Like other variants, addiction to computer has now become a serious problem for many, particularly among the youths. When certain behaviour or habit becomes compulsive beyond control, it tends to be addictive. Now why does use of computer becomes an addiction? It is because the user derives from it the pleasure s/he does not do from anywhere else.
Computer or for that matter internet, social sites and networking/text messaging give one the convenience never thought possible in the past. Now this advantage increases the pleasure by stimulating various areas of the brain. When various locations of the brain get so hyperactive, it increases production of dopamine and other neurochemicals. With the passage of time the need for further stimulation may develop for experience of the heightened feelings. It is because of this a user of computer and internet develops an urge, rather unconsciously, for certain behaviour patterns in order to prolong the experience of pleasure.
So what would have given an enormous opportunity, unimaginable before, turns out to be a cause for serious individual, family and social problem. What needs to be noted here is that spending longer hours on computer does not necessarily mean someone is addicted to computer. One's job may require spending longer times on computer. Given the chance such an individual would feel relieved if s/he can avoid doing so. It is those who are compulsive users to the neglect of their important works such as study, meal and other daily routines are surely the addicts.
Unless the users become aware on time of the damage done in the process, they are sure to suffer in a variety of ways. The first casualty is their face-to-face social interaction, even though they are very active on the social sites. Their obsession makes them withdraw from social, cultural and sports activities. As the young users, students in particular, find it difficult to concentrate on study and home works, they fail to achieve the expected results in class tests and examinations. Gradually they feel isolated from family and friends, develop a low esteem about themselves. A sense of guilt also haunts them and thus they become defensive. This forces them to lie. When the rest of the world to them looks uninteresting and uninspiring, they are captivated by the only euphoria they experience in computer games or other online activities.
Many youths are falling victim to this digital disaster. Unbalanced they sacrifice their future for temporary pleasure. This clearly points to the dark side of the most advanced and beneficial technology available. However, technology is not to blame; it is the users who or their parents and teachers must know where to stop. The problem is with considerably grown-up boys and girls who in their adolescence cannot always be kept under watch. At college or university levels, they need computer for academic purposes. But if they abuse what should have tremendously aided their studies, parents or near ones have little to do.
So it is necessary to monitor the use of online activities of young ones. Once they develop the addiction, it is no less injurious to their health and wellbeing than similar problems drug causes. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and other therapeutic treatment can restore their usual life pattern. Support groups are very helpful in this respect as well. But professional intervention has to be the ultimate option for addressing the problem.