Spring 2016

Spring 2016
(All Works Cited Posted with Conclusions)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Homelessness by Karla De Loera

                Homelessness and poverty has become an invisible epidemic in America. Why do people

become homeless? “A lack of affordable housing and the limited scale of housing assistance

programs have contributed to the current housing crisis and to homelessness” (National Coalition

for the Homeless). You can be the next victim to experience homelessness in the next year.

Poverty plays a big roll on homeless people. Without an income there is no way to pay for your

housing, food, childcare, and more necessities. “In 2011, the official poverty rate was 15.0%.

There were 46.2 million people in poverty” (1). The major factors that contribute to

homelessness is mental illness, lack of affordable health care, domestic violence, addiction, and

being part of the LGBT community.

                Homelessness has been around for centuries. Even if it was believed that people were

homeless for many different reasons, they were still sleeping on the streets. In the 1640s, it was

believed that if you were not a good Christian, God would not meet your needs:

                In the 1640’s homelessness was seen as a moral deficiency, a character flaw. It was

generally believed a good Christian, under God’s grace, would naturally have their needs

met. People outside of that grace somehow were deserving of their plight as God

rendered justice accordingly and fairly. If one found themselves homeless in the 1600’s, a

person or family would come upon a town and would have to prove their ‘worth’ to the

community’s fathers. If not, they would be on the not so merry way to the next town or

hamlet (Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness).

                Today's’ homelessness has nothing to do with people's worth or beliefs. Homelessness is a

complex social issue with many variables (1).

                In search for jobs, people that lived on farms started to migrate to the cities such as New

York and Philadelphia in The Industrial Revolution that started in the 1820s- ‘30s “…had many

people walking the streets causing the country’s first panhandling ordinances. City jails became

de facto shelter systems” (Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness). Death and physical

disabilities were caused by poor safety regulation. The wives of the injured and some left widowed
had some children who depended on them and they had no means to provide for themselves and
nowhere to turn. Kids, especially teens, were left on the streets because their families could no longer
afford housing for them. “The 1850’s brought the first documented cases of homeless youth, many of
whom were kicked out of their homes because their providers could no longer afford to raise them” (1).

                After the Civil War, morphine was discovered as a painkiller, and military veterans were

becoming addicted to it. “From the 1870s’ until the 1890s’ one could purchase morphine and

heroin with syringes from Sears and Roebucks catalogues” (Downtown Congregations to End

Homelessness). After living a non-civilized life and basically living in the middle of nowhere,

housewives started to become addicted to morphine as well. “As the epidemic became bigger,

criminalization of drug addiction soon followed up as a response and people started becoming

homeless” (1).

                A lot of people become homeless because of natural disasters. “The Great Chicago Fire,

The San Francisco Earthquake, the massive flooding of the Mississippi in the 1920’s from Ohio

through New Orleans displaced over 1.3 million people” (Downtown Congregations to End

Homelessness). Natural disasters destroy what people have worked so hard for, and it gets taken

away in a blink of an eye. This can happen to anyone, including you, by having your house

destroyed and becoming homeless overnight.

                Today, homelessness is a bigger problem than everyone thinks it is. You don’t have to be

living on the streets to be considered homeless. If you live in an emergency shelter or in

your car, even living paycheck to paycheck, you are experiencing homelessness or about to.

“Ending homelessness requires closing the gap between the need for housing and its availability.

It requires recognizing housing as a basic human right, and enacting policies to ensure it is

available” (USA Today).

                An example of homelessness because of domestic violence is Rebecca. “Two things

happened when I turned 12, my Father who used to beat the hell out of us left home and the other

thing that happened is I started using drugs…” (Homeless People). When she was thirteen years

old, her mother found another partner who also used to beat them, but this one used to rape her for a
whole year until she had enough. “When I turned 13, my Mum found a new partner who lived at
home with us. He raped me regularly and abused my younger sisters as well. I was only 13. He also
used to beat Mum up and it was hell on earth” (1). Rebecca made her mom choose between her
boyfriend and her, so that's when Rebecca met the streets. She slept with boys from her neighborhood
so she could have a roof over her head but still ended up living on the streets.

