Home Cybersecurity Cyber dependency – the disease of the era of information technology

Cyber dependency – the disease of the era of information technology

Cyber dependency

At the beginning of its development, people mainly used computer technologies for work. Still, with the development of the world wide web, they turned into a powerful resource both for work and for permits.

Apart from the advantages of using this resource, there are also disadvantages. This case is not about digitalization, as it already happened, and there’s no way back. So your concerns about the lack of live chatting or statistics homework help your kids search while doing their homework. No, it’s about the phycological problem, addiction some people have to computer games. 


The excessive desire for computers has become urgent for a long time. In Western psychology phenomena, computer addiction began to learn back in the late 80s of the last century. Officially the Internet was launched on June 17, 1991, and the existence of computer dependence in the people was formally recognized in the U.S. in 1995.

Most of the investigators of these problems recognize that the development of dependence occurs from the substances introduced into the body and the production of emotional states (actions) by the subject. There are parallels between the patterns of Internet addiction and the patterns of addiction in smokers, drug addicts, alcoholics, or addicted cartridges.

In this case, we are talking about the emergence of a fundamentally new type of dependency, which is becoming more and more of a mass phenomenon. Moreover, because of the significant increase and expansion of the flow of information and its easy accessibility to children, these issues have long been brought into the category of essential areas of work for teachers, child psychologists, and other professionals. They think about how to overcome children’s susceptibility to dependence on cyberspace, explain to them the negative consequences for their health and point out the causes that give rise to psychiatric disorders or exposure to violence in young people.

Nowadays, psychologists and parents have to solve the problems of children’s isolation. The latter, in turn, must be recognized in this area to be able to distinguish between the symptoms of children’s dependence on the computer and conduct corrective work with them. Of course, if the child’s computer dependence symptomatology has not gone beyond the permissible limits when there is a need to engage professional psychologists.

Computer addiction and its component Internet addiction are not included in the international classification groups of diseases. The closest model of all the described disorders can be used as a pathological gambling addiction – computer addiction (a form of dependent behavior), i.e., as a disorder of habits and cravings not caused by the action of chemical drugs.

There are now two basic definitions of disorders associated with working on computers. The concept of Internet dependency is a disorder of behavior resulting from the use of the Internet and a computer. Later other psychologists expanded the idea of Internet dependence, adding that it includes any type of activity on the Internet.

Internet dependency is a compulsive or compulsive desire to enter the network, stay offline, and the inability to leave the Internet, staying offline. Synonyms are low comprehension, among which psychologists see such as Internet addiction, virtual addiction, and metabolism.

Psychologists distinguish five types of addiction:

1) compulsive surfing (surfing in search of information);

2) addiction to online stock trading and gambling;

3) virtual dating;

4) cybersex;

5) computer games.

Computer games are classified as non-roll and role-playing computer games.

Non-roll computer games: logic, arcade, games on the speed of reaction or mental agility, games in the pictures, games-imitators game machines.

The biggest challenge for children is the role of computer games because they allow the opportunity to fully enter into a virtual world and cause significant dependence on the reverse hero. Their main feature is a substantial impact on the player’s psyche, the depth of entry into the game, and the motivation of game activities, which is based on accepting the role and the flow of real life.

Role-playing games are built to give people the opportunity to withdraw from reality (at least for the duration of the game) and go to the virtual world. As a result, the role of computer games makes a tangible impact on people’s personalities. They have “certain problems” in the virtual world, although in reality, players only accumulate the problems in their own lives.

But at the same time, games can also have a positive effect on people – to relieve stress or provide an opportunity to rest from real problems.

In practice, people are tempted by this way of leakage from reality and problem solving, losing at the same time a sense of peace. There is a danger of not material but constant leakage from reality and the creation of new biological, psychological dependence on the computer.

For a certain period, a person leaves the real world for the virtual world to satisfy specific physiological needs. In its way, the natural world seems alien, uninteresting, and without any problems because, in the real world, people cannot do everything allowed in the virtual space. The game becomes a way to compensate for real issues, and the personality begins to be realized mainly in the game world.

Each “disease” or disorder has the typical signs of computer addiction:

  • A person needs to disconnect from work or play on the computer independently;
  • If someone or something disturbs a person from the computer, she feels very discouraged;
  • inability to schedule the completion of the session of work or game (three more minutes, for another ten minutes…);
  • time spent at the computer makes the PC user postpone or ignore household chores, work, studies, meetings, and social engagements;
  • Constant searches for money to buy games, equipment, pay for the Internet;
  • There are always explanations and justifications for their addiction;

the child deceives the grown-ups, having “tumultuous activity”;

  • Feelings of emotional indulgence, euphoria while working on the computer;
  • Doing things at the computer causes a gloomy state (withdrawal);

Causes of computer addiction

Addictive behavior of adolescents emerges through a low level of specific conditions and reasons – a general deterioration of social status, economic instability, young people’s insecurity in the future, child neglect, and lack of supervision of the parents of adolescents. By classifying addictive behavior, we can distinguish biological, psychological, and social influences.

The social factors that influence the development of addictive behavior are the de-integration of society and the increase of changes with the inability of people to adapt to them.

The most general concepts of classification during the formation of addictive behavior in adolescents are socio-economic, constitutional, and biological factors and social and individual psychological causes.

We can identify a group of social factors that are provocative, such as:

  • Unacceptably humble or aggressive behavior in the classroom environment;
  • Disruptive behavior in the learning environment;
  • failure to meet social objectives;
  • a positive attitude towards the behavior of those with a tendency to engage in addictive behaviors.

But at the same time, other factors can also be provocative through the nervousness of their influence on the child’s development:

  • strong parental ties – when fathers control their children’s behavior by constantly interfering in their lives;
  • educational success;
  • A strong connection with social groups (religious, student groups);
  • Compliance with generally accepted norms on the use of psychoactive substances.

Therefore, the causes of activism in adolescents are complex and multifaceted.