Online Dating for Dummies + Internet Addiction
Our unit/ discussion on Internet Addiction was something that I hadn't looked at that carefully until I read the article about the rehab center in China for Internet addicts. If you're using the Internet so much that you're legitimately "addicted" to it, I suppose rehab is the only logical answer. Looking at this from a standpoint coming out of today's culture, it doesn't seem TOO far of a stretch, although developing a literal dependency on the Internet (as in, you NEED it to function daily) seems pretty extreme. With how often most people use the Net for business purposes and even casual daily conversation, I can foresee the average amount of use increasing exponentially over the next decade and beyond.
When I think of Internet addiction, I can't help but think of the thousands of kids playing World of Warcraft. I think most people can agree that it is the most popular online game available at the moment (perhaps aside from Halo, which I don't think really counts in this instance). I don't have statistics, but it's unhealthy how much time some of those kids spend on that game. I think that pertains to the whole concept of kids becoming anti-social also. In that one video we watched, a boy's dad said that he needed to send his son an email just to get his attention. That's a bit extreme when total interaction within a family is silenced because of the Internet.
The whole "online dating/ cyber relationship" thing seems pretty touchy as well. For some people, they make it work and some have a healthy relationship over the Internet. Yet others have very bad experiences with online relationships and sexual predators. Because the Internet is so vast and (nearly) limitless, this gives way to limitless possibilities for horny, single, old men to spy and creep on the Internet to find young, innocent girls to prey upon. It may sound a bit disturbing, but that's only because it is. It may not seem like a grand problem statistically, but it does affect many young people each year. Myspace is probably the most prominent of these social networking sites that have experienced numerous cases of sexual violation due to "shading guys" luring young girls to believing they're someone else.
You want to feel bad for the girls, but in a lot of cases, they respond right back to the comments and solicitations. When it gets to the stage where the girls are actually asked to meet up with the "guy", some are actually "gung ho" about driving or flying wherever to meet with their online flings. This has to be extremely troubling for parents to learn about. The very types of people that they teach their kids not to talk to on the streets or in other public places are the same ones only disguised as younger males on the Internet. Myspace really has no way of filtering these guys either. Their profiles are run by actual people, so it's following the rules. They have yet to be able to authenticate the information with the person whose profile it falls under.
Not Myspace's fault because they no one has perfected the system yet. Especially not music downloading, but that's another story...heh.