   Rebecca tried to kill herself at one point until a stranger called an ambulance. “In the end it's a

matter of well if I get through the day then great, if I don't doesn't matter, no big deal. It's not like

anyone's going to miss whether I'm here or not” (1).

                What do homeless people feel? Imagine being abused by the people who are supposed to
take care of you. The people who are supposed to love you unconditionally beat you until you are
almost knocked out. All you want to do is get away or make it all end. “A quarter or more of
homeless children have witnessed violence, and more than half have problems with anxiety and
depression” (Child Trends). Normally, it is girls who become homeless due to violence.

                Parents don’t want to turn their kids in to the government when they become homeless

because they don’t want their kids to be broken up into separate foster homes and break the

family up. Angelica Cervantes, for example, became homeless due to the fact that she could no

longer afford housing but didn’t want to give up her kids. “Benita Guzman, 40, and her niece

Cervantes, 36, are homeless but stick together in an effort to keep their children together as a

family, and not taken away and separated in foster homes” (Child Homelessness in U.S. Reaches

Historic High, Report Says).

                One in every thirty children experience homelessness in their life. They don’t have to be

living in the streets to be considered homeless. “That makes nearly 2.5 million children who, in

2013, lived in shelters, on the streets, in cars, on campgrounds or doubled up with other families

in tight quarters” (Child Homelessness in U.S. Reaches Historic High, Report Says). Living in a

country full of opportunities and wealth, the fact that there was an increase of eight percent to the

number of children being homeless was absurd. “children and families have not received the

same attention—and their numbers are growing” (1). If the government does not try to stop

homelessness, the numbers will get higher and the goal is going to become impossible.

In 2000, many cities had a plan to end homelessness in ten years. Even the president of

the United States, President Barack Obama, unveiled the plan to end homelessness by 2015.

“And yet, 12 years after the first pledge of the 21st century was made, homelessness in the

United States has not ended. By all counts, it has moved steadily upward in the past decade to

about 750,000 this year…” (Are Cities' Pledges to End Homelessness Working?).

                The Ten Year Plan outlines key strategies in addressing homelessness locally, which

cumulatively can address the issue nationally. One of the key elements to end homelessness is

“Plan for Outcomes”. What that plan does is collects data separating people into groups like

elderly, youth, families, individuals, and others. By collecting that data, they can think of the

most effective strategy to help each group of the homeless population.

                The second key of the plan is “Close the Front Door”. This part of the plan tells you that

you can end homelessness before it even starts. “By making mainstream poverty programs more

accountable for the outcomes of their clients, communities can intervene before vulnerable

individuals and families fall into homelessness” (National Alliance to End Homelessness). The

third part of the plan is “Open the Back Door”. Most people become homeless because they can’t

afford the house they are living in. “By developing - and subsidizing when needed - an adequate

supply of affordable housing, communities can move people off of the streets and reduce

homelessness effectively and permanently” (1).

                The last part of the plan to end homelessness is “Build the Infrastructure”. The first step

to end homelessness is to address the systemic problems that leads to crisis poverty. Some of

those problems are minimum pay that does not pay for basic needs, shortage of affordable

housing, and a lack of appropriate services for those that need them. “Addressing all of these

issues community by community is a necessary step to ending homelessness and poverty”

(National Alliance to End Homelessness).

                The fact that this plan is not working, does not mean that it didn’t increase homelessness,

but there is a difference between the progress and the promise:

It would be easy to blame the Great Recession for the failure. Millions lost their jobs and

thousands saw their homes foreclosed on, thereby putting many of them out on the

streets. But the whole subject of ending homelessness is much more complicated than

that. It is bound up in a web of forces that reach into the deepest causes of poverty and

issues about human behavior. Homelessness is an issue that encompasses medical health,

mental health and substance abuse. It’s also an education and job training concern, as

well as a criminal justice matter and a housing problem. It touches on family planning

and family stability, and on big city, suburban and rural questions. There are moral and

political issues as well as budget and policy concerns, all with a huge economic overlay.

