addiction does. In
fact scans of their brains white matter shows similarities
to those who are addicted to crystal meth and cocaine
This phenomenon is growing especially now with the
addition of social media sites such as Facebook and
twitter. As well we now have the capability of connecting
to these sites anytime and anyplace via smartphones.
I think that it has, and here is why. When you hear the
words social media what do you automatically think? It
must be a place where we can socialize with others. At
least that is what I think. Although social media sites
such as Facebook and twitter have allowed us to become
much more densely connected and networked together
we are now more alone than ever before. This loneliness
is making us physically and mentally ill. So it seems the
more connected we are via the internet the more alone
we have become as a society (Marche, 2012).
Over the past thirty years, technology has created a
world in which we no longer need not be out of contact
for even a fraction of a second. Even though we live in a
world of instant communication, that is unbounded by
the limits of time or space, we still suffer from
unprecedented alienation. It seems that today we are
more detached from one another and lonelier than ever
before. In a world that has more means and ways of
socializing than ever before, we have less and less actual
society. We live in world that is a contradiction: the more
connected we have become, the lonelier we are (Marche,
Facebook allows us to connect in a way like never before
but we are not really making those personal connections
like we used to with face to face interaction.
I think that the invention of these massively
multiplayer online roleplaying games (MMORPGs)
such as World of Warcraft has created a place where a
person could certainly become lost in the game and
forget about their responsibilities, their families and
their life. These games have no end, they allow you to
create a character and live in this world and interact
with others who are playing this game from all over the
world. These games are leading to more and more
people who are addicted to the internet. Which leads
to depression and isolation (Trenholm, 2013).
I have seen this happen to a family member, my bother
in law. He become so involved in the game he was
getting up at all hours of the day and night to play. He
stopped going outside, he played the game non stop.
When he stopped playing for a while he began to have
panic attacks. He now has been diagnosed with panic
disorder with agoraphobia. It was so bad for a while that
my sister could not work as he was afraid to be alone. He
is getting better with medication and counseling. I do
not feel the game was necessarily the cause but I do feel
it was a part of the problem and allowed him the ability
to escape from what was bothering him for a while so
that he did not have to face it.
In conclusion I do feel that technology has allowed us to
be come less connected to society. We are much more
alone than ever before even though we have the ability to
connect with anyone at any time. We spend more time in
front of a screen or texting on a phone than we do
interacting face to face. I think we need to learn to
disconnect from the internet at least a few hours a day
and on the weekends and get back to connecting with
the world around us and get back to nature and talking
with each other face to face.
Kirkey, S. (2012, January 01). Internet addiction has same effect as
cocaine on brains: study. Retrieved from National Post:
Marche, S. (2012, April 2). Is Facebook Making us Lonely? Retrieved
from The Atlantic.Com:
Schachter, H. (2013, August 01). Click till you're sick: The growing
problem of Internet addiction. Retrieved from Globe and Mail:
Trenholm, R. (2013, August 06). Vidoe games should be made less
addictive, say experts. Retrieved from Crave.CNET: