Internet Addiction: Trading Real Relationships for the Virtual Community

“I share, therefore I am.” –Sherry Turkle

The world as it is today is more connected than ever. Yet, people are somehow missing on the real life connections around them – family, friends, coworkers.

Before the constant digital connectivity, people gave their attention to the moment: to the activity and people in front of them. Cameras were a separate device; no one regularly took pictures of lunch – then dinner, coffee, nails, and new shoes – and shared it with the world. Now we have constant distraction that we think keeps us in touch.

Of course, people can argue that nothing has really changed and that we still connect with those around us. But is it really connecting when you text, comment, or tweet while a friend is talking, and you realize you haven’t heard half of what he said? It calls into question our ability to be good listeners and friends.

The irony is that we are probably more disconnected than ever – from life, family, friends, and in some ways even reality. Social media sharing shouldn’t be a measure of activity and involvement in life, nor should the number of Facebook friends or Twitter followers. Unfortunately, many people seem to care more about these fleeting moments of “sharing,” especially today’s adolescents and young adults who have always had the internet, rather than true relationships and connections. As a result, young people don’t fully understand how to be a real friend or develop a real relationship through direct communication.

Wilderness Therapy for Adolescents: Learning to Reconnect

Withdrawal from family, friends, and hobbies is a sign of both internet addiction and depression. Internet addiction or overuse should be taken seriously as it can often be an extension of other issues, such as depression. As real relationships crumble, internet activity, social media, or virtual gaming can continue to take on more importance.

Pacific Quest relationships

It is a complicated situation, and therapy is one way to be able to understand how the internet became to be so important. Why did someone trade real connection for a virtual community? At Pacific Quest wilderness therapy, young adults and adolescents get an opportunity to get away from technology, learn to live without it, and learn what it means to be part of a real community. By working together in Pacific Quest’s organic gardens, they cultivate life skills as well as connections and relationships with others.

Pacific Quest offers students a chance to learn to reconnect because knowing how to properly communicate and listen are important for future success in both personal and professional relationships. Real sharing takes place. No amount of social media sharing or virtual world activity will ever be able to teach that.

Parent's Guide to Internet Addiction and Overuse

This entry was posted in Internet Addiction, Smartphones, Social Networking, Wilderness Therapy. Bookmark the permalink.