(Are Cities' Pledges to End Homelessness Working?).  To end homelessness will take a lot to curve poverty. That means creating jobs, and training the people to be able to do those jobs.

                Maybe the solution to end homelessness is not a nationwide solution, but something more

personal. Little community shelters can keep someone off the streets and reduce homelessness

around their cities. To make big changes you have to start small. A great example of that is Nikki

Johnston-Huston, she went from being homeless to being a great lawyer.

Nikki grew up in great poverty. “Having moved from Detroit to Southern California, she

found herself homeless by the time she was nine years old along with her mother and brother”

(The Huffington Post). They lived on different homeless shelters, motels, the streets, and being

fed in soup kitchens for a whole year. “When you are homeless, you can stay in a shelter

overnight but you can’t leave your things there. So it is impossible to even look for a job” (1).

                Nikki had to call several shelters when she knew the landlord of the apartments they were living

in was going to kick them out in several hours. Having to go through that made Nikki realize that

she wanted something better for herself. “I think some of them thought it was a prank. I finally

talked to someone at a shelter that agreed to take us in. I knew then that I wanted to live a

different life” (1). After knowing that that was no way of living, Nikki was sent to live with her

disabled grandmother who was able to afford her at least a decent childhood and an education.

                When Nikki got a scholarship St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, she was planning

on making A’s and B’s and was excited to start her journey to becoming a lawyer. She failed on

her first year of college. “Then, I remember sitting there on the first day when they told us the

folks on our right and left wouldn’t be there in four years. The first thing I thought was that they

were looking straight at me” (The Huffington Post). She felt like she did not fit in because she

came from poverty. “I didn’t always have money to pay for lunch. I used to pretend to be from a

middle class family so I could be like everyone else. There were days that I thought there was

money on my food card to find out that I couldn’t pay” (1). After failing her first year in college,

she got a job as a live-in nanny. She worked all day and went back to school at nights. Nikky

graduated college four years later. She shares her story to inspire people. “I want to be part of the

solution in society which means finding the right platforms. I have an obligation to the young

people coming behind me to help them” (1). To end homelessness, we have to start person by

person if we have to.

                Albert Camus believes that not accepting life is absurd. It is absurd to try to commit

suicide and make physical harm to yourself because you are just trying to forget the problem.

Camus describes the absurd as “Man’s futile search for meaning in a meaningless universe”

(Camus: The Absurd Hero). Camus beliefs relate to the absurdity of homelessness because the

homeless believe that is it absurd to keep leaving the way they are living. They think that there is

no meaning in life and that there is no point to keep going with the lives they have, until

someone shows up and shows them that there is more to life than what they think.

                If we don’t try to end homelessness the percentage of people living in poverty will

increase even more over the years. If big plans fail, then the solution would be to start small. Try

to end homelessness in small areas where you see a lot of homelessness happening. Austin,

Texas for example, is one of the cities with the most homeless people that some businesses

actually shut down. Some of the major reasons people are homeless is because the lack of

affordable housing, mental illness, domestic violence and many more. Homelessness is an

epidemic in America and if people do not want to see it happening they should open the doors to

people in need. If you help one person at a time to get their stuff together, you are changing the

percentage of homeless people one by one.

Works Cited

Are Cities' Pledges to End Homelessness Working? http://www.governing.com/topics/health-human-services/housing/gov-homelessness-rising-decade-after-pledges-to-end-it.html

Child Trends. http://www.childtrends.org/?indicators=homeless-children-and-youth

Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness. http://www.dceh.org/the-history-of-homelessness-in-america-1640s-to-present/

Homeless People. http://www.homeless.org.au/people/rebecca.htm

National Alliance to End Homelessness: http://www.endhomelessness.org/pages/ten-year-plan National Coalition for the Homeless. http://nationalhomeless.org/about-homelessness/

The Huffington Post. Gina Rubel - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gina-furia-rubel/from-homeless-to-lawyer-o_b_560343.html

USA Today. Maria Foscarinis -http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/01/16/homeless-problem-obama-america-

recession-column/4539917/YouTube. TheRuggedPyrrhus - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAb7nwtHvTU

