These are the new online addictions for young people

Historically, the word addiction involved thinking about drugs. At present, there are apparently harmless behavior habits that, in certain circumstances, can become addictive and seriously interfere in the daily life of the people affected and do not involve the use of a substance.

Video games, connecting to a social network or betting some money to a sport are "socially accepted" behaviors in which the person obtains a state of immediate gratification. The relationship that the person establishes with them can become problematic and be considered a behavioral addiction. Now, if you do not know the bookmaker bet365, the youtuber 'The Rubius', or the social networks Snapchat or Instagram, "you're out". These are the new focuses of the new behavioral addictions. The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that one in four people has suffered disorders related to new addictions. Within the so-called behavioral addictions is included as pathology approved pathological gambling or gambling with a new label: "Gambling disorder of bets "(Internet Gambling Disorder). Also proposed for future studies are "Internet Addiction" and "Internet Gaming Disorder". There is growing evidence to suggest that behavioral addictions resemble substance addictions in many aspects. What do they have in common? The history of addiction, the associated problems, the need to consume more and more (tolerance), the consequences of non-consumption (abstinence), the responses to treatment and even the neurological circuits involved. The addictive process could be summarized as follows: when behavioral addiction advances, the behaviors become automatic and are activated by emotions and impulses. Cognitive control is impaired and self-criticism is not carried out. The addicted person is eager for immediate gratification and does not notice the possible negative consequences of that behavior. There is also evidence of the role played by impulsivity as a feature in substance addictions and addictions "without substance". Being impulsive does not mean being addicted. However, it is necessary to assess impulsivity in this problem.


Internet and social networks

The (not so) new technologies have enormous communication and educational potential and also carry some risks. Freedom of access to the Internet offers us a large amount of content and services, including social networks. An increasingly common objective in the family is to analyze the risks and consequences in order to manage them as soon as possible. Without fear of the new, with the illusion of obtaining benefits from everything they offer us. In Spain, it is estimated that between 3.7% and 9.9% of Internet users make problematic use, especially among young people. For adults, the network has become the means through which we can keep abreast of news around the world, 24 hours a day and in real time. In addition, it gives us the possibility to express our ideas, participate in the opinions of others or be accepted. For young people, a phenomenon that is occurring more and more is the 'I'm worth the likes'. In this way, they end up modulating what they want to write on Facebook, upload to Instragram or Snapchat, to obtain and increase social acceptance. If you do not follow youtubers like 'AuronPlay', 'Wismichu' or 'The Rubius', possibly you can not follow conversations between teenagers or understand some behaviors or expressions. Why does this happen? Internet and mobile could be compared with the reinforcing properties of addictive substances. They provide immediacy, synchrony, anonymity, increase the ability to socialize and feel a member of a group, allow the construction of identities, psychological well-being, accessibility and communication through writing, less stressful than the 'face to face'.


Online bets

The practice of gambling is very present in our society. The ease of accessing the game, the immediacy of the reward and the false sense of control of the subject over its results make the game involve a behavior with risk of becoming addictive. The term "online bets" has begun to sound a lot to our around. We see posters at bus stops, advertising on top-level football teams such as Real Madrid or Bayern Munich and famous athletes like Rafa Nadal or Cristiano Ronaldo announcing their promotions.

It is estimated that in 2011 there were 195,000 online players in Spain. This figure has grown to 1,500,000 at the end of 2014. It is common to get into any sports newspaper in its digital versions and read advertising messages such as "Bet!", "Click and win 250 free spins" or "Bet 1 € and earn 10 million euros. "


Currently there are different game modes such as poker, bingo, casino games, bets and contests.If we try to establish a typology of online games, we can distinguish between recreational (of skill, luck or combining both factors) and chance, where there is usually an economic reward that depends entirely on luck.

If someone bets and does not generate problems, he is lucky (even more so than when he wins a bet). However, if betting generates problems, you may suffer the so-called "Gambling Disorder".

Video games online

A video game is a challenge, a way of overcoming. The game is a provocation to look for the most intelligent, fast and efficient solution to overcome the screen to go to the next and to be able to continue advancing. Sometimes alone, others as a team, encouraging the cooperative and competitive.But, what are online video games? The "Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games", also known by its acronym MMORPG, are video games that allow thousands of players to interact with each other in a virtual world simultaneously. The player creates a character or avatar and increases levels and experience in fights against other characters or doing various adventures or missions. The most popular game is the World of Warcraft that has eleven million subscribers around the world. Other popular games are League of Legends, Clash of Clans or Minecraft. But enjoying playing online can be complicated if it becomes an addictive behavior. The essential characteristic of the addiction to online videogames is the recurrent and persistent participation during many hours that entails a deterioration or clinically significant discomfort. This disorder that is not yet in the clinical manuals but that is already being studied as a possible addiction is called "Internet Gaming Disorder". While with alcohol it seems clear that quantity is an important factor in determining the Addiction of the person, hours of play are something to value, but not reliable indicator to delimit the dependence. Yes, the negative consequences of the game on the person (family, social, academic, work, etc.). If we think of an example, a retiree and a university student could dedicate the same hours to the game and the consequences could be very different. And within online video games, the communications made from a false identity are an important factor at the same time harmful . They can become pathological because the person is installed in a false identity that provides more satisfaction than the real identity. The avatar or character becomes more important than the player.Daniel RAMA VÍCTOR Psychologist

Video: What you need to know about internet addiction | Dr. Kimberly Young | TEDxBuffalo


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