Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Internet Addiction

I saw this story on Ace of Spades and I cannot help but comment on it.

"Internet Addiction" is simply the latest nonsense being peddled to the public to explain people whose whose real problems lie elsewhere.

If someone has trouble reading body language, starting conversations, and maintaining their personal hygiene, they most likely suffer from an autism spectrum disorder known as Asperger's Syndrome.


This is an issue I know something about because the world of people who are into computers is chock full of Asperger's types. In fact, the stereotypical behavior that most people associate with geekiness is really just a layperson's description of Asperger's syndrome.

These people are not "addicted" to the internet or to online gaming. They are simply using these technologies to address their basic need for human contact and companionship, which their condition normally acts as a barrier to. They have severe problems with non-verbal communication. So for them, an environment in which ALL communication is verbal quite literally levels the playing field.

Describing this as an addiction to the internet is like describing a cripple as having an addiction to wheelchairs.

Now that doesn't mean that they should not be helped with their non-verbal communication skills and related issues, but this assistance should not be couched in terms of "addiction."

In a way, this is kind of like drug addiction. A person cannot develop a problem with drugs unless they are taking drugs in the first place. So the question is, why are they taking drugs? Unless they take responsibility for dealing with that problem, they will either stay on drugs, or find some thing else to be "addicted" to.

The people behind this operation are charging $14,500 for a 45 day stay. I do believe I'm in the wrong line of work. I should go buy a house in the woods and start renting rooms to Asperger's cases at $320 a day and give them advice on how to dress and talk to girls. Not that I would know anything about that really, but in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

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