Internet Addiction, the New Drug by Bry Anna Garate


Have you ever felt lost when you forget your phone at home? Afraid that you’re getting multiple text messages, calls, and social media notifications, but you are not able to check them? Internet addiction has yet to be classified as “psychopathological framework”, but as more and more individuals value the network, it is becoming a problematic epidemic (Christakis). It has been proven that over 70% of internet addicts have suffered from other addictions such as drug use, alcohol, pornography/sex and many other things that effect one’s life (“Internet Addiction Disorder”). Are you willing to let this absurdity of internet use take over the world? archers believe that while an individual is excessively using the internet, their brains begin to release more dopamine, which is a “neurotransmitter in the brain that regulates pleasure” (“Life in the Age of Internet Addiction”). As technology is constantly enhancing and becoming more accessible to anyone who owns a phone, it is causing for the vast majority of the American population to be attached to the technology around them, especially adult males from the age of 18 to 30 years old (1). Addiction to the internet is classified similar to any other common addiction to other objects or doings. As the internet became more popular in 1990, people began to utilize it more than usual, and it is only continuing to grow on us (“Dr. Kimberly Young Internet Addiction."). It is continuously advancing, and it has become the main source of a person’s social life. Kimberly Young, a licensed psychologist and an expert on internet addiction, discovered that after the internet became a daily routine for the human population, in 1995, it became extremely addicting (1). She published multiple books such as “Caught in the Net”, “Tangled in the Web”, and others. She then founded the Center for Internet Addiction around the same time to help those who felt like the internet was taking over their life (1).

