Friday, February 29, 2008

Are YOU addicted... the internets? Dr. Kimberly Young probably thinks so. She has written a book as well as launched a website dedicated to the subject of internet-related addictions, including cybersex, online gambling, and eBay.

Sites like this just reek of late-90's cyberphobia, only this time with a deceiving Web 2.0 shell. She even includes a bogus "DSM-based" list of criteria under which nearly anyone who uses the internet in his or her daily life could be classified an addict. This kind of pseudo-scientific babble parading itself as psychology is what leads to things like the over-diagnosis of ADD and ADHD in children in this country.

Two glaring hypocrisies stand out as my favorites. First is the fact that links to any kind of real help (therapists, info on schools and kids) for this pseudo-disorder are only found under the "Professional" tab, implying that anyone who is less than affluent can cure themselves by *shock!* buying her book and self-help tapes. I also find the featured sidebar on the right baffling - "End your addiction to the internet by using the internet more!" Truly some groundbreaking logical minds are at work here.

For a compelling argument as to why people who claim that one of their loved ones or they themselves are completely full of bullpoo, check out the terrific Boston Legal episode Word Salad Days. It features a cogent argument by lawyer Brad Chase against the case for internet and other non-addictive substance addiction, as well as one of my favorite Boston Legal moments ever where attorney Alan Shore (James Spader) indeed becomes afflicted with the afore mentioned word salad.

"It is earth, wind, and cheese. It is cheese."

Link: Center for Internet Addiction Recovery via Stumble

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