There are different forms of computer addiction but most of them all boil down to the same thing: someone is avoiding reality and trying to desperately escape from themselves. This could take a number of different forms involving technology. Let’s take a look:
1) Internet computer addiction – this is where people are hooked on browsing the internet all day long. But even this definition has become too simplistic, because now there are even different forms of doing this. For example, some people are completely addicted to instant messaging other people all day long. They get a rush from messaging people and they get a form of validation and a small boost to their ego every time they get another incoming message. Obviously there are self esteem issues with something like this. Is it a problem? Well, if you do it for several hours every day, then it could very well become a problem, especially if it degrades the overall quality of your life.
Then there are people who are addicted to social networking, such as those who have some form of Facebook addiction. Again, this is too broad…there are people who simply interact all day, and others who are stuck playing social games via Facebook, and so on. A million forms of addiction for a platform that just keeps expanding (with new and different ways to connect with others).
2) Gaming addiction – People who play games so much that they use them as an escape from their daily reality could be suffering from addiction. It is still possible to play a lot of computer or video games and not be addicted to them. So what is the difference? The difference is in the motivation, and that is why the addict must be honest with themselves. If they are still achieving some balance in their life and getting real enjoyment from the games, then that is one thing. But more often, the addict is using the games as an escape, and plays them compulsively in order to avoid looking at themselves and their reality. It is similar to someone with a reading addiction, who escapes their life by reading all day.
3) Techno-lust – This is really more about compulsive shopping and buying extravagant gadgets in order to get a small emotional boost. Buying trendy gadgets and spending money on the latest new thing is only a problem if someone is doing it compulsively in order to manage their own happiness. Doing so is not sustainable and it can also create a lot of debt in the long run.