Internet addiction is not recognized as a true “mental illness”, but it is causing for medical practitioners and other health officials to become concerned with people who need therapy and treatment centers for what can be classified as something more than just an everyday social media and internet problem.  An addiction is an addiction, and Hilarie Cash, a researcher, attempts to promote the understanding of the problems and epidemics that the world is currently facing and for the future predicaments to come (“Internet Addiction: The next Mental Illness?”). Cash, the Director of the “reStart program for internet addiction and recovery”, established this program to help those who are struggling with depression, anxiety, a substantial amount of stress, and other personal issues that affect a person’s life each day (1).
In 2011, Gabriela, a young 20 year old college student in New York, had trouble with staying away from being online (“Miss G.: A Case of Internet Addiction”). It eventually got to the point where she would sleep with her laptop and stay up for hours a day on the internet just looking for entertainment. As she would start on one website, it would lead her to another, creating a chain of internet searches (1). Gabriela considers surfing the Web as “a state of being” that helps her become more relaxed. This would be one of the many cases that demonstrate what the web can do to a person’s belief about their well being once they get a hold on such technology that we have to this day.
As this epidemic creates feelings that we once got from other humans, will we stop communicating with others in the future and just refer back to the internet? Is it worth losing your ability to maintain your social skills because you become used to staring at a bright screen? The questions about the internet are endless and it is even more ironic that as researchers create an analysis about internet addiction, the internet is being used as a source to develop important precautions.
Internet addiction disorder, also known as IAD, has multiple names such as Internet overuse, pathological computer use, and problematic computer use (“Getting Help for an Internet Addiction”). In 1995, Dr. Ivan Goldberg established internet addiction disorder as a psychiatric disorder based on compulsive actions with the web. IAD remains in the debate of what to really define it as by the American psychiatric community and what solutions are the most useful and helpful for a person who experiences this disorder (1).
The most important thing about addictions is discovering that you have one. People tend to get so wrapped into what they like to do thinking they are creating hobbies, but in reality their “hobbies” become the source of their addiction. Some individuals refuse to come to their senses and believe that they have a crisis developing. A few ways to know that you reached the point of becoming officially addicted to the internet would be: spending more time with your computer or mobile device more than actually communicating with others, not being able to tolerate your own boundaries that you have created to not overuse the internet, not being able to go throughout your day without it, and lying to others and yourself about how long you use it (“11 Ways to Detect and Solve Internet Addiction”).
Many researchers would classify internet addiction as a single disorder, but there is a variety of ways to categorize this addiction depending on different behavioral issues and its main commonality. Some different internet addictions include video game addiction, which is the excessive use of online games, pornography addiction, also known as the overabundance of viewing and collecting online pornography, social network addiction, or the obsession with knowing everything about everyone, online gambling addiction, which are websites that provide you with the pursuit of monetary gain, and lastly online entertainment addiction, also referred to as excessively browsing the internet and watching videos that waste time ("Internet Addiction – Symptoms, Signs, Treatment, and FAQS – Tech Addiction”). Now the question remains, what type of addiction have you developed and what is the best way to solve this epidemic and get away from excessively using the internet?
There are many ways to go about solving internet addiction, but there is no specific way that is 100% useful.  Even though the use of the internet becomes excessive, it is asked that you use the internet for one last search to clear your mind from any web desires (“Getting Help for an Internet Addiction”). The website “Helpguide.org” provides tips and important information to assist anyone who has trouble getting off of their computers, laptops, smart phones, and the internet in general. Another great idea would be to introduce the internet addict to others who are capable of controlling their internet use to a reasonable amount. Showing an addict what is known to be healthier is crucial because without an example, it would be even harder for one to know what is right (1)
Getting addicts involved in other activities helps to take their minds away from their obsessive desires for the World Wide Web. Providing support for the change that an individual may have to experience is important to show encouragement, but it is essential to continue to maintain a boundary that should be kept consistent to keep away from any temptations. Decreasing the amount of time spent on the internet is significant and starting somewhere is better than not starting at all. Some individuals create a new routine for themselves to follow to avoid being attached to what will soon control their daily lives. If the situation becomes uncontrollable to manage on your own, encouraging an internet addict to seek professional counseling would be the next step to stopping this absurdity from growing.
It is a proven fact that internet addiction has appeared among adolescents more frequently than any other age group (“Getting Help for an Internet Addiction”). As smart phones are advancing and obtaining faster web connections with wifi, teens are constantly on their phones accessing the web. Anxiety, depression, and isolation are all factors that emerge within those who believe that they “need” the internet (Cosslett).
 A 17 year old young man from China, Teng Fei, was given electro-convulsive therapy, also known as ECT, for overusing the internet at a centre in China (Branigan). He stated, “I admit the internet can be quite alluring and sometimes I would use it all day, but if I had others things to do – like playing basketball – I wouldn’t use it at all.”(1). Fei would insist that he did not have problems with accessing the web, and he believes that internet addiction is non-existent, but his parents thought otherwise (1). His mother would send him to the clinic where he received dozens of shocks that would last about half an hour to make him agree that he had an internet addiction disorder (1). Fei then declared, “…at the beginning they just wanted to create fear so you would follow orders. The shocks were punishment if I did anything wrong.” (1). Teng Fei’s parents were trying to “teach” him that the internet was unnecessary and that he needed to follow their orders about not using it as much (1). Although people can take different routes into training their kids that the World Wide Web is not needed, people will continue to have their own ways to solve the troubles the internet brings in their own families.
China has created a “tighter” policy into controlling the use of the internet that now requires for society to register their personal information to be protected from junk emails and from using things that are illegal (“China Tightens Internet Controls.”).  Internet addiction was classified as a clinical disorder in 2008 and addicts in Beijing joined an Internet-addiction treatment center that required for its residents to stay for a minimum of three months at the center (1). At this treatment center, exercise drills, therapy sessions, games, and reading time were the beginning of a change for the residents (1). The purpose for each of these techniques was to promote social skills and to counter the sense of isolation that was developed with this addiction (Traff). Controlling the internet is very important to Communist party chief, Xi Jinping. The deputy head of parliament’s legislative affairs committee, Li Fei stated:
"When people exercise their rights, including the right to use the internet, they must do so in accordance with the law and constitution, and not harm the legal rights of the state, society … or other citizens," (“China Tightens Internet Controls.”).
A policy was even created in Japan; the sound on your camera/phone should be on at all times to prevent anyone from abusing their use of the internet and to protect the privacy of others. People tend to overuse the internet in negative ways, therefore, in some areas any material that is considered obscene is banned and multiple websites are now blocked (“China Tightens Internet Controls.”).
On the other hand, Albert Camus’ opinion about life and how it should be was that nothing in this world has meaning to it and that people should go on about their lives according to their desires. If a person wants to spend hours a day on the computer, then they should be able to do what they choose because in the end, nothing matters. People tend to find their own ways on getting the true meaning of anything in life, but Camus didn’t “waste” his time finding something that is not definite. Camus believes that something either exists or it doesn’t exist and that there is no other way to look at things (Class Handout).
Surfing the World Wide Web can start off as an interest, but if not controlled it can lead up to problematic measures that involve addiction. Internet addiction is a growing epidemic that has no exact cure, but some solutions include getting involved in other activities such as sports, providing addicts with support to change their habits and creating new routines for those who have trouble “staying away”. Albert Camus would agree with the fact that some are addicted to the internet, but he would also almost encourage them to continue on with their desires because, again, in the end, nothing really matters. 
Work Cited
Branigan, Tania. "Case Study: Electric Shock Therapy in China for Internet 'addiction'" The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 2009. Web. 28 Apr. 2016. <http://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/jul/14/china-internet-electric-shock-treatment>.
"China Tightens Internet Controls." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 2012. Web. 01 May 2016. <http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/dec/28/china-tightens-internet-controls>.
Christakis, Dimitri A. "Internet Addiction: A 21st Century Epidemic?" BMC Medicine BMC Med 8.1 (2010): 61. Web
Cosslett, Rhiannon Lucy. "Five Ways to Curb Your Internet Use and Get Your Life Back | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 2014. Web. 28 Apr. 2016. <http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/09/5-ways-internet-use-web-addiction>.
"Dr. Kimberly Young Internet Addiction." NetAddiction. Web. 07 Apr. 2016. <http://netaddiction.com/kimberly-young/>.
"Getting Help for an Internet Addiction." How to Find Help Treating an Online Addict. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2016. <http://www.psychguides.com/guides/getting-help-for-an-internet-addiction/>.
"Internet Addiction Disorder." NetAddiction. Web. 25 Feb. 2016. <http://netaddiction.com/faqs/>.
"Internet Addiction – Symptoms, Signs, Treatment, and FAQS - TechAddiction." Internet Addiction – Symptoms, Signs, Treatment, and FAQS - TechAddiction. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2016. <http://www.techaddiction.ca/internet-addiction.html>.
"Internet Addiction: The next Mental Illness? (Opinion)." CNN. Cable News Network. Web. 03 Mar. 2016. <http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/17/opinions/steiner-adair-internet-addiction/>.
"Life in the Age of Internet Addiction." Life in the Age of Internet Addiction. 2013. Web. 01 Mar. 2016. <http://theweek.com/articles/468363/life-age-internet-addiction>.
"Miss G.: A Case of Internet Addiction." Opinionator Miss G A Case of Internet Addiction Comments. 2288. Web. 03 Mar. 2016. <http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/09/miss-g-a-case-of-internet-addiction/?_r=0>.
Traff, Thea. "Treating China’s Internet Addicts." The New Yorker. N.p., 2015. Web. 01 May 2016. <http://www.newyorker.com/culture/photo-booth/treating-internet-addiction-china>.
"11 Ways to Detect and Solve Internet Addiction." Lifehack RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2016. http://www.lifehack.org/articles/featured/11-ways-to-detect-and-solve-internet-addiction.html.

Internet Addiction, the Newest Epidemic - Jacob Perales

        When you go to a concert, what do people generally hold up? When you go to bed, do you stay up checking your phone? What is the first thing you check when you wake up? To pass time and even start relationships, people are using the internet. This epidemic can lead to a lower productivity in the work life, or the decrease in social skills. Signs of this addiction can be constantly checking your email instead of doing what you needed to do, or finding yourself playing offline games more often than being productive at work. About 1 in 8 people suffer from internet addiction today, but with technology growing and affecting more lives, the risk of becoming addicted are increasing. ("Internet Addiction Disorder." NetAddiction. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.)

            Although it may seem silly to think that someone can become addicted to the internet, this addiction is like every other. It can become harmful to the addict and the addict’s loved ones. Isolation, distance, and the lack of social skills are all associated with internet addiction. Strangely, romance problems may arise with internet addiction, depending on why the person is addicted.

            The internet was a man made gift that has shot our world into a new advanced age, but there is always a risk of abusing the gifts we are given, and if we fail to be careful, we could all become addicted to the internet.

History and Examples

            Internet addiction is a rather new epidemic, given the last decade of technological advancement. There is no particular starting location of this because this epidemic is very personal, but the beginning of the time line can be pinpointed to when the World Wide Web was truly implemented, which was around 1990. Since then, the spread has become more and more rapid. With all of the new computers and abstract ways to communicate, people are becoming more and more addicted. We now have apps for anything you want. From simple games where you crush candy to apps for intercontinental communication, our accessibility is endless. On the other hand, our endless communication has given us problems too. For example, the creation of cyber bulling has become an issue for teens everywhere, but none of that would have happened if this spread never occurred. Although some negatives are associated with the internet and the addiction to it, some good has had to come out of this technologic revolution in which we live in. Many medical procedures are now safer and communication to family across the globe is as easy as clicking a button. The issues come when the communication becomes excessive and problematic, or when children pay more attention to their iPad, rather than their parents.

 This recently found epidemic, which has no direct starting point, has spread like tsunamis over our world, and whether we notice it or not, we all may be addicted. For example, young Brett Walker has reported to an NBC article about his own internet addiction (“Trapped by and internet ‘addiction,’ Obsessed Surfers Seek Rehab Help.” NBC News. Web. 03 Mar. 2016.). His addiction is to the classic game of World Of Warcraft. He, himself, explains the troubles his real life gained as he became better and better at this video game. Walker says, “whenever I was on the computer I would feel great.”(1) But, when he would have to be away from the keyboard, his life would crumble, and he would even admit to being disappointed as he lay in bed at night (1). Walker is the perfect example of internet addiction. Life crumbles away as the virtual life expands. The positive is that he loves playing and communicating with millions around the world, but the negative side of reality is he has a dragging force that harms Brett Walker everyday.  


            Internet addiction can be a challenging thing to fight due to the fact that the problem is so accessible. The internet is everywhere nowadays, in your pocket, at your house, and even at work, but there are some solutions that can help people overcome this problem. Scientists have figured that exact medical procedures should be taken to solve this problem. Some solutions can be as simple as planning ahead and figuring out exactly what you need to get done on the computer before you even log on (“11 Ways to Detect and Solve Internet Addiction." Alcohol SelfHelp News. 2008. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.). If you plan on logging on to finish a project, that should be your number one priority, rather than getting on the computer for games. If the problem continues, making a “Log On” schedule would help as well. Find exact time intervals in which you log on. Make it 30 minutes to an hour per day. Slowly, but surely, increase the time intervals until the problem no longer needs attention. Those time intervals should be used for work, though. To help the problem, one must first commit to helping themselves.   

            Other solutions involve the close family or friends of the patient. This would mean giving others your passwords or having them monitor how long you are on the computer and if it is even for productive reasons. They can act as the lines you are required to stay between. Their job can be as simple as reminding you what you logged on for. This form of control is almost similar to teaching a dog why they get outside when let out. They leave, do their business, and come back in. If needed, the patient should almost be treated as such. An act like this would be somewhat of a personal therapy from home. If you cannot help yourself, have others keep you in line and help you get over the addiction.

            Some solutions that may not be as effective include the ones that address only the addicted person, such as just changing your routine. Addictions should not be handled alone. Simply changing your routine would work for maybe a day or two, but as time goes on, you would get right back into the habit of wasting time and spending hours upon hours on the internet. Without the help of others to keep the patient in line the addiction would continue. But, like many addictions, this will take time. You can track the progress you make as you attempt to fix the problem. Making goals and keeping track of what you do on the internet, along with getting family and friends in on the idea of helping is the most effective solution due to the amount of people willing to help.

The last idea for a solution would be one seen for other addictions: distraction. When the patient becomes distracted, they may not crave the internet. Getting into sports or other activities may be rough to begin with, but eventually, opening up and allowing time to go to other activities away from the computer is a solution that just may work for everyone. This can be achieved with the help of the family as well. A family member may have connections to some organization that would help the patient get drawn away from the computer.

            Every addiction needs help. Without any other support, the addiction may or may not ever be resolves. Leaving the patient out to dry, with no support, may drive them farther into the addiction. The last thing they need is for someone to pester them or talk down on them, when all they want is help. But, every person is different and for some severe cases, a “cure” may not be possible. Internet addiction is much like any other addiction and sometimes, things do not get better. These solutions are suggestions that CAN help, but nothing is guaranteed.

Camus and Internet Addiction          

Internet addiction can be perceived as a distraction. Camus would strongly disagree with the use of the internet for pleasure and games. He believed that the world should follow the harmony of the day. This means that any and all distractions should not be present. The internet would completely throw off the harmony of the day, but unfortunately, many people are sucked into the distractions that are associated with the internet. Now, people throw off their schedule to log onto the latest game, or the newest YouTube video. This creates a sense of isolation from the rest of the world, and if the world refuses to interact, how does harmony become a reality?

Albert Camus is a writer of absurd fiction. His novel, The Plague, is a tale of a small city that is overtaken by a fatal disease. Of course, this being a piece of absurd fiction, the disease is open to interpretation. The plague can be seen as any kind of social “disease,” whether that be in the present or the past. In the past, around the time that the book was published, war was ravaging the land and caused literal death. The plague can be seen as war. Today, and relating to this particular absurdity, the plague can be seen as internet addiction.

Internet addiction drives people of all ages away from the normality of life. They become trapped in a new world that is run by them, for them. This is absurd because it does not fit in with what is considered “normal.”

At the same time, Camus would almost agree with internet addiction. Camus believes that life is pointless and should be lived on the edge, if one wants to fully grasp the idea of it (class handout). Therefore, since the people addicted to the internet are living the way hey want to live, Camus would basically find no problem with it. If life is pointless, why get away from the computer to go face the troubles of finding the solutions in life? We may see it as an absurdity because we cannot understand how one can sit in front of a computer for 14 hours a day playing games, but Camus would applaud those who do not worry about finding the solutions of life.

People who suffer from internet addiction are living a life they choose to live. They go into this virtual reality and basically play God. They make the rules they want to make, they watch what they want to watch, and shut out the parts of the real world that they do not want to face. Yes, this is problematic as a family member or friend, but in the eyes of the addicted, there is no problem. In the eyes of Albert Camus, there is no problem.


            Internet addiction is a rather new epidemic that is sweeping across our world. People have grown addicted to video PC games, chat rooms, blogs, social media, and pornography. No real cure has been found, but some solutions include distractions, family and friend help, or even a schedule to make sure you do not stay on the computer for too long. Those who are addicted escape from reality and enter a new world provided to them by this man-made gift to the world. The internet is a place for them to make their own rules and live how they want to live. If things do not go the way they planned, changing it is done with just the click of a button. Albert Camus, who believes that one should live life how they want because we are all going to die anyways, would applaud those addicted because of their use of the internet to almost play God in their virtual realities.

            This problematic addiction may be spreading faster than we think because technology is a must have nowadays. People do not realize how much they are on the computer doing things they shouldn’t. With computers taking over everyone’s lives and technology growing at a ridiculous rate, who knows, one day, we may all be addicted.

Work Cited

 "BMC Medicine." Internet Addiction: A 21stcentury Epidemic? Web. 01 May 2016.

"CyberPsychology & Behavior." Internet Addiction: The Emergence of a New Clinical Disorder. Web. 01 May 2016.

"Internet Addiction Disorder." NetAddiction. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.

“Trapped by and internet ‘addiction,’ Obsessed Surfers Seek Rehab Help.” NBC News. Web. 03 Mar. 2016.

“11 Ways to Detect and Solve Internet Addiction." Alcohol SelfHelp News. 2008. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.